Rule of Thumb
Rule of Thumb
Curator: Michal Stolárik
Open by appointment
We find ourselves in a space defined by rules, variations, rhythm, and a tangle of timelines and speculative cut-outs from various periods. While the present flows through a filter of ambiguous presumptions, the appropriated past mixes with a fictional vision of the future. Established systems may seem rigid and restrictive, but in fact they stand at the origin of creative solutions and initiate new dialogues with each other.
The international exhibition Rule of Thumb brings together the results of a collaborative project between Austrian artists Titania Seidl and Lukas Thaler and Slovak artist Milan Vagač, who is based in Prague. The majority of the artists’ independent programs consist primarily of various forms of hanging paintings, which they subject to formal, ideological, or installation experiments. They are based on reality, which assumes the existence of man. And although their presence is perceptible, we rarely see the figures. The selected works employ imitation, fabrication, and fiction. They speculate about what could be, what probably was, and what currently is happening. We observe historical layers removed from their original contexts as well as deceptive layers of the past reminding us of the inexorability of time. Literal or symbolic principles of connection offer solutions on the border between digital and analogue technology, the abstract and the concrete, reality and fiction, direct artistic gesture and external intervention.
The activities of painter Titania Seidl (1988) and artist Lukas Thaler (1989), in addition to their management of the Viennese gallery Mauve, have been evolving on the level of an artist collaboration since 2019. The original combination of symbolically oriented oil paintings (Seidl) and minimalistic spatial work (Thaler) results in unconventional objects and installations that deal with interrelations and communication while remaining open to possible interpretations and associations. This new series of collaborative works is bound by a predefined rule—a fixed width of formats—and offers a fusion of historicizing painterly still lifes and material experiments in the form of relief paintings.
The work of Milan Vagač (1988) has recently stabilized in the field of abstract painting, which he activates with material and installation experiments that transcend the boundaries of the canvas or the frame. Through an unconventional approach to the production and nature of hanging paintings, he offers organically tuned shapes and objects that flirt with the aesthetics of industrial products and imitate the spatial forms and haptic qualities of synthetic materials. Undefined scenes are informed by a modernist morphology and an appealing air of retrofuturism. Their imaginative form offers a free field of interpretation, although it is undeniably close to the aesthetics of machines or technological objects.