Ivana Lomová
4.9. - 18.10. 2015

Curator: Ladislav Kesner

The Anthropology of Emptiness
About her latest set, Galleries (2014 to the present), Ivana Lomová says that it began at a Berlin exhibition of contemporary art, ‘which somehow particularly bored me, as if there were actually nothing to look at there. So I began to notice those guards who were standing there, and I guess I was beginning to empathize with them a bit, what it must be like... what their lives might look like at home.... I began to be fascinated by the whole atmosphere of those empty rooms, where those people had to stand and ‘guard’, almost like the “serenity” of a temple, floating above emptied-out nothing.’

In the context of her oeuvre, however, the gallery paintings are mainly a continuation of long-term development, a consistent line of work, which may be considered, more than anything else, an anthropological-sociological investigation of public spaces, microcosms (cafés, trains, and, now, galleries) and microstories of human situations that are played out in them. Ivana Lomová’s painterly anthropology is complex: behind the apparently descriptive realism of scenes, upon close inspection, multiple meanings open up. A few of the paintings from the Galleries series offer a kind of composite portrait of the figure of a guard, and show his or her existence defined by looks, the workday (or night) spent in oscillation between anxiously observing others and staring into the void, the alternation of keen vigilance and weary apathy. There is a continuation here of in-depth exploration of states of being lost in thought (such as we know from the Cafés and Trains series) and of investigation of the state of loneliness in the crowd. Apparently there are no visible emotions, but this not a matter of clinically detached research; the paintings are a subtle appeal to use to imagine ourselves in the circumstances and experiences of those others. The painter herself then suggests that she is concerned with capturing certain parallels between empty gallery spaces and the emptiness of contemporary art or the general emptiness of the present day.

In some paintings from the series, however, the guards are missing and it is precisely the emptiness of the space that links Galleries with the other presented series, Prague. For Ivana Lomová, her native city is a continuous topic, to which she has been returning for more than thirty years. As she says, these are paintings of her city, the city of her childhood and youth, as she feels it rather than sees it. But this is no peripheral romanticism; emotions here are again only subtly present, perhaps only fleeting sighs of nostalgia and melancholy, more for one who sees the city and feels it like painter. The scenes of old Veleslavín, Holešovice, and Libeň can reasonably be perceived as documentary records of the appearances of places that are still here and yet no longer are, and they may also be seen as the painter’s recollections. Like Galleries, however, they are, more profoundly, a painterly exploration of emptiness as a current state of affairs and of the existence of a certain space and atmosphere of timelessness which fills this emptiness – emptiness that we can, but need not necessarily, perceive as a metaphor of the state of mind or the emptiness of the world around us.

Ladislav Kesner

Gallery (8)



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CV — Ivana Lomová

Born in 1959, lives and works in Prague

1978–83 Architecture, Czech Technical University (České vysoké učení technické), Prague

Solo exhibitions (a selection)
2015 Obrazy z Ložnice (Scenes from the Bedroom), Galerie Villa Pellé, Prague
2013 Voliči (Voters), Galerie Vltavín, Prague
2012 Ivana Lomová, Galerie U bílého jednorožce, Klatovy 
2012 Cestující (Passengers), Galerie Beseda, Ostrava
2011 Ivana Lomová – obrazy (Ivana Lomová: Paintings), Wortnerův dům, Alšova  jihočeská galerie, České Budějovice
        Kavárny (Cafés), Galerie České pojišťovny, Prague
2010 Kočka a já (The Cat and I), Galerie 5. patro, Prague
         Sesterstvo (Sisterhood), Galerie Fotografic, Prague
         Slávia, Galerie Via Art, Prague
2008 Pták Ohnivák (The Firebird), Galerie České pojišťovny, Prague
2007 Ráj (Paradise), Galerie Via Art, Prague
         Ivana Lomová 2003–2006, Galerie umění Karlovy Vary – Letohrádek Ostrov
         Noc (Night), Galerie Vltavín, Prague
         Ivana Lomová, Východočeská galerie v Pardubicích
2005 Dokud nás smrt nerozdělí (Till Death Do Us Part), Galerie České pojišťovny, Prague
2004 Štěstí (Happiness), Galerie Via Art, Prague
2003 Pod Dekou (Under the Cover), České Centrum, Berlin
         Dítě Uvnitř (The Child Within), Moravská galerie, Atrium Pražákova paláce, Brno
2002 Ivana Lomová, Galerie Pintner, Frankfurt am Main
2001 Ivana Lomová, Galerie Kampf, Basle
         Tance v Předsíni (Dance in the Vestibule), Galerie v Kapli, Bruntal
2000 Pod Dekou (Under the Cover), Galerie MXM, Prague
1999 Muži a Ženy (Men and Women), Galerie Václava Špály, Prague
1997 Život je dobrý (Life Is Good), Galerie Malá Špálovka, Prague
1995 Ivana Lomová, Galerie u Prstenu, Prague
1994 Ivana Lomová, Galerie Fronta, Prague

Group exhibitions (a selection from 2005 to the present)
2014 Uvidět, prožít... 4 pojetí figury (To See, to Experience: Four Conceptions of the Figure), Oblastní galerie Vysočiny, Jihlava
2014 Plavci (Swimmers), Oblastní galerie Liberec
2014 Rekonstrukce (Reconstructions), Galerie Emila Filly, Ústí nad Labem
2014 Intimní Interakce, PLATO platforma pro současné umění (Intimate Interaction: PLATO, Platform for Contemporary Art), Ostrava Vítkovice
2011Obrazy mysli, Mysl v obrazech (Paintings of the Mind: The Mind in Paintings), Moravská galerie v Brně and Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden
2010 Temná noc, jasná noc, měsíc a noc v českém výtvarném umění 19. a 20. století (Dark Night, Bright Night: The Moon and the Night in Czech Art of the 19th and 20th Centuries), Wortnerův dům AJG, České Budějovice
2009 Čtrnáct S (Fourteen S), DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague
2008 Autoportrét v českém umění 20. a 21.století (The Self-portrait in Czech Art of the 20th and 21st centuries), Alšova jihočeská galerie v Hluboké nad Vltavou
2006 Příští stanice Arkadia (Next Stop, Arcadia), Galerie moderního umění v Roudnici nad Labem and Landschloss Pirna–Zuchendorf
2005 Imprese (Impressions), Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague

Book illustration
2005 Ladislav Klíma, Slavná Nemesis, (Glorious Nemesis, a limited edition published by Aulos, Prague)

Animated film
1990 Večírek (A Party, 10 min.), concept, script, set design, and direction by Boris Baromykin, Krátký film Praha

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Czech Republic

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