95 x 65.5 cm
Acrylic on canvas
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by Sammlung Rolf und Friedel Gutmann
Raster mit Dislokationen [Grid with dislocations]
Throughout his life, Jan Kubíček (born 1927 in Kolín, Czechoslovakia, where he died in 2013) continued to search for a way to artistically express his impression of the reality around him. This search was accompanied by a constant doubt as to whether he had chosen the right direction, or the right artistic solution in his paintings. When looking at Jan Kubíček’s works, we must keep in mind that, due to the information blackout in former Czechoslovakia that lasted many years, neither was there a real tradition of Constructivism, nor was there a lively engagement with its development in other countries. Jan Kubíček struck out on his own path early on, and his works reveal his predilection for experiments and their materials. Up to the 1950s, he experimented with anything he could find in his surroundings: advertising boards, torn pieces of material, bits of packaging, or pieces of wood that he often turned into assemblages. Without following any particular style, he created fascinating reliefs into which pieces of reality were integrated. All traces of figurative elements are lacking; what we see are rather schemes of order that define the structure of the picture or object and are thus constitutive for the work. The assemblages illustrate how, early on, Jan Kubíček placed much emphasis on the technical production of a work. This is also exemplified in his early lacquer paintings, which were initially characterized by the random movement of the lacquer on the picture’s ground and which eventually, thanks to more recognizable graphic structures, revealed the increasing creative will of the artist.
The real core of Kubíček’s oeuvre is his constructivist work. At the beginning of the 1960s, not only the square (as the most perfect geometric figure on a plane), but also individual letters became the main features of his systematic and constructivist working method. Kubíček chose letters from the alphabet that allowed him the greatest range of modification. It was primarily this formal interest that brought Kubíček into contact with the Prague Lettrists.
Dominique von Burg