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7 Oct 2015 - 18 Oct 2015

Jakub Špaňhel: Sacred and Profane

Sacred and Profane is Jakub Špaňhel’s first UK solo exhibition. The title of the exhibition alludes in part to Jakub’s years spent between Berlin and Prague and the influences of these two capitals on his work and development as an artist, as well as the ambivalence of the subjects of his paintings: churches and banks.

The German philosopher Ernest Cassirer, in An Essay on Man, wrote that man is “a strange mixture of being and non-being” and his place is between these opposing poles. Concealed behind the synthesising persuasiveness and stylistic certainty of Špaňhel’s images is actually a more general painting talent that allows him to capture this very special place of man in the world. As a result, a light rose petal in these images can testify not only to the weight of being, but to the even greater weight of non-being. The uniqueness of Jakub Špaňhel’s work lies in the ability to combine these paradoxes and transfer them to the canvas with painting techniques and gestures of actionism without lyrical sentimentality or overly expressive shouting.

Text by Jiří Přibáň

About Jakub Špaňhel
The reputation of an exceptional talent that accompanied Jakub Špaňhel during his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague were quickly confirmed after he graduated by several solo exhibitions (City Gallery Prague, National Gallery in Prague Klatovy / Klenová galleries), participation in most of the significant painting exhibitions of his generation (Perfect Tense, Berlin – Prague, Mánes; the permanent exhibition of Wannieck Gallery, etc.) or representation in public collections. His hitherto work could be divided into roughly two markedly different areas linked by shared characteristics, such as a propensity for monochrome and formal reduction or primary emphasis on painting quality. The canvases of the first group are based on a depiction of a specific motif in its typical gestural style. In addition to his famous cycle of cathedral interiors which was his thesis work at the academy, these also include a series of nudes, flowers, landscapes, portraits and, lately, petrol stations and building of the central banks of various countries. In practically all the cases these are traditional genres, some of which – for instance the nudes, flowers and cathedral interiors - have not appeared in the iconography of Czech art for decades. Photographs or reproductions of pictures serve as models for him (in the case of the cathedrals they are Blažíček’s famous paintings of interiors, which allows him to work in the studio in large formats. The second group of paintings has a minimalist-serial character relying on a mechanical repetition of simple elements using a paint roller, e.g. "flowerpots”, crosses, pints or sailboats.


Private View:  Wednesday 7 October, 6 - 9pm

Opening hours:
11am – 6pm
Tuesday - Saturday or by appointment


Frameless Gallery - exhibition press release:

Church, acrylic on canvas, 115 x 90 cm , 2013

Central Bank of Brazil, acrylic on canvas, 250 x 200 cm, 2009

Stephansdom Vienna, acrylic on canvas, 220 x 160 cm, 2015



Project Space in Mayfair, at 18 Maddox Street, London W1S 1PL


From: 7 Oct 2015
To: 18 Oct 2015


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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