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Hřibovité houby I. / Mgr. Michal Graca

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Hřibovité houby II. / Mgr. Michal Graca, Holubinky I. / RNDr. Vít Balner

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Novinky

KALIGRAFIE / MILAN PITLACH / CALLIGRAPHY

MILAN PITLACH

born 1943 in Kroměříž, has been travelling and pliotograpliing since 1969,
has worked as a professional architect in Czechoslovakia (from 1966), Germany (from 1982), and China (since 2003)

My feelings regarding the art of the Far East have never been straightforward. Thematically repetitive, with little stylistic variation, l used to find it less interesting than Western art. For a long time, l perceived calligraphy as a purely ornamental art, no doubt as its semantic meanings were hidden to me. Nevertheless, its aesthetic purity has fascinated me from early on, perhaps owing to the fact that l am living in a multi-media era. Having spent the past few years in China, l have had a better opportunity to study calligraphic works, allowing me subtler differentiation. Today, l consider calligraphy one of the most intriguing expressions of Far Eastern art. Much more than the sheets densely covered with metículously arranged columns of characters, l admire these pieces in which the text ends somewhere in the middle of the paper, while the remaining space is left empty, possibly with the exception of the seal mark. However, l find massive solitary characters particularly appealíng. l appreciate them for the way the dots, lines and ink splashes are set down on the writing surface. Their formal arrangements dosely resemble the compositions in Chinese and Japanese landscape painting, where ímages are similarly made up of individual elements, themes and scenes, at times even in serial form. With little exaggeration, l might say that what l find most interesting in these works is the empty space that lies in between the various inscriptions. The enlargement of a particular character seems to strip it of its semantic function; it no longer acts as a character, becoming instead a rnere ink splash, a shape, imbued with an emotional charge of intensity akin to that of the compositions, shapes and colours in the paintings by Antoni Tapies, Alberto Burri or Cy Twombly.

For a long time, l viewed the dynamic asymmetry of compositions in calligraphic sheets and their proclivity to almost exclusively assume abstract qualities as two separate facets, because these two facets usually do appear separately. It was only after l visited the Shanghai Museum´s Gallery of Chinese Calligraphy that l was struck by the possibílity that the two elements could be combined. Then, calligraphy became my major theme of interest, as l realized that these features - asymmetry in the compositions and their tendency toward abstraction - were in fact characteristics of my own concurrent photographic endeavours. Gradually relinquishíng all subjective representation of reality, my photographs merely allude to reality, concentrating on the aspects of a picture's composition and its quality of light.

Traditionally, cailigraphy is an art executed in the form of black-ink painting on light paper or silk grounds. Considering that the series of photographs on exhibition is a kind of variation on calligraphy, l decided to use the colour medium instead. l was enchanted by the rich, virtually photographic jet black of the characters, the wealth of grey hues, the broad range of earthy colours and the striking shade of signal-colour red. This is actually the very first time that l have used colour in my pictures, but l do so with the exclusion of light rnodelling, retaining in my Calligraphy series the two-dimensionality inherent to calligraphic works.

Though l have been living and working in China for the last five years, l am not familiar with the Chinese language, so that l devoted my attention to creating images. One day l showed my photographic prints to a Chinese friend of mine, asking him to translate the characters for ma. It was then that l became aware that the pictorial series which l had made as a formal etude was endowed not only with visual and semantic contents, but with a much more general meaning as well. Most of my pictures háve been taken around old Shanghai's blocks of houses, in places where life is presented as it really is, rather than as shown on television or the Internet.

