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House of Menander

21. 6. 2023 - 23. 7. 2023

The solo exhibition of Jan Heres - House of Menander in Prague's The Chemistry Gallery presents a selection of the author's works created in the last year. The continuously evolving series of monumental paintings naturally connects the various inspirations he drew during his past studies and residencies. In one place, it combines the colors and aesthetics of Indonesian art, the cultural and ethnic diversity of the American continent, echoes of popular culture, the world of drag and drag queens, and the aesthetics of wrestling masks. The focal point of Heres' expressive canvases are expressive figures inserted into the first plans of the paintings. Whole bodies, multi-figure compositions or individual portraits stand out from simple, neutral colored backgrounds without hints of setting or time. The monumental canvases scream wild color combinations, geometric flatness, structures and abstract gestural strokes. We observe color contrasts, dynamic and gestural work with spray and brush, as well as distinct layers of different processes. The images are created through painterly collages consisting of alternating colored surfaces or sprayed parts, which the author layers and overlaps. The technical procedures used naturally influence the resulting forms, characterized by sharp edges gradually changing into geometric shapes. The figures are so flat and any hint of spatial modeling is purely aesthetic. The initial contact with the expressiveness or playfulness of acrylic paintings and new ceramic objects attracts our attention and leads it to political and social themes connected with the body and physicality.

Jan Heres (1992, St. Gallen, Switzerland) lives and works in Prague. In the years 2011–2017, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where he went through the studios of Michael Rittstein and Jiří Sopek. Between 2014-2015, he completed a study stay at the Indonesian Art Institute in Yogyakarta. In 2021 and 2022, he was a finalist for the Critic's Award for Young Painting. In 2022, he participated in an artist residency at THINK+feel Contemporary Art Gallery in Miami. He exhibited independently in institutions such as Felix Jenewein Gallery (Kutná hora), THINK+feel Contemporary Art Gallery (Miami), Dům Radost (Prague) or Jan Čejka Gallery (Prague) and was part of group exhibitions in the Prague galleries Pragovka Gallery, Kampus Hybernská, and others.

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