Adam Kašpar

 

Adam Kašpar is a 4rd-year student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in Martin Mainer’s Painting Studio IV. In his works, he takes us to a forest we know from paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries. The air in the forest is crystal clear and nature itself suffices to present the landscape’s monumentality and reveal the author’s interest in the study of landscape painting. “Adam Kašpar is an incredibly talented painter; despite being a student, his excellent painting skills attract the attention of both the professional audience and the general public... His three-meter canvas The Fir Tree which was shown at the ArtPrague exhibition compared favourably with the works of other presented authors such as František Matoušek, Jan, Knap, Jakub Špaňhel or Martin Mainer...   Kašpar, Rybníček and Salajka are authors worth our attention,” claims Nina Hedwic, the founder of Nová galerie.

 

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Adam Kašpar is a student of Martin Mainer’s Painting Studio IV at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He has held several individual exhibitions and participated in a number of group exhibitions. His works are gradually becoming a very distinct phenomenon of the Czech art scene.
Nature is the dominant theme of Kašpar’s works. He captures it in a meticulous, realistic technique. The painting itself is preceded by a series of preparatory sketches, photographs and systematic observation, yet his approach is nothing but documentary. Kašpar studies nature as a phenomenon inseparably related with humans and society in a time of debates over the reduction of national parks and ruthless destruction of the wild. If there is man or architecture present in his painting, they always present a negligible ephemeral trace contrasting with the dominating eternal nature. The artist does not take interest in a general theme, but prefers to choose a specific place the unique character of which he embodies in his work. The specific landscape is brought back to life enhanced with the painter’s artistic interpretation. He draws inspiration from landscape painting of the renaissance era as well as of the 19th century and combines it with his strong subjective attitude to nature creating unusually appealing artwork. His paintings deliver a lively message of our ephemerality, of our roots and the phenomenon that surpasses us so much and that we often tend to ignore it: our pettiness in comparison with the magnificence of nature.

 

born 1993, Litomyšl
2009 - 2012 – Secondary Graphic Art School, Jihlava
od roku 2012 – Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Painting Studio IV / prof. Martin Mainer


Solo Exhibitions:
2013 - Modříne, Galerie Mainerová, Praha
2010 - Adam Kašpar, Jihlava
2016 - Div Vid, Nová Galerie, Praha
2017 - Adam Kašpar, Galerie města Kolín


Group Exhibitions:
2017 - Krajina, Nová Galerie, Praha
 

 

Despite the fact that all the great taboos of art interventions into social processes have been overcome and almost nothing is left of the historical gravity, many painters tend towards traditional genres and show their inclination towards the cornerstones of painting regardless of the latest trends. They are interested in light modelling and expressing the atmosphere, the foundations on which John Constable’s and William Turner’s landscapes, revolutionary at their time, were based. The radical ideas of these painters and the landscape genre as such have gradually become fully accepted and the paintings have become established in many a living room. With that, the mission of these works has been naturally altered to present some kind of “pastoral” therapy which helps the viewer remember their characteristic environment by observing natural motives. However outdated or obsolete the landscape genre may seem today, it still plays an indispensable role in understanding the relationship between man and nature, reminding us of what we have and what we could lose to global industrialization.

This, almost sacred, humility towards the countryside, which can be achieved only through systematic observation and cognition of the landscape, is reflected in the works of the painter and student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, Adam Kašpar. While many of his landscape paintings may look like portraits of specific places, forest interiors and mountains, many may seem to be composed of several existing views remolded in the artist’s mind into a new, unreal scene. Kašpar is a painter who reverts to the traditional genre of landscape painting as well as the tradition of working en plein air. He revives the ancient passionate roaming through deep woods and steep slopes as well as the technique of capturing immediate impressions on small wooden boards. The direct involvement with the landscape and the predilection for walks can be perceived as a reaction to the almost forgotten experience of being in the country and the withdrawal from what is natural to man. The focus on physical activity and experience at the same time has a lot in common with the Romantic phenomenon of self-immersion known from William Wordsworth’s or Henry David Thoreau’s poetry. It also correlates with the desire to stand up against the idea according to which human perception of the country is influenced by upbringing and education to the extent that landscape sooner becomes a cultural phenomenon than nature in itself. By immersing into the multilayered recesses of the countryside, Kašpar disproves the idea of idyllic landscapes meant for the human eye. He points out that what most people are used to seeing is through and through a very strong physical experience that leads to realizing one’s own body – by counterbalancing gravity or walking uphill against the wind.

Even though Adam Kašpar’s work may resemble the landscapes of the 18th and 19th centuries in many aspects, his interest in geology and paleontology defies Lorrain’s conception of the ideal landscape. In his paintings, still-lives with trilobites and fossils placed into views of vast rocks can be seen. Kašpar perceives the landscape as something that is immersed with an ancient, mystical spirit of the woods whose long evolution process is expressed through the accumulation of individual painting layers rather than something permanent and constant. The themes of the paintings as such may be arising from tracking this incessant progress of changing sedimentation which forms the earth into what it is at any given moment. With references to prehistoric forms of existence, Adam Kašpar depicts the landscape as we live in it with full accord of its values. He does so, on his own accord without having a need for a specific reason, in compliance with his genuine interest in nature.

Eva Drexlerová