In 2004, the leader of French magical realism Lukáš Kándl and his wife Françoise, in protest against the tendency to ignore artistic norms and prevalence of uncontrolled individualism that rose within contemporary art, brought together the best representatives of the trend by founding the Libellule, Contemporary Renaissance global movement. Tribute to the Old Masters exhibition, showcased in the City Gallery in Wroclaw from the 6th of September, is an excellent opportunity to take a closer look at activities of this international art group.
In the text to the catalogue accompanying Tributeto the Old Masters exhibition, Austrian art critic and gallerist Gerhard Habarta writes: "Art masters need Old Masters. They are the ones who make them aware that their own themes are real, true and important. In them they seek not only soulmates, but also secrets of painting, the Philosopher's Stone, the Emerald Tablet and the chemical formula. Yet it is also a popular method among many artists who use fragments of masters' works to modify or improve them". Lukáš Kándl, on the other hand, emphasises: "A return to the roots of art is an ambitious way to continue technical virtuosity of craft at a time when craftsmanship is no longer a priority".
Therefore, the distinguishing feature of pieces by Libellule artists gathered at the Wrocław exhibition is above all artistry inspired by painting skills of the old masters, developed through practicing continuous, painstaking copying of their paintings.
The artists presented at the City Gallery both draw on technical solutions of their great predecessors and engage in reinterpreting their (nowadays) classic artworks. Thus, the Wrocław exhibition displays contemporary representations of famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, Rembrandt and Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The artists open to the viewers old masters’ painting worlds, filtered through their own fantasies, dreams and secrets. They never, however, detach them from current contexts and problems. The Wrocław show can therefore be called an event at the crossroads of universes, in which outstanding artistry straight from old masters’ paintings is filled with an element of modernity, while classical representative art is complemented by mysterious symbolism and mysticism.
Tribute to the Old Masters exhibition showcases magical realism painters from all over the world, including France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, but also from Mexico, Cuba and Chile.
The exhibition is curated by Lukáš Kándl.
ARIEV Leon, BACHELIER Anne, BADDELEY Jake, BAILLY Jean, COMAND Patrizia, DE ROSA Raffaele, ĐUROVIC Željko, JANDA Zdeněk, JONTSCHEWA Alexandra, KÁNDL Lukáš, KOPERA Tomasz Alen, MALINOWSKI Andrzej, MÜLLER Hans-Peter, OSCITY Martin Georg, PARRA José, SABLÓN PÉREZ Carlos Antonio, THOMAZO Michaël, TIUNINE Eli, VERDESSI Gisela, ŽÁČEK Pavel, ZADEMACK Siegfried
Photos from the opening:
Video from the opening: