Dalibor Smutný - From Light to Light
The opening of the exhibition is on 30th Janury 2016
Dalibor Smutný (born 1964) is best known for his unmistakable ghostlike portraits of flowers executed in the now little-used printmaking technique of mezzotint, which differs from other intaglio techniques in that the printmaker works from black to white, and also on the basis of toned areas not line drawing. Since the mid-1990s Smutný has focused on a theme that has become his emblematic contribution to the spectrum of contemporary Czech art. In his prints, plants whose leaves or flowers have a strongly – even monumentally – plastic character emerge from a velvet darkness into a strange white light. It even seems that they radiate this light themselves. They feature a subtly modelled precision while retaining an untouchable sense of mystery. In contrast to Smutný’s almost exclusively monochrome expression in printmaking, in his painting we find a range of pastel colours. Here, segments of nature appear as if through a veil that allows their spirit, not their descriptive details, to filter through to us. Smutný’s exhibition staged as part of the ‘Printmaking Crossovers’ programme presents a stimulating dialogue between his prints and his paintings that reveals both their distinct qualities and their mutual bonds.
Richard Drury, curator