Miroslav Kratky Sculpture Exhibition Tap Gallery Sydney June 2003
The timeless Greek sculptures in the Louvre make me think of how difficult it would be to determine what items to save in case of fire. If it were to be one work only, the " Mona Lisa" (1503-1506), famous masterpiece by Leonardo would be it. Like most visitors to this renowned museum I was curious to see what the fuss was all about. I remember stepping into the room with a crowd of people; all were focused towards the space in front of them. As I made my way through, my eyes began to register fragments of an image I knew so well. And then the full view. This picture was different from anything I have seen before. Dangerous. The age of computers had arrived on April 15, 1452! The three hundred thousand life giving decisions preserved under layers of pigment made razor-sharp Raphael cry. Ban all illusion. Nature could be perfected. Even if it means a season in hell.
Head with one ear, 2001 (wood)
The sculptures in this show are carved out of wood; some have a thin light wash of oil paint over them. Raw form is sometimes introduced with the help of the chain saw; other power tools are often used, proceeding usually with a chisel. Stands, and this is something I am very particular about, are designed specially for the individual pieces. The preparatory stage begins by identifying material best suited to carry the intended volume and weight. The next is the actual execution which can be quite unpredictable, as I am open to last minute changes. These can happen quickly without warning, intuitively or after careful consideration. Lately I have been using collage as a reference material, produced over time and collected from various sources like magazines and newspapers. The exhibition contains some preliminary ink drawings not necessarily intended as a sculpture reference material. Recent investigations are formal; that is that the outcome is the result of the focus being exclusively on form. The subject matter is incidental. The detailed analysis of what is being done is essential; leading to examination, re-examination and sometimes even destruction of the work. The merciless rejection of what does not qualify. The effort is to change it therefore make it important, to shift the existing situation to a new level. What defines a feature and what defines another one? How to distance form in space? How to clarify, when to contradict, when to compliment? Ways to control, reasons to tighten or relax the control? How to distort - when to distort, zoom, focus and render? What change affects what? To what extent is improvisation desirable? The complexity has to be balanced by the simplicity. The meaning comes through the hard evidence - the form. The form represents, the content means. Form represents because it is figurative, content means because it is abstract.
Sculpture Exhibition Sydney 2003