NEWS: 01 11 2022 The central exhibition theme for the Museum of Art this year is Home and Abroad, and this is what Nikola Čulíks new exhibition Dream of War develops in the Caesar Gallery from today.

NEWS: 01 11 2022

The central exhibition theme for the Museum of Art this year is Home and Abroad, and this is what Nikola Čulíks new exhibition Dream of War develops in the Caesar Gallery from today.

Nikola Čulík, a draughtsman, illustrator, poet, graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, legend of Czech “still young” drawing, presents himself in Olomouc in good form – as an artist sensitive to light, to air, to what shimmers and shimmers in it, even before it becomes reality and is seen by all of us. His expression is as focused and precise as ever. It takes place on a minimum of A4 paper and exclusively in the form of pencil drawings. Out of the endless grey, as deep as the twilight of an early evening well, outlines as sharp as a freshly sharpened axe emerge. To grasp, to swing, to grasp – to pause and wonder if a blow has fallen by the wayside. It hasnt. 

Nikolas Olomouc “dream of war” is, however, in many ways the antithesis of the mechanisms that have been in place so far. The drawings that have been selected come from a longer period of time, created between 2019 and 2022, and are in a very real sense final. They are finished images, not sketches, fragments, variations on the edge of concept, art brut and found artifact. They do not lack the lightness, elegance and wit associated with a sensitive perception of the world outside, but at the same time they are surprisingly timeless – turned “elsewhere”, backwards, inwards, into the future. And they are serious in this sense. The outlines of the essential are established in them gradually, in the process of recording, or rather perception – the viewer is as much a part of the act of drawing as the stroke of a pencil on paper. This is where Nikola Nikola remains. They emerge from the fog, become solid and tangible. Only the slowly and hintingly forming collective unconscious so firmly establishes an individual conviction, a fact of the new order. In the end, it is not the dream of peace that appears to us today, not the dimensionless state of a potential paradise or the bottom of purgatory, but a decisive element, a twist, a plot, a tension, an action that condenses, as it were, inside out, in the edges of mythical machines, flashes of eyes and dislocated loins, in the refractions, axes and points of daylight that threaten to overwhelm us. Nicolas ability to tell things as they are comes from her ability to grasp them as such. The result is all the more convincing because it simply is – without the possibility or need to doubt it. War. V. Us. Is. From the beginning.

Nikola Čulík (1983, Prague)

Drawer, illustrator, author of installations and ephemeral concepts, curator. Student of Jaroslav Valečka and Jiří Janda. Student of the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University (2005). Graduate of the studios of drawing by Jitka Svobodová, conceptual art by Miloš Šejn and experimental graphics by Vladimír Kokolii at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (2011). He has been working freely since the beginning of the millennium, exhibiting alone and in groups. He is a storyteller, a reader of the Bible, The Bouquet, J. R. R. Tolkien, Martin McDonagh and others. He also writes, and the combination of image and word has a special meaning for him. His work is latently socially engaged, it is a constantly conducted dialogue with himself, himself, himself. It takes place almost exclusively on the surface of the paper and in the spectrum of grey. It transfers the principles of drawing into space, and applies the principles of space in drawing. He understands experiment in the true sense of the word – as a test, a test of the nature of things. He balances depression with compression, exhalation with inhalation. He perceives drawing as a holistic reflection of the world in a small way, concentratedly revealing its architecture. The loose series entitled Dream of War includes works from 2019 to 2022. It is, among other things, a reminder of how firmly art is anchored in the collective unconscious – and how intensely it can anticipate temporal events. 

The exhibition is part of the Olomouc Museum of Art – Central European Forums “Home and Worlds” programme for 2022, and was created in collaboration with Caesar Gallery.