Tomáš Vaněk

Tomáš Vaněk, Czech Republic

* 1966 (Czech Republic)
education: Academy of Fine Arts, Prague
lives and works in Prague

Tomáš Vaněk is a Czech artist, university lecturer, former rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, and a mainstay of the Czech art scene since the mid-1990s. In 2001, he won the Jindřich Chalupecký Award. From 1996 to 2002, he was a member of the artistic group Bezhlavý jezdec (Headless Horseman). Since 1999, he has also worked within PAS – Production of Present Activities. In both of these group activities, he developed elements of non-gallery art presentation that formed the basis of the independent gallery scene in subsequent decades. He continues to explore communication experiments both inside and outside galleries. His well-known stencilled, spray-painted, site-specific drawings transform exhibition spaces and often engage directly with the viewer. He also supplements galleries with binaural recordings, which are essentially sound sculptures. Many of his “Particip” works focus on the anthropometry of gallery visitors, who leave their mark on exhibitions through drawing. Vaněk blurs the lines between artist and viewer, as well as between viewer and gallery.

Particip No. 228

For the prepared outdoor billboard space of 30 square metres, I will create approximately 30 poster-grams measuring 100 × 70 cm or 140 × 200 cm. The poster-grams will be spray-painted in black and red on the prepared wall. Each poster-gram will have a specially cut stencil featuring a theme related to the current societal situation. The stencils will serve as templates for transferring the image by spraying, enabling the images to be repeated and renewed. In a larger format, Particip No. 228 follows Particip No. 220 and Particip No. 191. In these Particip works, I use simple drawings to understand the surrounding world in relation to my lived situation. The drawings range from poetically precise to paradoxical puzzles to politically satirical comments and outcries.