Josef Bolf: A Premonition Of Shadow

At the National Gallery in Prague, one of the most intriguing contemporary Czech painters returns to scratching into wax painted with black ink, a technique he practically abandoned almost a decade ago, and in the exhibition combines it with animations and collages layered on glass plates. The accompanying publication darkens adequately as black spills from the image section to encompass the whole book. Pictures stand out on the dark background on the uncoated paper of the introduction, as well as under coat in the actual catalog. Otherwise calm, classical arrangement of the book (together with its readers) is disrupted only by images shifting neurotically into the text and by black rectangles left empty as gaps in the overall image of the autobiographical, but reclusive artist. The silver cover of the catalog reflects distorted shapes as well as a mirror wall, which on the first floor of the Trade Fair Palace holds both Bolf's site-specific drawing and a text by a curator. The artist is especially mirrored in an edition of twenty-three covers with printed black rectangle, which he personally scratched.


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