The Young Scene Challenge is a creative platform where young artists can engage in an imaginary conversation, which was initiated as part of the exhibition Dimensions of Dialogue between Czech art and selected artworks from the Schenkung Sammlung Hoffmann, a collection owned by Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.


Young Scene Challenge V: Thomas Locher & Richard Nikl
Curated by: Adéla Janíčková, Michal Novotný
October 24 – December 1, 2019
National Gallery, Prague

The current instalment presents the work of Thomas Locher and Richard Nikl (parallelly with presentation of Rineke Dijkstra and Martina Smutná), who analyse the phenomenon of structures, both formal and semantic. Locher explores the foundation of language and highlights the complexity of its use and interpretation. Nikl observes and takes part in the process of research on novelty of forms.

Thomas Locher (1956)
Since the mid-1980s, German artist Thomas Locher has focused on the theme of communication and its ambiguity. He has paid particular attention to linguistic structure and the construction of meaning, which, for instance, can be manipulated in legal, economic or other corporate technocratic texts to affect citizens both politically and practically. His work does not represent an attempt at theory but treats linguistic codes with irony. In his object A-H (2002–2015), Locher assembles letters – the fundamental building blocks of text – without order and contrary to alphabetic sequence and semantic rules. Locher strives for a simple aesthetic and clear form, in order to exclude deliberately the ambiguous possibilities of interpretation.
Thomas Locher has exhibited his work around the world in locations such as KMD Kunsthalle Marcel Duchamp, The Forestay Museum of Art, Cully Galerie, Galerie Silberkuppe in Berlin, Secession in Vienna, ZKM Karlsruhe, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart and Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Richard Nikl (1987)
Nikl focuses on the subject of the novelty of shape and its relevance within different modalities of knowledge systems. He follows morphological and semantic developments in the fields of industrial design and architecture, alongside modern production processes. Inspired by occultist free forms of so called visionary art and the blob-like architecture of the past decade, he himself takes part and through systematic experimentation attempts to reconstruct, deconstruct and revise contemporary approaches to artistic form. The result may be a traditional 19th century coffer holding a hand-carved parametric form resembling a sausage. Or a depiction of three dimensional freckled amebic structures, printed on canvas, whose formal qualities manifest an idea of aesthetic autopoiesis.
Richard Nikl graduated from Städelschule Frankfurt in 2017. He has shown internationally and taken part in various group shows and solo shows in locations such as Palais des Beaux-Arts Bozar in Brussels, Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main, Czech Center in New York, National Gallery in Prague and KIM Contemporary Art Center in Riga. In 2013, he was nominated for the Czech’s most prestigious contemporary art award, the Jindrich Chalupecky Prize.