In the work of Patricie Fexová (1975) we can see a combination of her permanent interest in the media of painting, her illusiveness, and the process of painting with overlaps in meaning and expression. After completing her studies of painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Brno University of Technology, she continued studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in the Studio of Vladimír Skrepl. She conceived her thesis project in 2001 partly photographically, however. She combined the picture motif of Czechoslovak First Republic bunkers, as currently purposeless but interesting objects, with greenhouses and created a futurological sci-fi landscape with a land art tone (Czech Bunkers). After that she followed with a series of smaller paintings called Dead Monsters (2002-2004). These were portraits of mutilated virtual animals, which she “killed” in a computer game and photographed and painted them as her trophies. In another painting series entitled Compact Discus Throwers (2004) she devoted her attention to the symbol of digital reality – the CD as a universal information carrier. In an allegory of kneeling nude women, throwing CDs in a phased out motion, she paraphrased, in addition to the futurist methodology, also the classical motif of the Discobolus of Myron, and she interconnected the iconography of two historical periods in a new unit. She later used CDs as the leitmotif in the comprehensive series of paintings Data Paintings (2006-2007), with which she brought attention to the effectiveness of the material expression of painting in contrast with the intangible, digital information of a CD. Captured by the rainbow like shine of CDs, she created paintings with the shape of CDs having an optical image of data pages. She embodied encoded information into the visual code of coloured transitions of the paint of the abstract geometric character, the illusiveness of which she annulled with the meaning of her concept.
The shape unity of the CDs led the painter to another series of paintings from photographs of her friends’ irises. She used the shape of the CD for the human eye, transmitting information flow, and she placed a pair of eyes – her own irises – on the wall of the installation for the 6th Biennale of Young Art (City Gallery Prague, House by the Stone Bell, 2008). At an independent exhibition called Exhibition of Painting (2009) in the Gallery kritiků, she presented, together with this series of CDs entitled Irises, painted on wooden donut shaped circles, cut on a circular saw, detailed sectors of an eye in rectangular parts, formed by cutting the circle (Details of Irises). The iris (without the pupil, which is also an opening in the eye) was conceived here including the “dirty” spots and stains, simultaneously like an unchangeable biometric element, determining the identity of man, so the paintings fluctuated on the edge of absurd humour. During this work she also created the video Painting with Information, being a record of a performance with a column of CDs, layered into a spatial composition of glittering spirals, like strokes with a paintbrush.
Fexová’s work was not always directly inspired by the computer. From the beginning her vital interest in architecture and the world that we live in, can be addressed with the question, where will we once live (Jižní město, acrylic painting on canvas from 1996-1998, or the picture portrait of W. B. Griffin, architect of the city Canberra, in a saviour pose with outspread arms, 2004). In this category, we can also classify her recent exhibitions Skaf (2010, Ferdinand Baumann Gallery) and Pioneer (2011, SPZ Gallery), where she presented three-dimensional painting portraits – costumes – of a man and woman called Space Suites. They were inspired by the drawing of a human couple from the plaque from the space probe Pioneer 10, which includes a map of the Solar system for potential extra-terrestrial founders.
In her recent work, Fexová goes back to the process of painting, which follows up on her series of irises. After she made the stains of the irises independent on small rectangular formats, she decided to examine the act of painting purely in an abstract series. Her Abstract Comics are stories of paintbrush strokes, where a hand is occasionally visible in the painting, insinuating the shifting of the strokes, or the randomness of the painting. Encounter of the stains, however, requires a premeditated painting work, therefore, the stain that resembles a certain shape, must be disrupted again in order to stay purely abstract. This painter, however, does not try to avoid reality in any way – in her current series Self-portraits she tries to conceive individual elements of painting, in painting from a model, by having her paintbrush strokes as autonomous and abstract as possible.
Mezi konceptem a malbou, Patricie Fexová,Výstava malby, katalog, 2009, Vlasta Čiháková Noshiro
Biometrické malby, Ateliér 2/2009, Marie Haškovcová
Prvních 15 minut, Respekt 2/2009, Jan Vitvar
Galerie týdeníku A2, 44/2006, Edith Jeřábková Nové tváře časopisu Umělec 2/2001, Lenka Lindaurová Fotobuňky/Jednota bydlení v Labyrint Revue 5-6, ročník 1999
Galerie týdeníku A2, 44/2006, text Edith Jeřábková
Nové tváře časopisu Umělec 2/2001, text Lenka Lindaurová
Fotobuňky/Jednota bydlení v Labyrint Revue 5-6, ročník 1999