DSC Gallery

Tomas Rajlich

12/12/2018 - 15/02/2019

Curator: Martin Dostál

The internationally acclaimed painter of Czech origin, Tomas Rajlich, presents a selection of minimalistic works at DSC Gallery that shift aesthetic standards of our consciousness. The exhibition runs from 12/12 2018- 24/1 2019.

How far can one go with a strictly conceptual approach of painting in art? Rajlich’s work convinces the viewer to concentrate on perceiving the rhythms, structure, and color of the painting. The result may be an ecstatic experience, which can be a rarity in contemporary art.

Tomas Rajlich (*1940) has spent a substantial part of his creative life in Dutch exile in direct contact with the American and European radical artistic generations, of which he has become a natural part. Already in 1967, co-founding a concretists Club (with Jiří Hilmár, Radek Kratina and the theoretician Arsén Pohribný) he declared his interest in the strict geometric structures to which he naturally inclined from his studies in Sculpture under the studios of J.Laudov, K.Pokorný and K.Hladik at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Structure became Rajlich’s starting point for the gradual development of his painting strategy that perceived geometry in a broader context. “In the 1970s and 1980s, the artist naturally developed to monochrome painting as well as serial painting. Further development of this work is the work with monochromatic aluminium foil, which still carries a layered painting characteristic of the artist. These works also testify to a certain intellectual outlook that Rajlich has over (his) art,” explains Martin Dostál, curator of the exhibition.

We can relate Rajlich’s painting, after its synthesizing minimalist structure, monochrome texture, and gentle gesture, to his elder companions, whether we think of painting and color as a concentrated body in the spirit of Gotthard Graubner, or in reference to the real aesthetics of Robert Ryman. By exhibiting on Fundamental Painting at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1975, Rajlich’s world stature has been confirmed alongside Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Agnes Martin and others. This exhibition confirmed the radical modernist painting positions in context of the culminating minimal arts and the explosion of conceptual tendencies. “After Jiří Dokoupil, Tomas Rajlich is the second world-renowned artist with whom the gallery has established cooperation. Tomas Rajlich’s work is known yet here within a relatively narrow circle of audiences and collectors, which, of course, enjoys a great popularity. That’s why we are honored to introduce him in our gallery and to convey his work to the wider public,” says Petr Šec, a partner of the gallery.

In addition to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Tomas Rajlich has exhibited in other leading world institutions such as the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands. His work is part of major institutional (eg MoMA in NYC) as well as private collections around the world and he has repeatedly presented his works at the prestigious Art Basel Art Fair in Switzerland as one of the few Czech artists.