Czech Painting of the 1990s Generation
Date of exhibition: 18 Feb –24 May 2015
Curator: Richard Adam
Exhibiting artists: Josef Bolf, Jiří Černický, Patricie Fexová, Pavel Hayek, Blanka Jakubčíková, Martin Kuriš, Petr Lysáček, Ján Mančuška, Jiří Matějů, František Matoušek, Michal Nesázal, Petr Pastrňák, Michal Pěchouček, Petr Písařík, Hana Puchová, Milan Salák, Vít Soukup, Jiří Surůvka, Jan Šerých, Michal Škoda, Jakub Špaňhel, Tomáš Vaněk, Markéta Vaňková, Ivan Vosecký
The exhibition held at the Adam Gallery presents a selection of the most interesting pictures by the 1990s generation of artists, which were created between 1995 and 2005. That means in the period when these artists entered the art scene and started developing new approaches to fine art. For the first time, they also participated in exhibitions organised on the premises of prestigious galleries, initially to manifest the legitimacy of their new approach mainly by means of confronting works by the previous generation of artists. In other words, especially to qualify their views of the art produced by the 1980s generation, which was determined, to a considerable extent, by the fine art principles of Postmodernism.
The concept of the exhibition is based on works by individual painters who are presented individually through a cross-section of their artistic production through the above-mentioned decade.
Richard Adam started to collect pictures by the 1990s generation in 1995. In one sense, his position was somewhat easier as collectors who focused on 1980s art did not collect 1990s art. And as Richard Adam says, the new generation of collectors "had not yet been born. In other words, I stood in the middle of a field and there was nobody around. Just me and some twenty-five or so painters".
From the historical point of view, Czech painting of the 1990s generation was first presented, at least partially, at an exhibition entitled Test Run organised by Mr. and Mrs. Ševčík at the Prague Mánes gallery in 1995. This was the first time that Petr Pastrňák, Ivan Vosecký, Jiří Černický and some other artists had exhibited in such a representative space. Nevertheless, from the purely painting point of view, the exhibition Czech AbstraHtion, organised by Martin Dostál and Marek Pokorný at the Václav Špála Gallery the following year, was apparently even more important. Just like Test Run, it was a confrontation of works by the 1990s artists with the generation of the previous decade. But in particular, for the first time a fine art style which combined the artistic production of a group of artists and could briefly be characterized as lyricizing abstraction was presented in a relatively comprehensive manner. It basically represented a single fine art phenomenon which for a certain period unified, at least partially, the artistic expression of some of the artists. Otherwise, the artistic production by the 1990s generation of painters is not confined by any unifying rules, unlike the previous generation, where Postmodern approaches had played a key role.
As has already been said, Richard Adam started to gather his unique collection in 1995. At the beginning, there was a meeting with Petr Písařík at the MXM gallery. At this already legendary meeting, Adam bought not only a picture by Petr Písařík (Calvin Klein) but also reserved other pictures. But in particular, he started to systematically collect works by Petr Pastrňák, Ivan Vosecký, Jiří Černický, Milan Salák, later members of the Bezhlavý jezdec (Headless Rider) group and others, so that after several years he had put together a comprehensive collection of the most interesting pictures by painters of that generation.