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Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Jan Merta

First Name
Jan
Surname
Merta
Born
1952
Birth place
Šumperk
Place of work
Prague
Keywords
drawing
painting
CSU Library
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About artist

Jan Merta himself claims his painting started progressing in its genuine way in the middle of the 80s of the 20th century, when studying at the Academy of Fine Arts. Then he experienced the first controversies with the academic staff. Having turned away from literary copying of reality seen outside and having focused his attention on rendering his personal message, he created what he calls his first genuine painting. It is possible to perceive this individuality in various ways: as feelings, expression, personal iconography, symbolics or ideas, etc. When talking about the first period of Merta’s work, it is likely appropriate to direct our attention at the problem of symbols to follow up the clues to his art expression. A symbol is usually described as an non-imitating sign in the way of an ideogram or language system. It is not complete abstraction with Merta however, rather synthesis. The author uses monumental pictographs, the forms of which are elementarily simplified. Often rendering relationship between outward and inward spaces, formations present just space reservoirs. Thus a place arises; in contrast to vast abstract and geometrical “space extension”. A place as an idyllic reservoir of the space to live in ( Merta’s formations are often envelopes for human bodies: clothes, sleeping-bags). Though, a body is usually absent, leaving just a memory of a touch, a trace, behind it. A sort of body space “casts” is the point. Unlike sculptural execution of a similar subject, color and transposition into surface are important for Merta. Thus surface lays emphasis on visual nature of memories. The topic of inside space is principal (Two Boxes, Green Vault); it indicates the delimitation from within, from the memory. This is logical to be connected with the topic of an imprint (Vine, Corner: drawings originated in the prints of everyday materials, cloth, wine, and coffee). Recent Merta’s works even represent figure itself (Officer and Sun), again in the shape of a trace of a temporal action though (shadow). Merta works with the method of associations, certain motif working as a part for the whole (a mask in the painting For Alpinists).

Author of the annotation
Václav Hájek

CV

Studies:
1981-1987 Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (Oplt, Ptáček)
1968-1972 Secondary school of applied arts (Art School of Vaclav Hollar), Prague

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions
2013
Na počest pana profesora Krále, Galerie Zdeněk Sklenář Chambre á part, Praha 1

2009-2010
Výstava / Exhibition, Wannieck Gallery, Brno

2008
Galerie ad astra, Kuřim

2006
Stockhausenova symfonie, Galerie Zdeněk Sklenář, Praha 1
Galerie Martin Janda, Vídeň (Wien)

2005
Východočeská galerie v Pardubicích, Zámek, Pardubice
Morality, Dobrá trafika, Újezd
Obrazy a práce na papíře / Paintings and Works on Paper: 1985 - 2005, Pražákův palác, Brno

2004
Galerie Kai de kai, Praha

2002
2000+2/born 1952, AP Atelier, Praha

2001
Obrazy, Dům umění, České Budějovice

2000
Obrazy, Galerie Felixe Jeneweina, Kutná Hora

1999
Kolonie, CSU, Praha

1998
Milovníci umění, Galerie V. Špály, Praha

1997
Nová krása starých soust, Galerie MXM, Praha

1994
Nová síň, Praha

1993
Galerie MXM, Praha
Group exhibitions not included in ARTLIST.
2012-2013
Ř! Česká národní identita v současném umění, Galerie Vysoké školy uměleckoprůmyslové (Galerie VŠUP), Praha 1

2012
Zářivý měsíc svěží vítr.cz, Galerie Kubík, Litomyšl
Ostrovy odporu: Mezi první a druhou moderností 1985 -2012, Veletržní palác, Praha

2011
...a jiné věci, Galerie Caesar, Olomouc
Doteky konstruktivismu, Galerie Moderna, Praha
Fundamenty & sedimenty / Vzpoura hraček 2011, Městská knihovna, Praha
PBBK80: Praha/Brno/Bratislava/Kolín nad Rýnem - 80. léta, Galerie Národní technické knihovny (Galerie NTK), Praha

2010-2011
...a nezapomeňte na květiny, Pražákův palác, Brno

2010
David, Diviš, Merta, Načeradský, Nikl, Střížek ve sbírce České pojišťovny, Galerie České pojišťovny, Praha
Výběr, Galerie U Betlémské kaple, Praha

2009-2010
Oko a srdce. Sbírka Jiří Štarha, Galerie Šternberk, Šternberk
Výběr, Galerie U Betlémské kaple, Praha
O barvě / On Colour: Český kolorismus od Slavíčka po současnost / The Czech Colourism from Slavíček to the Present, Pražákův palác, Brno

2009
Prague Biennale 4 / Prague Biennale Photo 1, Karlínská hala, Praha

2008
Kalendáře pro Jindru Štreita, Galerie Smečky, Praha
Na bidýlku: Umělci z okruhu Galerie Na bidýlku v Brně, Galerie Jelení, Praha

2007
Jan Merta, Jiří Kovanda, Johnen galerie, Berlín

2005
Privátní pohled (Sbírka Josefa Chloupka), Dům pánů z Kunštátu, 1. patro, Brno
Prague Biennale 2: Expanded painting / Acción directa: Mezinárodní současné umění / International Contemporary Art, Karlínská hala, Praha
A na co myslíš ty, Městská knihovna, Praha

2004
Vision einer Sammlung, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg

2003
Retrospektiva, Dům pánů z Kunštátu, Brno

2000
Melancholie, Moravská galerie, Brno

1996
Opakované příběhy, Moravská galerie, Brno

1993
Was bleibt, Art Hamburg 93, Hamburg

1989
Popis jednoho zápasu, Galerie výtvarného umění, Roudnice nad Labem

1987
Konfrontace VI, Praha

1984
Konfrontace II, Praha

Photo

Center for Contemporary Arts Prague www.fcca.cz 2006–2017
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