Dominik Běhal's solo exhibition at Studio PRÁM in Prague.
Dominik Běhal: Úhrn rozvahy (Balance Sheet Summary)
Curated by: Artur Sammler
7 – 28 June, 2022
Studio PRÁM, Prague
The image of a jumble of naked human bodies is alternated on another canvas by the motif of body fragments floating through the landscape. The next painting is then populated only by ghostly figures: negative forms of bodies that emerge from the background and at the same time merge with it.
Similarly, the image of a traditionally painted landscape breaks up in the next work into separate elements of tree and background, which is formed by marble inlay.
Finally, a still life interior in another work splits into an abstracted material composition.
In Běhal's earlier work, we can encounter paintings ranging in scale from figurative frescoes, where the environment surrounding the figures is broken down into simple, monochromatic surfaces, to intricately composed figurative oil paintings-a kind of colorfully overflowing stained glass on canvas.
Thematically, the painter's work, based largely on working with the naked human body (often in group scenes), refers to mythology (bathing, abduction, serpent bearer) and to traditional genres of art history (nudes, landscapes, still lifes). Běhal captures all this in various degrees of realism and deconstructed depictions of materiality flirting with abstraction.
All of these positions, approaches and contents belong to Běhal's repertoire, and it depends on his momentary decision which path he takes at a given moment. After all, the choice of format, appropriate technology and the subsequent choices made in the process of creation require not only painterly sensitivity but also experience and, above all, deliberation. In the current exhibition, Dominik Běhal presents us with the sum of this, in an ironic allusion to the exhibition title term from accounting. The apparent, linguistically charming inappropriateness of this phrase, however, actually disturbs the schematic idea of an artist - a painter of Běhal's type. The foundation of years of experience and discernment is not mutually exclusive with the belief in intuition and sensory-oriented painting: on the contrary, these forces balance each other and are a prerequisite for a strong painterly message.
/Artur Sammler, 2022/
Photo: Anna Pleslová