Lukáš Šmejkal

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*1995, Ústí nad Labem

The paintings by Lukáš Šmejkal, a student in the painting studio at the Prague UMPRUM under the guidance of Jiří Černický and Michal Novotný, are the result and intersection of a concentrated interest in painting, photography and the object. Their predominantly abstract character is based on a predefined system, a kind of authorial construction around which other shapes and plans of the painting are arranged. At the centre of this construction are several ellipses, which are placed on the plane of an imaginary horizon at the top of the painting. In the viewer's perception, they are meant to imply the suggestion of a face, but due to the abstract nature of the painting, this figurative element is immediately denied again. Šmejkal is inspired by a text entitled The Face of the Book from the magnum opus of the legendary philosophical duo Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus. In the book, they summarize the process of face recognition as a tension between the principle of the White Wall and the Black Hole. Here, the White Wall is an impenetrable flat surface and the Black Hole is an immersive, dark, infinite point. The authors liken this ambivalent relationship to the Western perception of, for example, painting or architecture through the process of human perception of the face. The white plan in the compositions creates an abstracted X shape. For the artist, this is not only a reference to writing and graffiti, which is here literally broken down to its most basic abstracted shape. Taking into account the Shape of the Book, the white X can also refer to the smooth surface of the wall, but its shape also points to the human figure. According to the artist, it may be his fascination with the so-called sheet ghost, whose white surface is the antithesis of the immaterial inner part, a kind of curtain ungraspable by human reason. Šmejkal tries to bring the coloured surfaces closer to the principle of plane and flatness, the gradient used should refer to the virtual effect of, for example, mobile phones.


Profile image of Lukáš  Šmejkal,