Jan Pištěk

* 1961

Through painting one can tell stories; through painting one can perceive the landscape; through painting one can communicate experiences, feelings, temperament and life.

Perhaps this is how we can understand what happened from the early 1980s on the international visual art scene and, with a slight delay, on the Czech scene as well — in other words what came to be known in painting as Postmodernism, used even earlier in architecture and philosophy. The Czech version of the Postmodernist visual boom exploded at the Prague colleges of art, whose students at that time included Jan Pištěk.

The Fates decided that Jan’s path to painting was to be a direct one. He inherited the prerequisites for his talent through family descent from the painter František Ženišek and from his father Theodor Pištěk (the painter, costume designer Theodor Pištěk - He won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design for the film Amadeus, and received an Academy Award nomination in the same category for the film Valmont), who represented a moral and artistic authority in the Czech context.

For Jan the fascination for ancient cultures and their transposition into another visual language, the schematic sign of the landscape, the use of cross-hatching, all of which was assembled like an original jigsaw puzzle, meant not only involvement in the archetypally felt and sign-oriented spectrum of painting at that time, but also a kind of emancipation from his father. In the young Pištěk there isn’t a trace of his father’s veristic photorealism or even his later spatial abstraction phase. One can, however, sense something that lies behind both painters, namely a precision in their approach and a strictness in how they think through what the picture has to say.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

1987    Holečkova I (together with Karel Kovařík), Prague
1988    Holečkova II (together with Karel Kovařík and Tomas Císařovský), Prague
1990    Jan Pištěk - obrazy, Gallery Mladá fronta, Prague
1992    Pištěk, Hauser, Pribik, Landespavilon, Baden-Württenberg, Stuttgart, Germany
1993    Hledání míry, Gallery Nová síň, Prague
1994    Neposkvrněná, Gallery Behémót, Prague
1995    Výběr z díla, Alšova jihočeská Gallery v Hluboké nad Vltavou; Dům u Černé věže, České Budějovice
1995    Krajina, Gallery mladých, Brno
1996    Landscape, Gallery im Schloss Porcia, Spittal/Drau, Austria
1996    Budoucnost potřebuje jistotu, Gallery Behémót, Prague
1996    Ticho, teplo, tekutiny (together with Tomáš Císařovský and Jiří Kovanda), Gallery JNJ, Prague
1997    Snímání vleže na zádech, Gallery Behémót, Prague
1998    Jan Pištěk, Centre tchéque de Paris, Paris, France
1999    Neohraničené důvěrnosti, Gallery Pecka, Prague
2000    Výběr z obrazů, centrální budova banky Austria/Creditanstalt, Prague
2004    Pravda versus fikce, Gallery Louvre, Prague
2006    Sny Mr. Williamse, Gallery kritiků, palác Adria, Prague
2007    Mezi Nebem a Zemí, Gallery Špejchar, Chomutov
2007    Z ateliéru, výstavní prostor hotelu Thalia, Prague
2008    Link4Pictures, Výstavní síň Mánes, Prague
2008    Jan Pištěk, Výstava stodvacátápátá, Výstavní síň Sokolská, Ostrava
2009    Prag-ha, Gallery ViaArt, Prague
2010    Jan Pištěk, obrazy, Gallery Aspekt, Brno
2011    Živly, Gallery I. patro, Prague
2013    Bellow the Surface, Veletrzni palac, National Gallery, Prague