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Fascination with reality

20th April – 10th September 2017

With its roots in the 1960s and with the support of Euro-American visual traditions, hyperrealism is known as a revolutionary; upholding the bastions of perfectly mimetic, radically realistic painting. It is one of the few truly irritating elements in the current world of art. It is directly connected to the revolt against the progressive artistic tendencies of the period; on one side against the neo-avant-garde variants of minimalism, abstract expressionism, conceptualism and installation art, on the other side against more or less engaged realism. From the beginning, with its focus positively attuned to the image, unlike pop-art, hyperrealism was strategically connected to photography and technical vision, which is not only utilized, but also problematized by it. Hyperrealism, however, standing in opposition and well informed by avant-garde art, intentionally borders on realism, naturalism, illusionism and verism. It cannot be perceived as a visual play, a projection of an idealised world or the result of simple artistic endeavour - it embodies a completely elementary interest in that which exists in reality, a fascination with what one can see. Its focus is on the object, not the manner in which it is regarded; on the detail, not the context; on the appearance that support its own expression of the object, not the internal properties - and everything is subordinated to this purpose.

Thanks to its obvious ability to sublimate that which is necessary and to reject the rest, to stand somehow "above the system", hyperrealism seems to be a symptom of its times - the consumerism of the second half of the twentieth century, the contemporary culture of image and post-truth. It is as if it was more a tendency than a positivistically defined style of art; an effort to respond to the fundamental challenges of modern culture - including, but not limited to, romanticism, photography and conceptual art - holding a mirror to that which is hypertrophied. Therefore it seems that hyperrealism should be analyzed from philosophical, sociological and generally cultural points of view.

The exhibition in Olomouc is undoubtedly an exhibition of pictures. Like hyperrealism itself, the exhibition has a broad cultural and historical span, with the imaginary border being the year 1989; nevertheless, it has a very narrow focus - on the authors who reflected or still reflect on both hyperrealism of form (means) and content (themes). What makes the first generation - as represented by Zdeněk Beran, Bedřich Dlouhý, Pavel Nešleha and Theodor Pištěk - different from those that followed (Zdeněk Daněk, Pavel Holas, Adam Kašpar, Adolf Lachman, Hynek Martinec, Jan Mikulka, Michal Ožibko, Zdeněk Trs, Pavel Vašíček, Vladimír Véla ad.), is not only their historical experience, but also their different relationship to the image, which can be considered as a certain leitmotif. Beside questions concerning its nature and functionality, it also evokes more intuitive questions: What are pictures actually for? What is the source of their value? What is their relationship to reality? 

Barbora Kundračíková

Photo Gallery
Cover of Catalogue / Poster
Hynek Martinec

At The Same Time I. Istanbul 2009

Hynek Martinec

At The Same Time II. Vauxhall - London 2009

Hynek Martinec

Zuzana in Paris studio2006-07

Michal Ožibko

iDeath 2, 2010

Michal Ožibko

iDeath, 2010

Michal Ožibko

PhoneBox, 2007

Zdeněk Trs

Orca, 2007

Zdeněk Trs

Garden, 2005

Adam Kašpar

Fir, 2014, private collection 

Bedřich Dlouhý

Slight Cold, 1982, private collection

Bedřich Dlouhý

Still Life with Mobile, 2009, private collection

Daniel Pitín

Ophelia, 1999, private collection

Jan Mikulka

Jacob, 2011

Jan Mikulka

Still Life with Apples, 2011, Feigl Gallery

Jan Uldrych

untitled, 2011, Feigl Gallery

Miloš Englberth

Silver Foil, 1999, private collection

Pavel Holas

 The Plastic in a Glass, 2001, private collection

Pavel Holý

Treadle in Nettles, 2000, private collection

Pavel Nešleha

Window in the studio, 1982

Pavel Nešleha

Concrete, 1983 

Theodor Pištěk

Tonca Still Life, 1981, The Gallery of Modern Art in Hradec Králové

Tomáš Kubík

Onions, 1995-1996, Císař, Češka, Smutný s.r.o.

Zdeněk Beran

Playing with cabbages (detail), 1987-88, installation

Zdeněk Beran

Playing with cabbages (detail), 1987-88, The Olomouc Museum of Art

Zdeněk Daněk

In the Year 2000, 2000, private collection

Zdeněk Beran

Attempt to a Mental Escape, 1996 –1997, Feigl Gallery


Todays opening hours

Archdiocesan Museum Olomouc 10.00-18.00
Museum of Modern Art 10 AM - 6 PM
Archdiocesan Museum Kroměříž 8.30 AM - 6 PM

Tuesday | 26. 9. 2023

Today is open

Pokladna otevřená út–ne 10-18 hodin, Rezervace na pokladna@muo.cz
telefon: 585 514 241

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