The reputation of an exceptional talent that accompanied Jakub Špaňhel during his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague were quickly confirmed after he graduated by several solo exhibitions (City Gallery Prague, National Gallery in Prague Klatovy / Klenová galleries), participation in most of the significant painting exhibitions of his generation (Perfect Tense, Berlin – Prague, Mánes; the permanent exhibition of Wannieck Gallery, etc.) or representation in public collections. His hitherto work could be divided into roughly two markedly different areas linked by shared characteristics, such as a propensity for monochrome and formal reduction or primary emphasis on painting quality. The canvases of the first group are based on a depiction of a specific motif in its typical gestural style. In addition to his famous cycle of cathedral interiors which was his thesis work at the academy, these also include a series of nudes, flowers, landscapes, portraits and, lately, petrol stations and building of the central banks of various countries. In practically all the cases these are traditional genres, some of which – for instance the nudes, flowers and cathedral interiors - have not appeared in the iconography of Czech art for decades. Photographs or reproductions of pictures serve as models for him (in the case of the cathedrals they are Blažíček's famous paintings of interiors, which allows him to work in the studio in large formats. The second group of paintings has a minimalist-serial character relying on a mechanical repetition of simple elements using a paint roller, e.g. "flowerpots", crosses, pints or sailboats.
foto: Radek Kalhous