Jakub Tajovský – A Sight Detached from the Observer’s Body
14. 9. 2023 — 25. 11. 2023
Artist: Jakub Tajovský
Curator: Adéla Machová
An experiment in a painting is how the creative work of contemporary visual artist Jakub Tajovský (born 1991) can be defined. He has long been working on the technological possibilities of image construction and pushes the limits of the painting surface into space. His works are characterized by textures and masses of paint. He often uses a robot (called Malbot) that he has created and programmed to apply paint. This results not only in paintings, but often in object or site-specific installations.
For Gallery 2, Jakub Tajovský has prepared a series of works with a landscape theme. He visualizes the night sky and natural phenomena, creating a new whole – a scene that can be called a diorama. Individual images form a backdrop that refers us to themes such as light pollution or the constant development of technological possibilities for mapping and exploring the world around us. Jakub Tajovský turns to the landscape and is interested in the human position when observing the landscape at different scales, and the current exhibition combines three views – satellite, telescopic and robotically controlled. “The synthesis of these three views represents a virtual extension of our natural body. Extensions of the body are already standard in viewing (hence extending) the landscape. By juxtaposing the individual views, I achieve a landscape (a painterly language) in which natural and technical forces are freely combined,” Tajovský explains his own authorial approach.
The title of the exhibition refers to a perspective where the dimensions of the image can be explored independent of the observer’s permanent (meaning human) body. The resulting painted image is brought together by the synthesis of many perspectives based on the human eye (optical apparatus) or, alternatively, on structural material and technological possibilities. The resulting landscape painting is therefore neither an ideal utopian landscape nor a place after the apocalypse, but a picture of the formation of a landscape with the inevitable presence of man. Jakub Tajovský is fascinated by the possibility of a certain extension (enlargement) of the human body within the framework of perception and vision, i.e. the possibility to exceed the normal human scale or the physical givens of the human eye.
In the central space of the gallery, the viewer encounters a monumental coloured surface that brings a view of the sky recorded on a large hanging scroll (Leak, 2023). Amongst the subtle shades of colour, we recognize a gradual layering, as the painting has already gone through several creative phases – the manual applications of paint are complemented by a machine (Malbot) that covers the area of the painting in a regular pattern and is navigated by sensors. A closer observation of the structures of the painting reveals the details of the process painting itself.
Jakub Tajovský was inspired for the second work presented in this exhibition (Supermoon, 2016) by a discovered record of the Moon’s surface, which was taken in high resolution with an amateur telescope. Shades of ashen grey and brilliant white define the surfaces of the lunar sea and lunar mountainous areas. The captured surface was so visually detailed that the observer can, figuratively speaking, walk across this captured landscape. At the same time, this is one of the earliest procedurally identical paintings assisted by a hybrid form of robot, with Tajovsky testing out paint dispensers and using a simple navigation system from his phone.
The board paintings Fluid Recordings (2021–2023) represent a third “distant and detached” view of a technical nature. The artist combines the landscape with satellite imagery and a view through a microscope. It is essentially a bird’s eye view. From a given combination of point of view and controlled structuring of colour surfaces, a layered microscopic “artificial” landscape is created on vertical panels that together form a horizontal juxtaposition of the whole.
Jakub Tajovský deconstructs painting with a multimedia approach. Using traditional and innovative processes of paint application, he explores the moment of image formation and its potential for visual reference. Metaphorically, we can say that the walls of the gallery then form the imaginary frame sought by the artist of the realised artwork.
Jakub Tajovský studied from 2011 to 2017 at the Studio of Painting 3 with Prof. Petr Kvíčala at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Brno University of Technology, where he dealt with the image at the boundary of digital and analogue media and the horizon as the boundary of visual perception, as the image can be viewed from different angles. The topic of the so-called design of painting became the main project in his doctoral research, which followed his master’s studies at the same faculty, and is based on his interest in painting in theory and practice. “The design of painting includes the image and its technological background as performative components of painting. Techniques of processing the ‘matter of painting’ are based on the one hand on the craft tradition of the painted image, on the other hand they appropriate the visuality of new technologies. As such, the technological tools and methods help me to create a dialectical curvature – a gaze that seeks to evoke the impression of an artificial ‘material intelligence’ speculating about its own formation in relation to the elemental nature-human-culture correlation.” (Tajovsky, 2023, online) His interest in the technological aspects of painting resulted in the realization of his own painting material, a polymorphic emulsion named GLUP, which due to its viscosity allows for an almost sculptural work through the painting apparatus.
Graphic design: Adéla Bierbaumer