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JURAJ FLOREK. New Urban Pleinair Painting bei C.A. Contemporary

Category: Portrait 13. September 2022

Juraj Florek likes to call himself a "100% urban plein-air painter": fascinated by cities, he walks through them to capture fragments of landscapes that he depicts on the spot and in the moment. Parking lot facades, parked cars, steel infrastructures - so many everyday scenes that we lose the habit of observing and which, thanks to the passage on canvas, acquire a new aura. This new look gives them a poetic character, highlighting the hidden beauty of ordinary buildings or industrial objects. The human being is almost always absent, and yet we feel his presence everywhere.
These urban landscapes are particularly captivating because they seem familiar; we think we recognize a place, because it could be any city affected by globalized urbanism. Without conveying a critical or dystopian message, Florek's approach allows everyone to project themselves into these captured moments.
Coming from the world of graffiti and urbex, the artist has found in outdoor urban painting the spontaneous and adventurous aspects of these artistic practices. By going to paint on site, Florek revives the rebellious side of the impressionists, who left the studio with their easel to represent landscapes, not only nature, but also witnessing the industrial revolution. As with the Impressionists, what is important here is the immediacy and the immediate sensation of the moment captured. The choice of the diptych reinforces this idea: the same scene is repeated with a slight difference, a shifted point of view, a change of light. Like a photo taken during a long exposure, the paintings capture the essence of a place and an era that can survive in future memories.
The dynamic compositions of the paintings - close-ups, off-center gaze, large areas of color - bring authenticity to these environments, and enhance the visual rhythm offered by the architecture and industrial objects. The whole of these urban fragments are then arranged in our minds like a great documentary puzzle. Through his desire to capture the truth, Juraj Florek transmits the heritage of realism of many artistic currents such as the "Ashcan" and "Kitchen sink", or the Leipzig School, in an approach of his own, that of a new post-industrial landscape painting. (written by Colette Angeli)

The exhibition "JURAJ FLOREK – QUICK PALETTE. New Urban Pleinair Painting" at C.A. Contemporary, Ballgasse 8, Vienna is on display from 22. Sept. till 12. Nov. 2022.

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