Jiří Georg Dokoupil
16th January - 20th February 2020
Jiří Georg Dokoupil - Restarts
From the 16th January 2020 on Galerie Haas Zurich will be showing soot and soap lye images by Jiří Georg Dokoupil.
Jiří Georg Dokoupil was born 1954 in the Czech Republic, which then still was Czechoslovakia. After the Russian invasion in 1968, he fled at the age of 14with his family to Germany.
Jiří Dokoupil not only loses his homeland, but also his roots, his footing. It took some time before he was able to find new roots – in art or, to be more precise, in looking for and making pictures. And to the present day, he has never tired of this pursuit. A notorious seeker, always fathoming a fresh beginning. The art that Dokoupil chose as his terrain and homeland is not geographically fixed; it can be generated and executed anywhere, anytime. Art is the part of his life that never leaves him and that never needs to be left behind.
In conceptual terms, too, Dokoupil selects themes and techniques that describe changeability and the ephemeral, balancing acts and the unpredictable. In this way, he always remains true to himself and to his position of always being ready for a new departure.
After studying in Germany and the USA Dokoupil met Walter Dahn, with whom he founded the „Mühlheimer Freiheit“ group that also included Hans Peter Adamski, Peter Bömmels, Gerard Kever and Gerhard Naschberger, a loose-knit association of highly individual artists under the banner of expressive figurative painting.
His first solo exhibition was in 1982 and since then Jiří Georg Dokoupils work has been shown in major galleries and museums around the world. Dokoupils life resembles that of a nomad for whom staying in motion is a source of energy, inspiration and self-assurance.
For him, „staying in motion“ means several things: working and living in changing locations; taking different approaches to making work; and engaging with themes that imply or demand change. This explains why he has lived in such different cities as Berlin, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Plovdiv (Hungary) and Las Palmas. And why, alongside pigment, he uses such diverse media as soot, orange juice, mother’s milk, tyre prints, soapsuds, inkjet printing, plaster and many others. The same can be said about his repertoire of motifs, which has expanded over the years, but without becoming noncommittal. Precisely speaking, the artist’s constant changes and the accompanying movements should be understood not in linear terms, but as a spiral. Dokoupil works and lives in cycles and has established his concept as a way of lending constancy to the flow of life.
Next to soot images, which made him famous, Galerie Haas is also showing examples of his soap lye images, which in the past years attracted much attention.
A catalogue in German and English is available.