Solo exhibitions



Sofie Švejdová | Andreas Schmitten, Jiri Svestka Gallery, Prague, 2019

Press release (EN):

The joint exhibition of Sofie Švejdová and Andreas Schmitten fills the gallery space with antiseptically elaborated "furniture", "tailoring" or microarchitectonic hybrids that clash with the painted scenes of the flow of body fluids and their pictorial capture. The acknowledged unreliability of the painter’s grid and the deflected "pictures in pictures" contrast with the rational arrangement and balanced composition.

In the long run, Sofie Švejdová's work has been spilling over between the praxis of concealing the meaning in abstract gestures and the subliminal desire to tell intimate stories, to show the overlooked and to reveal the hidden. The new series of paintings follows the “serial” logic and shows an altered approach compared to the previous “series”. It is based mainly on building tension through creation of spaces, torsos of characters and fragments of stories, instead of the previously prevalent layering of forms and clashes of forms. Internal humor can suddenly turn into a sinister message, as repeated watching of a film sequence helps to discover a previously unrecognized rhythm and accentuates what was previously hidden in a blind spot or a simple sequence of events. Sofia Švejdová's new “series” of paintings at first glance represents a unified plot. Her finely hinted story lines and spatial relationships within the paintings are confronted with contrasting objects by Andreas Schmitten, whose drawings, on the other hand, physically present some situations sketched by Sofie Švejdová.

Andreas Schmitten's installations, built in a scenographic manner, include both consumer and luxury items giving up practicality in favor of creating their own fictional worlds. Considerations as to whether his works are more monumental scenography, deliberately non-functional design furnishings or dreamy architectural models seem pointless - Schmitten's installations are everything at the same time. Schmitten combines intricately crafted surfaces, sanitary sculptural forms and material samplers. He treats diverse elements as an „executive designer“ or an “art director”, under whose direction a special tension arises between the obvious and the anticipated. Just like in the case of transforming a stylized cabinet into a shining show-case and, at the same time, a storage of trauma (works Scham 1606 Scham 1608). The museum-like character of his art does not speak the language of institutional critique, nor does it serve as a means of speculating on social utopias. Schmitten's pedestals and exhibits are highly aesthetized, obviously costly and even anachronically composed. At the same time, he keeps some sort of irony or decadent playfulness embodied in his work, as illustrated by the drawings or fine tailor lines woven into massive „bodies“. Schmitten’s works on paper present visions of ferocious tools parasitizing on modified human bodies that are subject to disfigurement for perverted functionality.

The exhibition was prepared in collaboration with KOENIG GALERIE.
Curator: Lumír Nykl

Photo by Šimon Levitner


9058, Atrium Žižkov, Prague, 2018

Press release (CZ):

Sofie Švejdová (nar. 1990) od svých studií na pražské UMPRUM experimentovala s různými médii, v poslední době se však věnuje zejména malbě. Předchůdcem jejích nejnovějších abstraktních a expresivních maleb byly série pláten a objektů založených na reflexi fenoménu televizních seriálů a rozplétání jejich psychologických vzorců. Dalším zdrojem její současné tvorby jsou její malby s poeticky feministických nádechem, jimž dominuje motiv písmene „V“ s jeho všemi možnými způsoby interpretace. Na materiálu těchto dvou témat Sofie Švejdová zpochybňuje postupy vizuální narace a záměrně volí objekty, jejichž reálný základ je málo pravděpodobný.

Jinou linii v tvorbě Sofie Švejdové představují kresby a akvarely. S kresbou začala v době, kdy se stala mladou matkou dvou dětí a dočasně neměla dostatek času k práci na velkých plátnech v ateliéru. Od té doby se kresba stala integrální součástí jejího uměleckého výrazu, v níž je schopná vyjádřit obdobný konflikt fikce a skutečnosti jako na jejích akrylech na plátně.

Abstraktní tvorba Sofie Švejdové posledních dvou let ji ukazuje v roli jakéhosi dirigenta tvarů a barev, který pracuje s různými konkrétními podněty, kolem nichž buduje dynamickou kompozici. Vedle melodických linií se na jejích obrazech objevují mocné akordy, které mohou být, i díky své syrovosti, vnímány jako reminiscence na Elegie Roberta Motherwella. Barevné linie a plochy se proplétají, aby vytvořily nový, hlubší a méně dostupný prostor s vrstvami, v nichž se neustále cosi odehrává, ale my to nejsme schopni dohlédnout.



Big Hub Mug / TV series paintings, Jiri Svestka Gallery, Berlin, 2014

Press release (EN):

The exhibition "Big Hug Mug" is the first solo exhibition of the Czech artist Sofie Svejdova (born 1990 in Pilsen, lives in Prague). Although Svejdova, a recent graduate from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, is presented here mainly with paintings on canvas, other objects and installations included in this exhibtion, give away that she is not purely a painter. Sofie has a great penchant for experimentation both in form and intellectually.

The beholder is lead, by the title of the exhibition as well as the titles and topics touched upon by some of the images present, into a world of (mostly) US - American TV – series. A small image "Welcome in TP" is a clear reference to the cult series Twin Peaks by David Lynch and Mark Frost. In other works, Svejdova refers to Dexter, True Detective or Homeland. However, the artists intention is not socio-cultural criticism of such series, and certainly not an homage to them either. Sofie is rather attentive to the heavy and dark atmosphere of this seemingly normal consumer world full of absurdity, crime and tragedy. Through this focus she approaches many existential questions and tries to separate the illusion from reality. That the possibility of a separation of the two is itslef an illusion, is confirmed in the process.

Through another dominant group of pictures (marked by the capital character "V" in their center) a purely subjective component enters this exhibition: the energy, thinking, emotions and eroticism of a young confident woman. The images may appear shapeless, meaningless and uncertain, however this is the artists intention. The uncertainty, unfinished gesture, formal carelessness and freedom are not only a means of expression, but also the foundation and motivation of Sofie Svejdova´s art.

Text: Jiri Svestka; Photo: Jan Durina



Situation 26, Pavilon gallery, Prague, 2013

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8z25LRM5Fg

Photo by Ladislav Vondrak