I had the chance to visit the Gallery Wegner in Zurich, Switzerland for an exhibition about the czech born artist Jan Jedlicka who is practising now in Zurich and partly in the italian region of the Maremma, at the ligurian sea with its special coast line and dehydration program. Jedlicka is especially interested in the light and shadow play of the landscape, the dryness and the patterns visible on the ground. I was happy to had a very informative introduction and discussion with the gallery owner. By that I was able to understand better the work process and the approach of the artist. His works can be divided into several techniques: Heliogravure, screen printing, Mezzotint (old printing technique), watercolour, and pigment works. Actually I did not have a good understanding about the techniques as such, so the introduction was very helpful. I was astonished that Mezzotint is a very time consuming process, and one work with the size of around 0.5 x 2m took 2 years to complete!
What fascinated me about the works of Jan Jedlicka are:
- Pigment works: He takes stones from the region (see pic.), scratches the color pigment from the stone, grinds them with a mortar and combined with gummy arabicum. With that he paints his landscapes and patterns works that remind back to the found patterns. This heavily reminds me of Vija Celmins and her approach to take textures and patterns from nature for her pencil works.
- Screen printing: Based on photographic works Jedlicka prints them on fine japan paper. A bold interplay of light and shadow with unique patterns of round circles – a kind of eerie atmosphere. Fascinating for me how he overprints the bottom edge of paper with the visual effect as of it drops down further.
- The visit quite inspired me to experiment further. I think the idea of flowing the picture over the edge could be applied for various themes.
- The idea of looking at macroscopic textures and patterns and to convey this on a larger scale for greater apeal seems a common theme in contemporary art (see also Vija Celmins)