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Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Jan Hísek

First Name
Jan
Surname
Hísek
Born
1965
Birth place
Praha
Place of work
Prague
Website
www.hisek.cz
Keywords
drawing
graphic art
CSU Library
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About artist

Jan Hísek was making a name for himself as an independent graphic designer while still studying at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (VŠUP). An unusual combination of a fertile imagination and a sense for realistic details was already in evidence in this work. The predominant technique was mezzotint, which is suitable for detailed work and whose main advantage is that it allows for roll printing. A technique based on a dot grid offers the possibility of modelling volume through the smooth scaling of hues of the colour selected.

 

The resulting image has a blurred effect, something that suits Hísek’s symbolic way of thinking and creating. The main inspirations behind his work are symbolism, mysticism, spiritualism and surrealism. He is a great admirer of William Blake, Odilon Redon and Jan Zrzavý, and took many ideas from Hieronymus Bosch and Leonardo da Vinci. His favourite painters include Jindřich Štyrský and Toyen. However, the influence of his father, Květoslav Hísek, a science illustrator should also not be overlooked. His father’s photographically precise and realistic drawing represents the antithesis of the fantasy element in the work of the son, while probably being the source of the latter’s typically detailed style.

 

The ability to combine opposing elements is one of the basic features of Hísek’s style. For instance, in his graphic work he is able to express large biblical themes using a small format. He was involved in graphic design mainly from 1986 to 1998, when he created hundreds of graphic plates. This period culminated with a cycle of mezzotints – illustrations of the Book of Revelation, in which he used a small surface to create a vision with powerful spiritual overtones. Illustration is an important part of the artist’s oeuvre. He applied his skills to magical and poetical literary texts by G. Meyrink, Tolkien, G. de Nerval, A. de Saint-Exupéry, T. Mann, V. Nezval and V. Fischerová among others. His illustrations are freely based on their subject matter, to which he responds intuitively. They have a poetic, delicate, almost ethereal character and exist as artworks in their own right. At the same time Hísek has created drawings, which can be divided into two basic types: realistic, linked with recognisable reality and content, and fantastic, more abstract in character in which unconscious mechanisms are used.

 

Since 1998 Hísek has focused on painting, which has become central to his creative endeavours. There are many links with his drawings. The first paintings were like paintbrush drawings on canvas and the style is similar. However, the paintings reveal a complete freedom of the imagination. He paints mostly at night, a sphere of peace, calm and concentration, and allows himself space for the application of intuition and freely developed ideas. The compositions do not arise violently but are the result of a long, focused creative process. A typical feature of these pictures are layered spiral formations that expand gradually from a central point and remind one of an unfurling flower, a rose, a star, or evoke a sense of depth, the universe and the infinite. Larger fragments of a picture arise from a multitude of small details, from which a sizable composition is created similar to a fantastic mosaic containing a hidden magic. These works reflect the state of the artist’s thinking, the existential feelings evoked in him by crucial events and powerful experiences. It is as though he visualises his personal mystical experience in paintings and drawings.

 

The work of Jan Hísek is subjectove, subtle and timeless. It develops outside contemporary trends in fine art. The artist occupies an unobtrusive place on the contemporary art scene and attracts all the more attention for that very fact.

Author of the annotation
Vilma Hubáčková

Published
2014

CV

Studies :
1984-1990 Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, studio of Milan Hegar and Jan Solpera

1999 - finalist of Jindřich Chalupecký Award

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions
Selection:
2014
Řeka, Galerie Václava Špály, Praha

2013
Cesta na sever, Galerie města Trutnova, Trutnov

2012
Želvokruh, Galerie Havelka, Praha

2011
Noční jezdec, Galerie Rudolfinum, Praha

2010
Jan Hísek, Apparizioni celesti (Nebeská zjevení), České centrum v Miláně

2008
Galerie Havelka, "Mrtvému nože netřeba", Praha

2007
GVU, „V zakletí čar“, Cheb
Galerie Pokorná, "Osm a jeden", Praha

2006
AM 180, "Plamínek", Praha
České centrum, Řím, Itálie

2005
Galerie České pojišťovny, "Měsíc, Rybník, Potok a Květ", Praha

2004
Galerie Obratník, "Půlnoční hlavy", Praha
Galerie Pokorná, "Osm skel Jana Híska", Praha

2003
Galerie Aulos, "Smrt v Benátkách", Praha
Galerie J. Jílka, Šumperk
Výstavní síň Vysoké školy uměleckoprůmyslové, "Magie tmy", Praha

