Ladislav Jezbera is one of the established artists of the middle generation as well as one of the most distinctive Czech artists on the field of non-figural sculpture and art installation. His direction and choice of medium through which he expresses himself was certainly influenced by the fact that he grew up in the area near the Krkonoše Mountains, which is an area with strong stone-cutting and sculpting tradition. His authentic creative work and thought manifested already during his studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno University of Technology, where he studied in the Studio of Sculpture headed by Vladimír Preclík and primarily in the Studio of Jan Ambrůz whose sculpting work he is strongly influenced by and in many respects follows up on it. He develops Ambrůz’s way of coping with minimalism and reduction, which had already reached the point of null and needs to be grasped with new ways of production.
The work of Jan Ambrůz but also that of Ladislav Jezbera is often mentioned in relation to the Italian movement of the 1960s Arte Povera with its conceptual relationship to natural and ordinary materials, chemical processes or mathematics and myth. Unlike Ambrůz’, however, Jezbera’s expression is less poetic and his relationship to architecture or landscape is rather critical and in some cases almost scientifically-analytical. What also makes Jezbera different is the origin and type of materials used that include, for example, crushed soap, motor oil, polystyrene foam, polythene or cleaning and other chemical and industrial materials and liquids. He uses them in his installations together with their characteristics, mutual reactions, chemical processes and changing consistence. When encountering his work it is not only our sight, but also our other senses such as smell and touch that are affected. He also uses classical sculpting and natural materials, but always in a way characteristic for his work. As an illustration we can mention his exhibition at the Gallery u Dobrého pastýře (by the Good Shepherd) in Brno, where he created a composition from minimalistic three dimensional objects from wood-chips routed according to actual bar codes from fruits and vegetables. Jitka Francová’s text to the exhibition stated: “Representation of fruit by barcodes in a traditional setting of a still-life ironically comments the “branding” thereof with this symbol as recorded products.” Next the viewers could also run into the installation consisting of a net with lemons hanging and drops of juice falling down on a marble desk with its cool grey surface being marked by the gradual falling of the drops and the light acid taking effect. This piece of work reveals another typical trait of Jezbera’s work, which is the combination of clean geometry and minimalistic vocabulary together with organic, changing elements and their mutual influence.
Another area that Jezbera utilizes and applies in his work is mathematics and geometry. For some time now, he has been working with the so-called Fibonacci Sequence – an infinite series of numbers where the first number is 0, second is 1 and every subsequent number is defined as the sum of the two previous numbers. The Golden Ratio, considered as the ideal proportional canon in European art, appears in nature in the form of this curve. Jezbera uses this sequence, for example, when creating objects the constitution of which is based on specific conditions of the exhibition space. This was presented at the exhibition titled Černočerně (In Black and Black) at the Institution of Macromolecular Chemistry in Prague with the construction of the objects from polystyrene being done in relation to the width of the strips of the floor covering. In doing this, Jezbera updates set conventions and brings them into new contexts, using the already mentioned unusual materials, as well as precise dialogue between a specific space and its architecture. His style of work was also noticed by artist, curator and critic, Jiří Valoch, who expressed in one of his texts that Jezbera exceptionally interconnects previous aesthetics of the new convention with his own reflection, which makes him one our key artists “by perfectly connecting the order of geometry and its potential connotation and references.”
With his work Ladislav Jezbera develops and innovates post-minimalistic tendencies and brings in his specific style of work and reflection. He belongs among experimenters who are not afraid to sail into different areas and utilize their scientific findings in their art work. Mixing areas and subjects is characteristic for contemporary art, but hardly any artists are able work between art and science in such a way that the outcome doesn’t come across as somewhat superficial. Thanks to the honesty that Ladislav Jezbera approaches any area of interest and also thanks to the depth of his passion, he belongs among those who are able to do that.
Jiří Valoch, text k výstavě In Situ, Brno 2013.
Zbyňek Sedláček, text k výstavě Černočerně, Praha 2013 (http://www.imc.cas.cz/cz/umch/vyst_1302.htm.
Ludmila Fidlerová (ed.), Mimochodem: projekty, myšlenky a koncepty studentů a absolventů doktorského studijního programu na katedře výtvarné výchovy PdF MU a odborných hostů, Brno 2009.
Jitka Francová, text k výstavě Rustic, Brno 2007.
Ladislav Jezbera, text Jiří Valoch, katalog k výstavě v galerii Ars, Brno 2004.
Pavel Netopil, Ladislav Jezbera- Odeurs, text k výstavě, Brno 2001
NÁBĚLEK, Kamil. Ladislav Jezbera. Flash Art Czech and Slovak Edition, 2011, roč. 5, č. 21, s. 58.
ZÁLEŠÁK, Jan. Ladislav Jezbera. Flash Art Czech and Slovak Edition, 2007, roč. 2, č. 6, s. 61-61.