Cosmic Board IV.
Cosmic Board II.
Cosmic Board I.
Cosmic Board III.
Genetic mutations I
Genetic mutations II
Genetic mutations III
Genetic mutations IV
Genetic mutations V
Genetic mutations VI
Genetic mutations VII
Genetic mutations VIII
Genetic mutations IX
Metal Atom I.
Metal Atom II.
Metal Atom III.
Metal Atom IV.
Smokers on Invalidovna I.
Smokers on Invalidovna II.
Smokers on Invalidovna III.
Smokers on Invalidovna IV.
CEMENT WORKS VIII.
CEMENT WORKS VII.
CEMENT WORKS VI.
CEMENT WORKS V.
CEMENT WORKS IV.
CEMENT WORKS III.
CEMENT WORKS II.
CEMENT WORKS I.
Under the gas tank
Gas tank with a rainbow
By the Moldau II.
In Troy I.
In Troy II.
By the Moldau I.
In the dry
Joyful Cosmology I.
Joyful Cosmology II.
Joyful Cosmology VI.
Passage, Granary Klenová
Barbora B. Němcová *14. 6. 1972
1996- 1990 Václav Hollar Art School
1994- 2000 Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, Studio of conceptual and intermediate arts, prof. A. Matasová
1998 internship – Studio of metal and jewellery, prof. V. K. Novák
My relationship to the city is ambivalent. I need to even it up with the country. To leave the city and then plunge into its bowels again. To let it devour me, absorb it, let it tear my wounds, and then heal them again with the landscape. To let it grow inside me as an alien, and transform myself along with it. (…)
My motifs come from the vicinity. They record the urban spaces I feel attracted to now. I rather choose the parts in the city suburbs, which is also the area where I live /Libeň/. I usually deal with a motif for some time before it starts to “work” for me. If nothing comes out of it, which can also happen, it becomes a ground for something else. I seem to aim at exploring different ways to grasp the theme. Cement plants fascinated me with their structures, emerging from the bushland of Karlín. I was also interested in the strange environment scattered with the civilization waste, reclaimed by the landscape. In some places, the area is disrupted by homeless shelters, now driven out by new development. (…)
Smokers at Invalidovna are another motif for me. I used to walk through this area every day and watch the smokers leaving the buildings, addicted to this ventilation delight. The building corridor with no intimacy made them form various groups, mostly grouped around ashtrays. However, they didn’t have much chance to escape their mechanical and machine being in this confined space.
The gas holder has been my theme for a long time. I used to look at it right out my window. To me, it is the “Fuji” of Libeň.
Barbora B. Němcová, September 2018
Illusive cool pink silhouettes of the city suburbs emerge from a warm orange and red area. The illusiveness underlines the cluster of yellowish lines of a small regular octagon in the bottom left. The seemingly inappropriate formation creates a feeling of flickering in front of your eyes when the here and now seems to disappear. Behind the horizon… there is the sphere of the gas holder in Libeň. Plynojem / The Gas Holder (2018, acrylic, mixed media on canvas, 170 x 170 cm) by Barbora B. Němcová (1972) is the artists’s sum. Her confession. The eeriness of the silvery, somewhat intangible body of the 1931 technological structure designed to collect gaseous substances fascinated and inspired the contemporary artists such as Josef Šíma, František Gross, Kamila Lhoták and Josef Sudek (what a good company!) as a symbol of technological boom. Barbora B. Němcová abstracted the specific area of her favourite neighbourhood of Libeň and concentrated it into colours. The sphere does not hang above the horizon like a central disk, as the situation would suggest, but emerges as a semi-circular shape. The artist assigned the red colour range to her Fuji despite the fact that the traditional colour of Japan’s sacred mountain is blue and that variations of the gas holder in blue can be found in her studio as well. Red is the colour of fire, and in the language of the original inhabitants of Japan, Ainu, the name of Fuji is derived from “fire”. The colour choice is not a conceptually sophisticated construct; it is an emotional or even contemplated matter. Therefore, it actually is no choice. The Gas Holder is not an illustration for the show, an image of reality. It portrays reality as a shimmering cluster of moments, a wave collapse. Is it here although it does not have to? Or does it exist at all? Is not everything here just Maya? The images of the above-mentioned smoking break in a modern business park seem to present captured moments of such perception. Yet the artist realises that she is here, in this world, right now, and she does not resign from it or from her work, which, in the absolute terms of her spiritual path, could be seen as a manifestation of vanity. Although she nods to the possibility of the theoretical virtuality of our existence, she creates art, using tangible means. She sprays paints through a template cut out of a foil or uses metal and matrices – found ready-made objects. The template is the first phase and it serves as a sketch. It allows the artist to recycle the components and multiply the compositions with slight differences that contribute to the results of the various versions. This approach could lead to overproduction. But Barbora’s work is slow and takes time, and her paintings are often first thought over in concentration, lived through, and only then do they materialize on canvas. This approach is rare and honest, and when we look at its output, we can experience its convincing motions almost physically.
Lucie Šiklová, 2018
The paintings are sprayed onto canvas with acrylic paints, mostly via stencils, which I cut out of the self adhesive foils. I acquire those from the bigger advertusing agencies’ waste.
I see the landscape on the edge of town as a sign, a space without a centre, as a whole opened into the depths, in which the observer-spectator gets lots, consumed by the space… he blends.
Landscapes-apparitions reflect the structure of space of existence and consciousness, they immerse into mysterious symbolic of the phenomenon-rythm-tissue of the suburban lanscape, of its “inscape”, the intrinsic paradigm.
