Petr Pastrňák If we follow the painting oeuvre of Petr Pastrňák as it developed in the course of time, we cannot oversee the omnipresent lovely virtuosity – a quality which seems fascinating and almost dangerous. Irregardless of how wild and unleashed the artist’s morphology may be, the results are highly sophisticated no matter if the artist uses brushstrokes or either simply splashes colors onto canvas or lets them freely run down as if having just accidentally touched the support with a soaked brush. Provided he has such a wide scope of expression, how come, then, that his paintings can are so safely distinguishable? It is probably because the artist is capable of perfectly balancing between the accidental and the controlled, between intuition and painting experience, between expressivity and the above-mentioned decorative appeal, i.e. between the conscious and unconscious gesture. It can even be said that Petr Pastrňák is Gerhard Richter of Czech painting. A painter endowed with a light hand, a painter whose work is more than legible but always surprising. An artist whose canvases can even today be described as beautiful and their concept as perfect. In his most recent series entitled “Landscapes” Pastrňák returns to his favorite motif of landscape. Inspired by renowned masters, he uses their works as models and transforms their landscapes into abstract paintings. He washes out the simple brushstrokes on canvas that totally lacks color background in order to create an irregular negative grid – a kind of mechanical record, sometimes ornamental, sometimes gestic. The result is close to mystic calligraphy, equally as in the case of his previous paintings depicting water surfaces and forests. On the other hand, it “works” as the 21st century Mannerist landscape painting.
* 1962, Frýdek Místek, Czech Republic