The Opening of Milan Grygar’s Exhibition in Beijing
30.05.2012 / 08:25
The opening of an exhibition of the Czech contemporary artist Milan Grygar was held at the Today Art Museum in Beijing on May 27, 2012. Grygar belongs to the generation of Czech artists who attended art school shortly after the end of the Second World War and at the turn of the fifties and sixties lent their weight to European neo-avant-garde trends with a swift move in the direction of abstraction. In his work, Grygar inclines toward free expression and controlled chance, and combines an interest in the visual and acoustic sides of art in a unique way. The work of Milan Grygar is characterized by an original perspective on the relationship between picture, sound and space. In the case of his paintings, these sounds come, for example, from wind-up toy chickens whose beaks are submerged in ink and then left to obediently peck holes into the paper. Looking at the drawings and perceiving the sounds thus become an integral experience; perhaps never before has the connection between visual symbols and sound been so close. The recording of sounds from his paintings has been made in the recording studio in the Musicology Centre of the Czechoslovak Academy of Science.
The scenario of the inauguration of the exhibition in Beijing was prepared by the artist, eighty-six-year old Mr. Grygar, himself. His ink paintings on the walls are illuminated with spotted lights and accompanied by visual and audio projections at the same time. The projection repeats itself in a 36-minute cycle. This exhibition is without a doubt a unique cultural event, and is supported by the Czech Embassy in Beijing. Although the work of this peculiar Czech artist is quite unknown in China, the exhibition attracted a lot of people. Especially the young generation of the Chinese public watched Grygar’s acoustic funny performances with serious expressions on their faces. The inauguration of the exhibition followed by short speeches was organized by the Zdeněk Sklenář Gallery and the Today Art Museum. The Czech ambassador in China Mr. Libor Sečka was also present at the ceremony, together with well-known curators Ms. Noemi Smolík and Mr. Hang Du, who were accompanied by a big group of art lovers from the Czech Republic, and the two sons of Milan Grygar, who were also a part of this group.