I regard the visual perception as an entrance gate to the understanding of the organic form, as one of its parts. At the same time, it is wery important for me to perceive the texture of the whole, in which the visible appears – the net of the landscape of the outskirts, which I was working with in the precending paintings of the fractal and of the genetic landscapes.
When looking out of the window, I see gasometer protruding above the horizon, as a hallucination, around this rondo – manhir of the town, the poplar trees glow, being lit by the adjacent sports stadium. I immerse my self into the blue… here and there interrupted by the passing tram, heading towards the bridge into to the space of the night.
Barbora B. Němcová, Prague September 2006
In the images of the outskirts, often unintentionally, the present nature of everyday life shows, things that happen spontaneously- just like that- usually are of little value in the centre and so they’re being ignored or concealed by various plans, possibly by the “higher interests”. However, if we observe the inhabited terrain of the outskirts carefully enough, we cannot overlook the noticeable phenomena of the proceeding change. In the provisional context of things on the edge, the sense of the forthcoming always shows a little more markedly. …Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans, as John Lennon sings in one of his famous songs. Is there anything more real than the disdained, ordinary life lived from day to day?
In the paintings of Bára Němcová, we can recognise some parts of the eastern outskirts of Prague: we can follow her view out of the window reaching up to the eastern side of the horizon, where it stops in front of the mystery of a sphere of the gasometer at Palmovka, in another painting, her view extends to Libeň Island, it reaches the outline of the docks and Löwit’s Mill. If her paintings only strove to fulfil the meanings of the tradicional landscape painting, they would probably be monotonous, desolated landscapes. However, they visualize the mentioned theme of the inner landscape- inscape, with witch the ailing paradigm of the bourgeois culture was enlivened by the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.
The landscapes, where rolling and brightened elementary matrices of abstract form are combined with features of specific parts of Prague suburbs, concentrate their power into the composition of colourful emotions. The related messages of the exhibited paintings create a network of positive creative forces from a cosmic source, a network with images of Buddha as keystones.
Věra Jirousová, Prague 2007
When painting, I stand before the empty space, trying to enter it.
Until we become the void ourselves, we cannot but fill it up.
I see space as a bottomless pit that we are thrown into every day without asking for it.
In the painting, anything can be everything; the important thing is the status of the observer.
Sometimes I look at my paintings as an alien looks at an unfamiliar landscape.
Everything is a dream, so we live in a virtual world.
Barbora B. Němcová, Prague, 2000
I first saw Barbora Němcová’s artworks in the 1990s when I was looking at final works of students at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and visited symposiums in the Půda Gallery in Olomouc and at Klenová. They were mostly installations using ordinary things to create an unpretentious communicative context where the viewer’s attention naturally focused on unfinished procedural actions or the visualization of cultural archetypes. The artist’s early work impressed me – her curiosity, intuition and objectivity enabled her to use a rich and diverse media register to establish direct contact with the audience and allowed her to closely watch the course of indicated processes. Her approach shows readiness, the ability to improvise, and the practical “feminine” sensitivity for the magical effect of things. The most important feature of her work is the fact that it responds to the events of today’s world and holds a visual conversation with it, expecting a response. Two years ago, Barbora Němcová also took part in major international workshops of European schools – Germination – after she applied and was recommended as one of the three young Czech artists.
In her large paintings from the Genetické mutace / Genetic mutations series, the artist records her views of various structural fields and reveals their hidden fragmentary messages. She focuses on certain registers and communication options, making sure her report transcends the environment of laboratory research into the wider area of visual questioning. At first glance, it is obvious that the paintings relate to a number of planes reflecting the changes of a planetary whole. They descend to its smallest elements as probes, reaching up to macrostructures, to show the viewer the reality, which includes chains of information and forms containing the structural foundations of creation. The paintings of the structures are based on the scientific knowledge of living forms, the fullness of data that cannot be summarized in a panoramic image. At the same time, they present the biological horizon of the planet, expressing a strong sense of belonging of natural and technical forms.
When we you look at this series of paintings, we can see each structure of an energy field as a report on continuing creation and discover elements of conversation between the creative forces and the texture of being in each trace. There is no doubt that these reports cannot be rationally and verbally rewritten into linear coordinates of the objective world. The patterns of genetic mutations spontaneously cross the boundaries of the order as do the parameters of the material paintings. They express the dynamic of chaos that the diversity of abstract world forms naturally develops from. Barbora Němcová approaches this topic with great openness and her own experience of fullness, manifested, for example, in the Radostná kosmologie / Joyful Cosmology series (1998). In this collection of large paintings of genetic mutations, the artist thematises a close look at the area of freedom of creation, a look that maintains the sensitivity of expression even when using the impersonal technology of spray painting.
The paintings are material forms that have not been intended to be ultimate or perfect and they present archetypes derived from the organic world that are presumably compatible, through comprehensible algorithms, not only with the sizes and shapes of the material world, but also with the measure of the human body. We can explicitly feast our eyes on the portrayed world where we can see the extraordinary and still unrealized possibility of new individuation, which precedes both the symbolic and metaphorical language of painting and attempts to communicate the “prenatal” meanings we can read in the patterns and colourful surface. The artist’s work proves that artistic creation can be based on the results of scientific research and may become a positive “challenge” in the new century. Even in her recent paintings, Barbora Němcová keeps discovering the mutuality and closeness of natural and cosmic forms. When painting, she attempts to look closely at the inner side of the material world and deepen her insight into things – into the foundations of a huge body of genetic forms of creation.
Věra Jirousová, Prague, June 2001