Video made for ALIVE In The UNIVERSE, 8th May - 4th June at the Palazzo Pesaro Papafava, Venice. To coincide with the Venice Biennale 2019.
Press release for Private Room: New Proposals and Artists from the Gallery at C&H Gallery
In this new series of drawings by George Kratochvil, the outlines of characters, traced from various Persian miniature paintings, appear to have been confined, like ghosts of a deteriorated past, to an environment that surges with a relentless graphic motif. The onslaught of tiny shapes references various ornamental crafts such as tapestry, embroidery or mosaic. The elements that make up these ink drawings, have been described as being “diametrically opposed”, presenting a trypophilic surface of painstakingly hand drawn pattern work that might relish the meticulous and the reactionary, while, on the other hand revealing a suggestive enticement with the appropriated figures. The various elements are held within the same pictorial space, creating scenes of an unsettling tranquility.
Text written by the artist Simon Gales
One notices how the images seem to float in front of the paper which is, in my view due to the edges drawn to look like a relief, convex dimples at the top and concave at the bottom like a coarse material as if one ran one's fingers across the surface one would sense the texture. You get the impression before even delving into the image that you are dealing with something 3 dimensional.
It is curious because albeit we see all the characteristics within human nature that we immediately identify with when looking at each of the figures in turn, drinking, servitude, embrace, learning, vanity, hunting, creativity etc, one feels that we are looking into another world other than our own. It sort of brings us back to the 'diametrically opposed' perception in that through the quintessentially very 21st century, minimal and somewhat kinetic background/surface there is a massive warp in time/dimension to the ancient trees and figures... as if the deep past and future are actually cancelling each other out. The images seem therefore to be in a kind of limbo that defies time and vanishing points become irrelevant yet within the space the figures are static or moving and each tree is either below or above as on a hill or in front or behind as on a flat plane. I love the slight absurdity of lone trees and figures, inexplicably placed knowing not which way or how, it is as if the work is constantly changing and adjusting in a way that is unusual in contemporary art.