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Published 2014-09-04

Jiri Kovanda, Patron of Young Real Art

Internationally well known, Czech, conceptual artist and lecturer Jiri Kovanda has become the patron of Young Real Art. He has been watching over the gallery development and assisting with helpful advice that comes from his long-term art and teaching practice.



''Considering the gallery’s aim, I feel that Young Real Art is highly beneficial for everybody. Students and recent graduates are offered the opportunity to step out of the University into the real world. By being part of Young Real Art, they can learn how the art market works and can gain practical experience. With regards to the other side of the spectrum, art collectors and all those who are interested in art are presented with an exciting chance to explore and search for new talents and to start building new collections." says Jiri Kovanda.

Influenced by the gloomy political circumstances under which the Czech Republic found itself when Kovanda started to make art in the early 1970s, many of his performances explore the limits of what freedom may mean. His 'performances, those mundane actions appear slightly off-key, allowing us, through this combination of apparent simplicity and unbalance, to grasp at the individual and what remains real and human in a society under surveillance.' ( Jiri-Kovanda/#!/Presentation/site_textes/368) Sadly, the communist regime suppressed any kind of free speech and free expression, which prevented Kovanda's work from spreading in his native land. Since the Velvet Revolution though he has been getting slowly into the national subconscious. Kovanda’s big retrospective, called Jiri Kovanda: Against the Rest of the World, took place earlier this year at the premises of the National Gallery in Prague.

Abroad, Kovanda’s art is known widely and his work is represented by the Krobath Wimmer Gallery in Vienna and by GB Agency in Paris. He's exhibited worldwide in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam. One of his more recent works, Kiss and Tell was performed in Tate Modern in London in 2007. The artist "stood behind a large window, holding up a note asking passers-by to kiss him through the glass. And kiss him they did, an action which, in spite of the physical barrier, was accompanied by embarrassment, hesitation, caution and, occasionally, tenderness." (

Since 1995, Kovanda has been working as a lecturer of painting at the University of Fine Arts in Prague. He also holds the post of the Head of Performance Art at the University of J. E. Purkyne in Usti nad Labem.




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