For his imagery of urns, severed limbs, cut fruit, tangled plant tendrils, dinnerware, celestial form allegorical animals, Czech painter Igor Hosnedl delves into what he perceives to be a kind of Jungian “collective unconscious”—a vast memory-stock of symbols and meanings that convey a deeper understanding about human nature and existence. We are not singular, Igor’s paintings seem to tell us; we are part of a greater whole.
Igor’s work offers glimpses of a perceptual experience that is beyond the quotidian observation of the world and of ourselves. Beyond the facades created by his rounded archways there lie rooms steeped in perpetual dusk, where symbols and figures are backlit by an unearthly glow. The arm of a shadowy figure reaches out from the painting’s depths, an open wound in place of a hand. Silhouetted, phantom limbs, living plants metamorphic creaturesconduct strange, ritualistic displays just beyond our frame of vision. Life arrangements adorn the foreground; oranges and figs, spoons and bowls lie forgotten, as though abandoned by one who sat down to a meal only to abruptly rise and depart. This iconography of dining is attended often in Igor’s images by concepts of shame, anxiety and self-consciousness context of eating, of sitting down to dinner.
Another important element in Igor’s work is drawing. His figures and strewn objects are sharply demarcated, either by the precise definition of their contours with vividly contrasting or else by a series of deft, bold lines that gesture towards details without inclining to realism. Here and there, Igor employs his draughtsmanship to pick out a few strands of hair, the curve of an ankle, a dimpled back, an eye, a set of genitals. When this more illustrative style converges, in Igor’s images, with his painterly tendency to construct forms according to chromatic gradations, shading highlights, the whole becomes a play between depth and flatness. This optical variation implies a multiplicity of perspectives all existing in a single visual frame. Within thatreality, too, the viewer is forced to question the authenticity of the scene they are witnessing—is it avase? Or is it merely the cut-out shape of a vase, held up by an unseen hand to trick our eyes andhold our gaze? For Igor, the object and its shadow, the real and the false, the thing itself and theimagined have equal importance within the pictorial space. In his work, what is true and what weperceive to be true are no longer separate, for the fleeting perceptions of the subconscious arecaptured there, in form and substance, on the canvas. The space of Igor’s paintings is a space inwhich different planes of reality are so that the world we see and the world we dream one and thesame. Having studied in Prague, Igor is now based in Berlin, where he is currently working ondeveloping the system of enigmatic symbols and cryptic meanings that drive his practice. He speaksto us here about the things that stimulate his creative impulse, the importance for him of mixing hisown pigments, the relationship between his visual works and other disciplines, and his uniqueunderstanding of the pictorial space
-Text by Rebecca Irvin
Igor (*Úherské Hradiště, 1988) is a 2013 graduate of the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, & studied in the drawing atelier of Jitka Svobodova & painting studio of Vladimír Skrepl/Jiří Kovanda. He has exhibited in solo & group exhibitions at Ribot Gallery (with Vera Kox), Milan, 2020; Nod Gallery (solo), Prague, 2019; FAIT Gallery (solo), Brno, 2019; EIGEN+ART Lab (solo), Berlin, 2019; VDIFF, DUMB, House of the Lords of Kunšt at Brno, 2019; Downs & Ross (solo), NY, New York, 2018; Horizont Gallery (solo), Budapest, 2018; After Late for Pro: Office work, Meetfactory, Prague, 2017; VOGL (with Klára Hosnedlová), hunt kastner, Prague, 2016; & Galerie Jeleni (solo), Foundation & Center for Contemporary Arts in Prague, 2016. He currently lives & works in Berlin, with his wife, also a 2013 AVU graduate, Klára Hosnedlová, with whom he often collaborates.