Ondřej Maleček graduated from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design (Professor P. Nešleha, Professor S. Diviš). Given his previous studies he is close to literature and verbal imagery, above all to classical Czech romanticism and the literary evocation of place (K. H. Mácha, K. Klostermann). Neo-romantic responses form a substantial part of his painterly poetics. Natural melancholic secluded places (paths, valleys), abandoned places (fields, clearings) or dramatically formed scenery (forests at night, rock formations) are lightened by a personal naive morphology. The soft stylisation, which evokes the impression of enlarged diary drawings, creates an ironic distance from the attributes of transience (death, skull, bones,), salvation (the cross, face, saints) or national peculiarities and identity (lion, banner, flag).
Maleček blunts the sharp, painful spikes of romantic freedom, irreconcilability and revolt, so that everything is transformed into a balladic, bitter-sweet fairytale, but one which does not deny the murky depths from which it is drawn. These are legendary messages about the place where the artist lives, about the space he shares, about identity, dreams, about unattainable wishes and conciliations. His pictures feature night forests, sharply winding mountain paths, dramatic cloud formations, moths, spiders and predators, weird herbs and magic mushrooms. Heraldic animals become threatening totemic monsters or absurdly revived caricatures sent into the space (a double-tailed lion).
In the cycle entitled Flags Maleček deals with the issue of demarcated territory. He places found objects, products of nature, key elements of the landscape, as well as conventional symbols (skull and crossbones, a rainbow, caption) on “picture-banners”. Everything is ambiguous and dematerialised. The distinctive, dangerous nationalism of the 19th century becomes a friendly, campfire game set against the cultural landscape, inscrutable in its sensed genuine memory. A lived, historically non-binding de-contextualisation of place.
Maleček’s books are noteworthy. Full of pictures and quotes set against a background of the decomposition of the item (mould, damp maps, pages glued together, etc. The exercise book / diary / book as a medium subject to decomposition and disappearance, though this can be delayed through its recreation in an artefact, an archive full of human traces and gestures. Maleček is thus above all a painting poet who is sometimes craftily playing with us. The landscape which he returns to again and again is then the plan of self-projection and an act of intense experience, which can be shared and passed around.
Baborovská, S.: OBR (katalog), Galerie in Bewegung, Landshut, 2007 (?)
Rezler, A.: Jenewein Kutná Hora : VII. sympozium současného výtvarného umění : Brázdilová Petra, Fexa Marek, Maleček Ondřej, Matyska Pavel, Paul Jan (katalog), Galerie F. Jeneweina, Kutná Hora, 2007
Vaňous, P.: Možnosti exprese v mladé české malbě/ Pražská scéna: Maleček/ Pešat/ Véla, Revolver revue, č. 75, 2009, s. 39 - 54
Vaňous, P.: Pirátské vlajky, A2 46/ 2008
Tučková, K.: Zpráva o Obr.u, Literární noviny, roč. 18, č. 44, 2007, s. 13
Sládková, H.: Jak se peče Obr, A2 kulturní týdeník 19/2007
Vaňous, P.: Máchovské variace Ondřeje Malečka, A2 kulturní týdeník 29/ 2006, s. 9
Vaňous, P.: Podivuhodný příběh Ondřeje Malečka, Revue art, č. 4/ 2006, s. 40 - 43