FRANTA, Jacques Renoir, Pavel Brunclík

6. 11. 2019 – 1. 12. 2019

This Czech-French exhibition presents Třebíč-born Franta (full name František Mertl), who since the 1960s has been living in Vence in the South of France, the French cameraman and now mainly photographer Jacques Renoir, and the Czech photographer Pavel Brunclík, who divides his life between the Czech Republic and France.
These artists are connected not only by their work, but their friendship. In their works they respond to the crisis of basic human values and to a feeling of alienation. In response they place their faith in humankind and nature.

Franta is a representative of new figuration. He perceived the world in the contradiction of its light and dark sides, through which he came to realise how fragile was the fate of man. Motifs focusing on the human figure, which defies the alienated world of today, predominate in his paintings. He was inspired by numerous trips to the African continent, finding himself drawn to this distinctive culture and was of life that holds out against modern society. He expressed his admiration for a humanity which is being lost from our culture in the attitudes, expressions and gestures he painted.
His work is also influenced by the trips he took to the United States. There he viewed advanced civilisation with admiration but also with trepidation. On the one hand advanced technical growth, on the other the shadow falling of profligacy, surplus and waste that consumer society is at a loss to deal with.
Franta’s paintings are to be found in the world’s leading galleries (Centre Pompidou, Foundation Maeght, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the National Gallery Prague, etc.). He was awarded the Artis Bohemiae Amicis by the former minister of culture Daniel Hermann.

Jacques Renoir is represented by abstract shots from the collection Mirror of the Lake. The reflections of the sun’s rays on the surface of the water and the aqueous kingdom below gives rise to a new mysterious world. The world is how it appears. On the surface of things is contained their depth, the soul of the depths. The poems accompanying the photographs were written by the philosopher and poet Claude Montserrat.
The second collection is called Collision. Renoir took the photos at scrap yards in France and the USA. He was trying to show that even here there is beauty and inspiration to be found. Nature is creative – movement, light, scratches. The result is abstract shots reminiscent of the engravings of the old masters.
Jacques Renoir used to be a cameraman and later a producer and director of feature and documentary films. He is especially known for his collaboration with Jacques Cousteau, for whom he worked for seven years on the ship Calypso. Later he worked as a reporter from exotic parts of the world. He received four nominations for his films and an Emmy for the serial The Undersea World.
He wrote a book about his famous relatives called The Loving Picture, which was also published in Czech and became the model for the film Renoir.

Pavel Brunclík exhibits a selection of nudes and landscapes from recent years taken in France. He believes the human body is home to beauty, strength, as well as the life force. He combines rationalism with sensitivity.Brunclík’s nudes explore the relationship of the pure, almost minimalist lines and forms of the human body. He is able to combine the erotic moment with an artistic imagination.
His landscapes of recent years explore a mysterious light, a simplicity of form free from anything extraneous or disruptive, and a structure taken to the very boundary of the abstract symbol.  They bear witness to Brunclík’s escape from civilisation.
Brunclík won the Fuji Euro Press Award for his collection of landscapes, and several times has been awarded the prize for Photographic Publication of the Year. He used to work as an advertising photographer in the Czech Republic and abroad. However, since 2004 he has devoted his energies to artworks.


Katarina Brunclíková