Ondřej Petrlík

The DATE OF THE EXHIBITION: 01. 04. - 31. 12. 2022



Karel Štědrý 1985

The painter Karel Štědrý is one of the leading figures of the generation that entered the Czech art scene during the first decade of the 21st century. He reflects seemingly contradictory sources in his work. We can recognize in it an interest in classical modernism, architecture, but also in pop culture and its specific manifestations such as graffiti, hip-hop, break-dance and computer games.

He was born on January 30, 1985 in Prague. He first studied promotional graphics at the Václav Hollar College (1998–2003) and then painting in the studio of Stanislav Diviš at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (2003–2010). He finished school with a painting cycle called "Let no non-geometric man enter", which foreshadowed his further direction within geometric abstraction. In the same year that he graduated from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, he received the ARSkontakt award for young visual artists. During his studies, in 2006, together with David Hanvald, Ondřej Maleček, Josef Achrer and Martin Krajec, he founded the group Obr. In 2006, he had his first solo exhibition called Architecture at the 35m2 Gallery in Prague, and since then he has had at least one exhibition of his work a year. In 2008 he participated in the international symposium of art academies in Mikulov, in 2012 in symposia in Mikulov and Litomyšl (Young Stars), in 2017 he was on a residential creative stay in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

Since 2002, he has organized over two dozen solo exhibitions in the Czech Republic and abroad, and is popularly employed in group exhibitions, of which he already has forty. In 2010, he won the Arskontakt Award - Confrontation of Young Authors and is represented in many private and public collections. In the Sotheby's auction house, he was successfully auctioned from the avid-garde of the AcidHaus / Co series from 9,450 pounds.

What is important is his meeting with Stanislav Kolíbal, which resulted in close cooperation. When Professor Kolíbal had an exhibition in the Czechoslovak pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2019, Karel Štědrý helped him with its implementation. He considers the legendary sculptor to be a model of determination, unceasing creativity and artistic truthfulness based on strong attitudes to life. Like Professor Kolíbal, he deals with the editing of books and catalogs by other artists, but also with the installation of exhibitions. They are united by a sense of space and its representation.
Although Karel Štědrý's paintings are based on geometric relationships and proportions, they do not lose their spontaneity. They reflect the artist's personality, the paintings intertwine reason and emotion, a certain austerity and playfulness. Their visual friendliness is - in addition to a well-thought-out composition - the result of combining acrylic paints and pastels. The painter creates other paintings exclusively with his own black, hand-made charcoal. They have order and naturalness in them. They enrich each other, take over and develop the motifs that are embedded in them. It is not without interest that the artist uses a computer instead of a sketch in the first phase.