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EG: Exhibition of paintings by Pavel Landgraf

In the frame of the project Embassy Gallery an exhibition of paintings by Pavel Landgraf was opened at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Helsinki on 8 November 2012.

Born in Prague 1940, studies in painting and art history in the Städel School in Frankfurt and the Les Beaux Arts Art Academy in Paris. Lives in Finland. A member of the following Finnish artist associations: Finnish Painters’ Union, The Artists’ Association of Finland, Helsinki Artists’ Association, Kiila.

I started with still lifes. I was always drawing bottles, only bottles. People wondered why I did not draw flowers or landscapes like other children, but my grandfather supported me: ”Just go on with your bottles!” Now, I think that I was obsessed by the bottles because of Hannerle’s doll theatre. Hannerle, a daughter of a Jewish neighbour family and my friend, was four years older than me, and she always gave doll theatre performances for me. When we both visited my grandparents in the countryside, she would put on a performance for me on a window sill, using empty bottles instead of dolls. We had prepared doll clothes for the bottles, and it was our own bottle theatre.

One morning, Hannerle’s real doll theatre was in my room. She had left it all to me. Only the prince (!) was missing. My mother explained that Hannerle’s family ”had to move suddenly”. Only much later I found out that Gestapo had taken the whole family. When our family had to leave Prague, the doll theatre was left behind in our apartment. Because of this, still lifes became a beloved theme – a memory of the little Hannerle. I call my still lifes  ”coalitions”, because I combine bottles and other dishes and objects in various combinations.

When I first started painting, I already had a clear image of what a finished painting would look like and I also knew the name of the painting in advance. More recently I have become more spontaneous and playful. The new way of working started from my painting series Der Maler malt. I chose small flat boards on which I had mixed colours and, without making any major changes in them, I declared them to be finished paintings. There was a similar idea in my Ortszeit series in which I drew lines, submitting myself fully to the atmosphere of a certain place and a certain period. So I started painting spontaneously, used colours prompted by my emotions, and let the light of the environment affect them. My series Nunc Stans, Lokal and So weit, so gut, was created like this, and I found the name for each painting only when painting it or after the painting was ready.

Places, times, episodes, big and small events… Places vary, the times and things that one experiences disappear somewhere, to the subconscious. They say forgetting has a healing effect.

So, creativity – is it an ability to fill gaps in our memories?


pozvanka P. Landgraf/Invitation P. Landgraf 324 KB PDF (Adobe Acrobat document) Nov 19, 2012


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