<h1>Jiří Sopko</h1>
<h1>Jiří Sopko</h1>
<h1>Jiří Sopko</h1>

The exhibition at Galerie Rudolfinum once again – after German painter Neo Rauch – will be profiling a forceful and, in today’s environment, exceptional painting talent. This representative selection from the broad range of works by Jiří Sopko (b. 1942), respected artist, teacher and, since 2002, rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.

Jiří Sopko is a leading figure of contemporary Czech painting, without whose distinctive style it would be difficult to imagine the development of contemporary Czech painting over the last few decades. He first exhibited in the Špála gallery in 1967 at a show entitled New Names and, after a short abstract period, he joined the wave of new figuration in which he assumed his rightful position from the very beginning: at his first solo exhibition at Nová síň in Prague in 1970 he proved himself to be a strong artistic personality with his own ironic view of the world and man, with a unique artistic language characterised by vital colour, expressive barbarising deformation, a spontaneous style and an idiosyncratic repertoire of artistic metaphors. From the late Eighties Sopko’s painting style began to relax, becoming more simple and monumental. His figures were reproduced above a simple scheme, with all tension focused on intense colour. Sopko has earned respect as an unrivalled colourist; his craft as a painter continues to become more elemental, concentrated and introverted. Sopko commented on this in an interview: “I have always been fascinated by the relationship between colours – what happens to a colour when another colour appears right beside it, and then another colour, how the chosen position affects the size of the canvas and, in fact, the entire painting… Incidentally, I think that colour is now experiencing a renaissance, it’s beginning to manifest itself radically in architecture, for example, which wasn’t the case in the past.” Sopko’s paintings generally indicate a different direction from the one in which they are heading; at first glance they seem simple, as if he’s only playing about with colours, figures, ornaments and bizarre metamorphoses, but it’s only a game up to the point where our life can be seen as a game, because life is what it’s always about. “For me, my paintings are my personal testimony of the world”, says Sopko (Petr Volf: Přelézt a postavit, Reflex, 10.2.2002, p. 22.). Perhaps it would be more accurate to say: a testimony of the situation of man and his attitude to the world. Painting has always played this role, since the very beginning, and Sopko fulfils it admirably. He remains stable, hovering “on the borders” of this threatened and disputed discipline, but he touches them from within, he doesn’t try to disturb them; on the contrary, he tries to make the most of the space they create.

Author of conception: Jiří Sopko

Curators: Linda Sedláková a Petr Nedoma

Tuesday–Sunday 10:00-18:00

Galerie Rudolfinum Club

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Thursday 10:00-20:00


Alšovo nábřeží 12
110 00 Prague 1 

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