The body of the exhibition A Premonition of Shadow consists of paintings produced over the course of the past year. These represent a compact whole in terms of both form and content. They are a synthesis of sorts of a range of themes addressed by Josef Bolf in his previous work, which he never entirely gave up on. In his newest artworks, he returns to scratch painting, a technique he has more or less abandoned nearly ten years ago. The results, however, differ at first sight. Their form has been notably influenced by his recent painting experience, by – one could say – a sort of ‘pure painting’, whose samples he presented at a solo exhibition at the Václav Špála Gallery. In hindsight, this period appears crucial for his subsequent creative development. Despite an apparent difference in style, Bolf also returns to themes he has already confronted earlier, but they overlap with different possible worlds. To illustrate these connections and references, the exhibition also features some of Bolf's earlier art, including a number of so far unexhibited paintings.
An exhibition’s venue may often serve as a source of inspiration for specific creative solutions, both formally and substantially. It is not unusual for Josef Bolf to draw or paint in a venue. On the gallery at the Trade Fair Palace’s first floor, Bolf created a new artwork, a site-specific drawing on a panel in the foyer, which is a space he shares with the ongoing exhibition of the art of sculptor Alberto Giacometti. The connection raises interesting questions. Bolf’s wall of mirrors faces the Lesser Hall and in fact reflects and multiplies the body of his exhibition on the gallery. It thereby completes an overall feeling of interconnectedness and mutual interaction, an overlap of different spaces and visual sensations, uncovering further possibilities of their perception.
Josef Bolf (1971) was born in Prague. In 1990–1998, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague under Jiří Načeradský, Vladimír Kokolia and Vladimír Skrepl. Between 1996 and 2002, he and Ján Mančuška, Jan Šerých and Tomáš Vaněk formed the artist collective Headless Horseman. His works have been acquired by prominent Czech collections; besides local galleries, he has held exhibitions in Paris, Berlin, New York and Zurich.