Between Art and Science

19 / 02 / 2015 - 12 / 04 / 2015

Museum Kampa, Prague

Exhibition‘s author and curator: Jitka Šosová, David Karásek, David Železný

Jaroslav Serpan was one of the artists in the art scene of postwar France. At the end of the 1940’s, he became a member of André Breton’s surrealist group. In the early 1950’s, he began to explore creative possibilities of new forms of abstract painting along with Michel Tapié. Together with art theoretician Édouard Jaguer, he cofounded the Phases movement. His activities were not confined only to art; he also engaged in theoretical considerations and literary work.

His life and creative path were directly related to Bohemia. Before relocating to France, Serpan’s parents emigrated from Russia to Czechoslovakia. Shortly after World War II, Serpan exhibited in the Parisian show Surrealism in the year 1947 that was partially transferred to Prague under the title International Surrealism.

Jaroslav Serpan’s paintings also appeared at a number of program exhibitions that helped to shape postwar European art. Thanks to a long and intensive collaboration with Michel Tapié, his paintings were displayed at exhibitions like Other Art or Signifiants de l‘Informel.

His work undoubtedly responded to contemporary art movements such as Surrealism, Art Informel or Pop Art. At the same time, he used his knowledge and procedures pertaining to his second area of expertise, mathematics and biology, which he acquired during his studies at the Sorbonne. His paintings and sculptures include creatively grasped theories of exact sciences such as sets or calculations of probability. This aspect of Serpan’s artwork was pursued by contemporary art critics, who regarded rigorous exploration and implementation of mathematical concepts as principal quality of Jaroslav Serpan’s work. His artwork is currently displayed in the most prestigious art galleries in the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Israel Museum in Jerusalem; and in Europe, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Centre Pompidou in Paris and Vienna’s MuMoK.





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