Jakub Dolejs

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Jakub Dolejs – Survey: 2002-2007

ANGELL GALLERY is pleased to present a survey exhibition of gallery artist Jakub DolejÅ¡. The survey will include work produced during 2002 to 2007. The exhibition runs from May 1st – May 29th, 2010 in the west gallery. To appreciate Jakub Dolejs’ innovative ground-breaking work, this media synthesia of photography and painting, some understanding of his life is useful. Jakub grew up in Communist Europe and experienced "coming of age" with the downfall in the late eighties of the former East Bloc regimes. In terms of his artistic modalities, he started off as a painter and when he moved to Canada, specifically Vancouver, he started incorporating photography in his work. Jakub’s artistic evolution, in other words, is iconic of the fascinating and entangled discursive tropes of these two media, how they weave their separate spells upon the viewer and become in turn woven into more general cultural perception. To illustrate these points, consider the works that Survey: 2002-2007 will showcase beginning with the Tribune photo. Included in the exhibition are the original three paintings which were used as the backdrop for Tribune and have never been shown together. The background painting and the photograph (of a painting) form a complex allegory based upon Johan Zoffany's 1772 painting The Tribuna of the Uffizi, in which Titian’s Venus of Urbino is in the foreground, surrounded by a crowd of English and Italian connoisseurs. Venus of Urbino is noted for its absence of allegorical content and its blatant erotic character. As Titian had stripped the earlier nudes of their classical allegorical garments in his nude, so Dolejs strips representation of its power by his omission (painting out) of Venus’ well-heeled and moneyed admirers in Zoffany’s piece. Caspar David Friedrich Sketching My Homeland, 1810 is a work composed by photographing a figure in the foreground against a painted background inspired by Friedrich’s classical German Romanticism. This apparent reproduction echoes Friedrich’s own 19th century incorporating of philosophy and science, mining mythology and dream imagery for a visual language of the soul parsed by silent contemplative landscapes. Most insidiously and subtly, Jakub’s media synthesia reverses systems of control in In Control and There are no Easy Answers. The two tableaux consist of empty chairs. The chairs in In Control have their backs to the viewer and point to two luminescent geometrical labyrinth-like passages suggesting that despite appearances those in positions of power – the chairpersons of corporations, heads of government – don’t have any better sense of where they, or we, are going, than the ‘unchaired.’ There are no Easy Answers gives the impression of an interrogation, the absence of bodies indicating the absence of certainty. Artist Biography Jakub Dolejs – Jakub received his MFA in Design & Architecture in 1998 and by 2007 had work purchased by the National Gallery of Canada. Both historical & contemporary in reference, his work combines photography and painting to question our perceived reality of both. Escape to West Germany and Caspar David Friedrich were shown at The National Gallery of Canada as well as the Vancouver Art Gallery in a group show called Acting the Part: Photography as Theatre. He has exhibited in Art Mûr (Montreal), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), U Dobrého Pastýre Gallery (Czech Republic) and been shown at art fairs in London, New York, Miami
There are No Easy Answers, 2007
C-print, Edition 3 of 5
48" x 64"
Escape to West Germany, 1972, 2002
dye coupler print, Edition 2/3 2 AP
60" x 34"
In Control, 2004
C-print, Edition 1/3, 2APs

Also available: 77 x 98inches -- $18,000
60" x 48"
dye coupler print
48" x 48"
Tribune Painting, 2010
oil on canvas
Caspar David Friedrich Sketching My Homeland, 1810, 2003
dye coupler print
48" x 60"
Confined, 2003
dye coupler print, Edition 1/5
84" x 37 ½"
Tribune (Louvre Remix), 2006
dye coupler print, edition of 3
66" x 96"