Massive Memory // 2015

two canvases, 150cm x 140cm, acrylic on canvas

veronikadrahotova.com

Veronika Drahotova is a Czech artist and curator best known for mixed-media work incorporating painting, photography, video and installation.

In 1992, she was one of the youngest students ever to matriculate at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (AVU), studying under J. David and J. Sopko, receiving a one-year scholarship (1995) at the San Francisco Art Institute, and a Masters of Art degree in 2000.

She made her first big splash in the art world in 1998 with “Castle in the Sky,” a large-scale light installation funded by the Soros Foundation. In it, the famous Prague Castle was completely illuminated in a rainbow glow for several nights, and it’s still considered one of the largest public art displays to take place in the Czech Republic.

The rainbow symbolism from “Castle in the Sky” was naturally incorporated into Drahotova’s ever-growing iconographic vocabulary. This highly visualized language of symbols appears persistently throughout her work across all mediums, encouraging a sense of interconnectedness within and between each. The evolution of that iconography can clearly be seen in her early portrait work, which includes the postmodern series “Bad Boys” (1997-2004), and plays out prominently in her constructed objects and installations, such as FF (for S. H.; 2004) and POP (Preliminary Orientation in the Problem; 1999).

Her work was most recently featured in Vienna for Art’s Sake (Feb. 2015) (http://www.noever-design.com/vienna-for-arts-sake-archive-austria.html), a group show with contributions from more than 100 visual artists, including Christo, Frank Gheary and Zaha Hadid, which will tour Europe and the U.S. as the “Luciano Benetton Collection 10 x 12.”

Her most recent series’ have focused more on painting, specifically large-scale canvases filled with geometric objects that merge with and collide into 3-D relief elements, an implicit commentary on the tension between philosophy and psychology, spiritualism and mathematics. Furthermore, Drahotova has created a new system of painting she refers to as ‘architectonic.’ This approach utilizes two or more canvases in a single painting, allowing the pieces to be arranged in several pre-determined ways to reveal different compositions. By orientating or interchanging the canvases both horizontally and vertically, and rotating them 90 degrees in relation to each other, several compositions emerge.

 In this way, the canvases of the recent series “They Don’t Know They Are Doing It” (2010) can be arranged together on the wall in various interchangeable configurations, like interactive panels in a constantly shifting landscape.

In 2002 Drahotova founded HOME Gallery in Prague, and as director curated more than a dozen exhibitions over two years featuring artists from all over Europe. She has had more than ten solo shows in the U.S., Japan, and across Europe, and participated in dozens of group shows. She currently resides in Prague.