Lubomír Typlt's solo exhibition curated by Michal Stolarik at Pradiareň 1900 in Bratislava.


Lubomír Typlt: Against the Laws of Gravity
Curated by Michal Stolárik
Architecture by Alan Prekop
Organized by Mantra
24. 1. - 29. 2. 2024
Pradiareň 1900, Bratislava

Dynamic snapshots taken from an enigmatic context materialise through the torrent of psychedelic hues. Expressive figures, thrust into banal scenarios, unveil a multi-layered dystopic dream-like reality. Riveting compositions, frozen in time, defy gravity and unveil the ritualistic aspects of the present. Individuals, surrendering their individuality and visual distinction, merge into a homogeneous group, serving a higher force. We hear the uproar and witness clash between an individual and the group, the interplay of volition and chance.

Lubomír Typlt has been present within the art scene since the late 1990s, boldly standing as a preeminent figure among the Czech middle generation of painters. He augments his portfolio with objects, installations, and lyrical contributions to the experimental music project WWW Neurobeat. He builds his inimitable visual language and thematic range through figures he integrates into monumental oil paintings or intimate temperas on paper. Whether in portrait variations or multi-body compositions, Typlt eschews the spotlight of individualism. Instead, his fascination lays in exploring the principles of variations or duplication within the groups he portrays. He arranges the figures like puppets in the foreground, drawing our attention to their interaction and coexistence. Through a blend of visual and narrative cues, he transforms his paintings into actions driven by symbolism, actualising archetypal representations and conveying dramatic situations or borderline and contradicting emotions.

The project Against the Laws of Gravity presents a selection of Typlt’s current work focusing on significant cycles that emerged over the past two years. The ensemble of oil paintings underlines his pictorial expressiveness. It instantly catches the eye with its discordant palette and dynamic brushwork, blending gestural strokes with drawn lines. Complementary colours underline the overall contrast and spontaneity within these monumental canvases, challenging the established norms of artistic beauty.

The largest exhibition of the Typlt's work in Slovakia opens with his iconic series of crying babies, which he has been developing since 2012. The original commission by the Brno gallerist Igor Fait for a portrait of his child and later those of Typlt's approximately four-month-old son Nicolas have become a symbol of vitality, new energy or the materialisation of the joy of dynamic and lush painting against the backdrop of the post-Warhol atmosphere. The intense double portraits capture fleeting moments that, through unadorned naturalism and significant monumentalisation, enter our personal space, inviting us to the infinite theme of the original and the replica.

Typlt's work with the relationships and mutual interaction of the depicted figures represent an imperative principle of the cycles on display. To create a compelling plot, Typlt is content with a simple arrangement of figures, working with facial expressions or hand gestures. Body language, combined with emotionally charged colouring, creates full-fledged stories. They remain open to their own interpretations, aided by neutral backgrounds without references to specific realities. The scenes can be read on their own or as a disjointed story unfolding over the surface of several canvases.

Within the series, we are intrigued by a portrait of a group of virtually identical youths that encircles an individual, what creates a tense situation. We can only surmise what actually happened, whether the central character is safe or faces a difficult confrontation. In other paintings, groups of boys are replaced by those of women – whether in the mystical and ritualistic series of Levitants hovering over the opening into the centre of the earth, or the at times menacing Great Mothers. The archetype of the Protectress, extracted from the original iconographic depiction of Our Lady, is further developed and placed as a higher governing entity, overseeing the fates of figures enjoying all-seeing eyes or lush fruit.

Typlt's solo exhibition concludes with a sample of his distinctive spatial works. The kinetic installation Carousel (2023) presents non-functional torsos of retro bicycles placed into a new context. Absurdly paired with colourful umbrellas, they create an ironic hybrid twisting between the illusion of flying and the fantasy of child's play.

Lubomír Typlt's work is at times unsettling in its metaphors of the current state of the world; at other times it is mysterious, mystical and dreamlike, or aggressively blaring or sardonically amusing. His art challenges our comfort zone and does not leave us indifferent.

Lubomír Typlt (b. 1975, Nová Paka) lives and works in Prague and Pičín. He studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague (1993–1997, within the illustration studio led by Jiří Šalamoun), the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Brno University of Technology (1997–2001, painting studio led by Jiří Načeradský) and at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1998–2005, painting studios led by Markus Lüpertz, Gerhard Merz and A. R. Penck). He has exhibited, inter allia, in Villa Pellé, Prague (2023), Aleš South Bohemian Gallery, Hluboká nad Vltavou (2021), DSC Gallery, Prague (2021, 2017), C&K Galerie, Berlin (2020), Galerie ARTIKLE, Brno (2018), Václav Špála Gallery, Prague (2018, 2001. Typlt's works feature in a number of private and public collections in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland, China, and the Netherlands.