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04.09. - 04.10.2009

exhibition of works from last period


VIKTOR HULÍK had his debut exhibition already during Normalization, when contemporary art was virtually unacceptable to the official line.
In spite of this, he embarked on this path – his first original works were collages and assemblages, where he transformed in various ways the visuality of printed reproductions of photographs of landscapes; sometimes the message lie in his analysis of the medium. For HULÍK, however, the important thing was evidently the possibility of dual manipulation – the spatial intervention with the found image, and the various ways of its destruction as a structure. Gradually, however, the rational aspects gained significance, although the phenomenon of playfulness still had its importance (as is also the case with Czech sculptor Radoslav Kratina). The moment in which mechanical movement offered to the viewer a challenge to transform its shape first took the form of a folding yardstick and its paraphrases, at the outset still pasted-on pictures that offered a second level of manipulation. Gradually, however, HULÍK made his domain in the sphere of pure geometry and movement, and manipulation with simple given forms on a surface.
He was the first artist in the local context able to consistently discover combination variants of linear sets through using computer graphics, and this made him an important representative of his generation internationally.
However, although I have followed his work from the very beginning, I have personally become most captivated by the last and most mature period of his work – his Movers. These are geometric constructions formed by several super-imposed layers – which can be seen as a precise, terse, and almost minimalist, either black and white or on the contrary brightly colored. However, next we are captivated by the opportunities offered by one, usually eccentrically placed, metal screw. And these very simple, minimalist compositions when set into motion can display an incredibly wide range of shifts, from very subtle variations on the original set, to very complex crossings and turns.
It is symptomatic that similar works by HULÍK became very welcome at the exhibition of the MADI movement – which happens to be less well known in our lands than the various Constructivist groups, although it has formed a counterpoint to them since as early as the 1940s, when it was founded by Carmelo Arden Quin in the belief that even geometric art could be far more playful, free and open than pure Constructivism.
And MADI continues to prosper under his leadership, and VIKTOR HULÍK found within it artists of a like sensibility, who combine an apt sense of the geometric with a playful openness. At the moment his work is of extraordinary importance in my view precisely due to the fact that he is able to connect the construction of a multi-layered relief with a rendering in color, and then to open it up to ever-changing new relationships, new variations of color and form. And by doing so, it is the movement that opens to us new dimensions of perception, while programmatically thematizing the certainties and uncertainties of an image and its boundaries.

in catalogue of exhibition MOVEMENT AS A MESSAGE,
Prague, National Gallery – Veletržní palace, 2008


more informations: www.hulik.sk