JSP Art Gallery in Prague has opened Cognitive Dissonance, an exhibition of the works of the esteemed Canadian-Czech sculptor Richard Štipl, curated by the renowned Italian curator Lucia Rossi.
Richard Štipl, born in 1968 in Šternberk, Czech Republic, is known for his solo exhibitions in Mexico, Zurich, Prague, Toronto, and New York, and now lives and works in Prague.
Educated at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto, and winner of an Honours Diploma and Governor General’s Gold Medal, Štipl worked initially as a painter before turning to sculpture. Using himself as a model, Richard focuses exhaustively on the indefinite nature and moment-to-moment paradoxes inherent in the act of continuously recreating oneself throughout the course of a lifetime. Štipl has exhibited worldwide and is included in many important public and private collections. Over the past several years, his work has captured extensive media and critical attention wherever he has exhibited.
Characteristically, Štipl’s paintings and sculptural works alike force us to reconsider the role of boundaries and consequent categories of choice that comprise contemporary attitudes and approaches to art-making and art consumption. In his attempt to understand that mystery, Richard turns to historically traditional forms, and his work also richly draws from the giants of the past: Dante Alighieri, Hieronymus Bosch, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, William Blake, or Tilman Riemenschneider. He is familiar with texts of the Kabbalah, Christian mystics, and patristic writings.
Richard Štipl doesn’t just hold up the mirror to himself; he holds it up to the entire society, and indeed to the entire civilization. Returning with Diogenes of Sinope to the agora, he cries out, “I am looking for a human being.” Štipl’s path to rediscovering humanity leads through
finding oneself. “Oh, you who have sound minds and clear, think,” he calls. Through his creation, he attempts to overcome the void from which artistic work arises. Similarly to Hegel, the process of “becoming” presupposes non-being. Štipl’s creation, like Platonic Eros, is the child of deficiency, yet also of excess, incompleteness, and surplus of forces. The mirror he holds up to himself then turns towards the viewer, becoming a disquieting prophet of human condition.
The exhibition at JSP Art Gallery includes both current and past work. The painterly canvases reflect the sculptural work, offering a new view and perspective on Richard’s artistic introspection. Štipl’s sculptures and paintings show us complex situations where certain beliefs come into conflict. They are Cognitive Dissonances.
Cognitive Dissonance at JSP Art Gallery, Prague
Address: Lázeňská 287/4, Prague 1 – Malá Strana
Opening Date: February 14, 2024, at 6:00 PM
Duration: February 14, 2024 – April 12, 2024
Exhibition Curators: Lucia Rossi, Jaroslaw Sebastian Pastuszak