Vladimir Houdek


01 Apr - 07 May 2016

Vladimír Houdek - Relations, installation view
1 April – 7 May 2016

In the “Relations” exhibition that will be taking place at Galerie Krinzinger, Czech artist Vladimir Houdek (born 1984) is presenting selected works for the first time in Austria. Over the past three years the young painter has made himself a name with his unique partly abstract, partly figurative paintings. A traveling exhibition with stops in museums in Lübeck, Goslar and Esslingen is currently presenting his complex work in Germany. And most recently the first monograph of Houdek’s oeuvre has been launched by Cantz, the renowned art publishing house in Stuttgart, Germany.

At first glance, Houdek’s paintings resemble geometric ornaments. One sees circles, rectangles, ellipses, diamonds and folds that come together in ever-new surprising combinations. At the beginning of his work around 2012 the artist referred to certain prototypes that one encounters in the classics of modern art like Malevich, Kupka or Mondrian. Increasingly, ‘real-life’ objects such as loops, opened accordion books, shelves and similar forms appeared which lend the flat pictures a spatial, three-dimensional effect. These objects then no longer appear as abstract figures but rather as ‘surreal’ objects floating in the space. The many air wheels and rotating discs also figure in a similar way in Houdek’s paintings. They recall shells, rotors of turbines or strange airplanes. Others by contrast are reminiscent of open books or registers.

Houdek works with classical oil and acrylic painting, combining these two techniques and combining them with collages. He destroys what he has achieved with his palette knife and then applies new layers of color, which he then destroys again. In these he sees “mementos and torsi of previous attempts”, for him a permanent method of self-control and innovation. The haptic dimension of Houdek’s paintings is remarkable. The artist uses his palette knife to work, to push the oil paint so that it extends over the edges of the wedged frame where it hardens. This corona gives the two-dimensional paintings a material, object-like character – they are both abstract and concrete.
Zdenek Felix

Vladimir Houdek was born 1984 in Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic. He lives and works in Prague. Selected one-man shows: Future Polis, Polansky Gallery, Prague, CZ (2015), Levatationen, OverbeckGesellschaft, Kunstverein Lübeck, DE (2015), The Trickling Expanse, PLATO/Kunsthalle, Ostrava, CZ (2015), The Matter of Bending Length, National Gallery Prague, CZ (2013), Viennafair The new contemporary, Vienna, Einzelpräsentation, Polansky Gallery (2013), Auwahl an Gruppenausstellungen: Le Souffleur, Schürmann meets Ludwig, Ludwig Forum Aachen, DE (2015), Geo Ego, Czech Center Berlin, DE (2015), Inspired by Cubism, House of Arts, Brno, CZ (2015), Boogie Woogie, Trafó, Budapest, HUN, (2014), EXHIBITION TWO, ZAHORIAN&co GALLERY, Bratislava, SK, (2012)

Tags: Vladimír Houdek, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian