There are times you never forget, some points in your life you feel like crossroad marks. That was my case back in 1994, when I went to Amsterdam for a master class in painting with J. Georg Dokoupil. With those good times on my mind, I went last week at the opening of Dokoupil’s last exhibition (Dokoupil 100) in Prague Castle Riding School with Mara, my wife. It was a good journey; we leaved Cluj in a sunny, yet cold March day. We found the same weather in Prague, sunny but also windy.
While attending Dokoupil’s Prague show, the good memories from the class in Amsterdam came on my mind, the time passed since those days, my artistic path ever since. I remember very well his words, on the proposed theme he entitled: “The intelligent line”. I recognized it now in his latest works, there are the same principles he unveiled to us during the workshop: new systems of artistic views, constant changes in art, strong potency on art materials, to list just a few of them. I felt his works now as I did before, strong, with simple by concise energy gestures, as his character is: full of life, with witty comments and sharp ideas.
G. Dokoupil with Dirk Jan Jager in Aschenbach Gallery, Amsterdam, 1994
Personally I really liked his new series of bubble soap and the series of candle pictures, but one should see them in original. Returning to my starting point, I found him as he was fifteen years ago, and what I like the most is to remember his good advice and critique regarding art in general and particularly my art. If someone would ever ask me which artist has most influenced my art, I would certainly say Dokoupil. But not his works, only his words… It was quite a new turning point in my life, back in that period after the communism fall. It was a great workshop and I met really interesting artists on this course in Amsterdam: Dirk Jan Jager, Irene Dapunt, , Leo Wijnhoven or Gerd Meijerink the director of Amsterdam Institute of Painting. Good times! In my previous blog post I mentioned about the period of communism in Romania before ’89 and its extensions after the “revolution” and that’s why I perceived this workshop so good and effective. It was taught in a different manner than I was used by the Romanian artist teachers before. And it has arrived in due time!And now in Prague, I have perceived so well all of these aspects I mentioned before.
After the exhibition, we enjoyed a good stay in the beautiful city of Prague, visiting his well- known historical spots and we had a taste of the great Czech beer...
(left) Akt alt Santa Cruz, soot on canvas, 130 x 97 cm, 2007
(right) Slawisches Maedchen, soot on canvas, 140 x 100 cm, 2000
Prague, March, 2010