2002
Czech Center, Londýn

2001
Noc / Night, Galerie Jelení, Praha
Davidson Galleries, Seattle, USA

2000
Výlet / Trip, Galerie Gena, Praha
Možná / Maybe, New York University, Praha

1999
Kodex / Codex, Výstavní síň Vysoké školy uměleckoprůmyslové, Praha,
Výstavní síň, Sokolská 26, Ostrava

1998
8 kreslených obrazů / 8 Drawn Paintings, Galerie NJV, Praha
Zjevení Janovo / John´s Revelation, Galerie Aulos, Praha

1997
New York, Galerie Pecka, Praha
Davidson Galeries, Seattle, USA

1996
Výstavní síň Emila Filly, Ústí nad Labem
Výstavní síň Vysoké školy uměleckoprůmyslové, Praha / Academy of Applied
Arts in Prague

1995
33 dní v Irsku / 33 Days in Ireland, Galerie Pecka, Praha

1994
Galerie Pecka, Praha

1992
Galerie Fronta, Praha
Davidson Galleries, Seattle, USA
Group exhibitions not included in ARTLIST.
Selection:
2005
Galerie Havelka „Soukromé vztahy“ (Hísek - Kokolia - Kopecký), Praha

2003
"Moravská galerie, Brno "Ejhle světlo

2002
Klatovy Klenová "Divočina"

1999
NG Praha. Finále ceny J. Chalupeckého

1993
Galerie Mánes, Praha "Jakub a Anděl"
Other realisations

Bibliophile - illustrations:

 

2003

Thomas Mann: Smrt v Benátkách, Aulos, Praha

 

1998

Zjevení Janovo, Aulos, Praha

 

1996

Gérald de Nerval: Příběh o Královně jitra a Sulajmánovi, knížeti duchů, Trigon, Praha

 

1995

John Ronald Reul Tolkien: Kovář z Velké Lesné, Aulos, Praha

 

1991

Gustav Meyrink: Mistr Leonhard, Trigon, Praha

 

1990

Jan Opolský: Hadí král, VŠUP, Praha

 

 

Other illustrations:

2008

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: Tanečnice Manon a jiné texty (4 svazky), Vyšehrad, Praha

Mrtvému nože netřeba – islandské pověsti podle Jóna Árnasona, Argo, Praha

 

2005

Viola Fischerová: Co vyprávěla Dlouhá chvíle, Meander, Praha

 

2004

Karel Toman: Tulák, Odeon, Praha

 

2002

Chalíl Džibrán: Prorok, Academia, Praha

 

1998

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: Letec a živly, Vyšehrad, Praha

Monography

Monography

2007

Jan Hísek (grafika, kresby, obrazy) V zakletí čar, GVU v Chebu (text Radek Wohlmuth)

 

2005

Jan Hísek – Měsíc, Potok, Rybník a Květ, Galerie České pojišťovny, Praha (text Jiří Zemánek)

 

2001

Jan Hísek, Divus, Praha (texty Charlotta Kotíková, Otto M. Urban, Tomáš Pospiszyl)

 

1996

Jan Hísek – Grafika, Galerie Pecka, Praha (texty Petr Nedoma, Jan Rous)

 

1995

Jan Hísek – Grafika, Výstavní síň Emila Filly, Ústí nad Labem (text Michal Koleček)

 

1992

Jan Hísek – Grafika, obrazy, kresby, Fronta, Praha (text Jan Rous)

Photo

Center for Contemporary Arts Prague www.fcca.cz 2006–2017
This website is archived by National Library of the Czech Republic within the project WebArchiv