Milan Pitlach / June 2008

Seznam výstav / List of Exhibitions:

1971     SIAL, Liberec, ČR, Ostrov / The Island
1972     Reduta, Prague, ČR, Ostrov / The Island
1976     Moravian Gallery, Brno, ČR, London Diary (zakázaná výstava / exhibition forbidden by the autorities)
1977     Gallery Creative Camera, London, GB, London Diary
1983     Gallery Porta Dromedaris, Enkhuisen, NED, Photographs from Czechoslovakia
1984     Gallery K, Tokyo, JAP, Footnotes
1992     Gallery Mánes, ČR, Československá fotografie v exilu / Czechoslovak Photography in Exile (catalogue)
1994     Gallery Fronta, Prague, ČR, Milan Pitlach, retrospective exhibition (catalogue)
1995     Theater Činoherní klub, ČR, O divadle / About Theatre (catalogue)
1995     Stadtheater Solingen, GER, Über das Theater, About Theatre (catalogue)
1997     Interkamera - International Fair of Photography, Prague, ČR, Deníky/Diaries
1999     Theatre Husa na provázku, Brno, ČR, O slavnosti a hostech / About the Feast and the Guests (catalogue)
1999     Dům umění / House of Art, Brno, ČR, My 1948-1989 / We 1948-1989 (catalogue)
1999     Chateau Strážnice, ČR, O slavnosti a hostech / About the Feast and the Guests (catalogue)
2000     Národní galerie v Praze / National Gallery, Prague, ČR, Fotografie z Indie / Photographs from India (catalogue)
2000     České kulturní centrum / Czech Cultural Center, Dresden, GER, Photographs from Czechoslovakia
2000     Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf, GER, Tänze des Alltags, About Dance
2000     Chateau Boskovice, ČR, Let It Bleed (Tema con Variazioni)
2000     Gallery Obecní dům, Prague, ČR, We 1948-1989 (catalogue)
2001     Moravská galerie / Moravian Gallery, Brno, ČR, Londýnský deník / London Diary (catalogue)
2001     Slovácké museum / Museum of Moravian Slovakia, Uherské Hradiště, ČR, Londýnský deník / London Diary
2001     Památník národního písemnictví / Museum of National Literature, Prague, Evangelium podle Matouše / Gospel according to St. Mathew
2001     Berlin, GER, We 1948-1989 (Exhibition of the Moravian Gallery in Brno)
2002     Museum and Gallery, Břeclav, ČR, London Diary
2002     Helsinki, FIN, We 1948-1989 (Exhibition of the Moravian Gallery in Brno)
2002     British Council, Prague, ČR, Londýnský deník / London Diary (catalogue)
2003     Gallerie Werkstat, Blankenheim, GER, Fragments
2003     Artsea Gallery, Shanghai, CN, Eyes Wide Open (catalogue)
2004     Artsea Gallery, Shanghai, CN, Four Foreigner Photographers
2005     Uměleckoprůmyslové museum / Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague, ČR, Česká fotografie 20. století / Czech Photography of the 20th Century (catalogue)
2006     Malá výstavní síň, Liberec, ČR, O tanci / About Dance

Publikace / Publications:

1973     Revue Fotografie 3/1973, ČR, Londýnský deník / London Diary
1982     La couer ď Eurape, FR, Practical Hydrology (with P. Voskovec)
1992     Host do domu Magazine, ČR, Photographs from India
1996     Milan Pitlach in the New Encyclopedia of Czech Visual Arts, Prague, ČR
1999     Revolver Revue Nr. 40, ČR, Poselství / Messages
2001     Revolver Revue Nr. 44, ČR, Photographs from the Czechoslovakia of the Seventies
2003     Revolver Revue Nr. 51, ČR, Praktická hydrologie / Practical Hydrology (with P. Voskovec)
2004     Revolver Revue Nr. 56, ČR, Krajiny podle Nietzscheho / Landscapes according to Friedrich Nietzsche
2005     Vision Magazine Nr. 6/2005, ČR, Milan Pitlach, The Art of Seeing
2007     Revolver Revue Nr. 65, ČR, Imaginární portréty / Imaginary Portraits

Knihy / Books:

1997     Momentaufnahme, W. H.Thesing, Wuppertal, GER
1999     Deníky / Diaries, TORST, Prague, ČR
2001     Milan Pitlach, FOTO-MIDA, České Budějovice, ČR
2004     Evangelium podle Matouše / Gospel according to St. Mathew, KANT, Prague, ČR

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