Vladimír Véla

Vladimir Vela

* 1980

The painter of “passionate still lifes” Vladimír Véla is inseparably linked with the phantasmagorical Bohemian Paradise landscape and memories of his birthplace area and home in Turnov, filled with banal yet mysterious objects. This intrinsic affinity with nature runs in his genes, since his family has practiced hunting for generations. From there stems the root of Véla’s woodland imagery, as one can see from the depicted forest cratches (Hollow I, 2011), antlers or tree stumps (Salt Cellar I, 2014) and the predominant blue-green colour scale. However Véla’s aim is not simply to mirror these miracles of nature. He is focussed on the process of capturing the subliminal “feeling matter” of experience.  To this aim he is aided by his refined painting technique.  

By its very nature Véla’s work defies categorisation. The fragments of artistic styles scattered throughout his work are subject to distinct transformation.  As a result they are apparent only by association and when interpreted it is key to retain a playful point of view.  Véla,  is more inclined to declare an affinity with the legacy of the masters of European art (Rembrandt, Goya, Poussin) than with current trends and finds great inspiration in classical music (Mozart, Dvořák, Ligeti, Scelsi)  with which he feels a great kinship thanks to its immediacy. He follows in the footsteps of Kandinsky in his search for harmonious accord at the receiving-aesthetical plane of his work and believes that the actual conception of the image should resonate with the perception of the recipient. Nonetheless, certain impetuses of Véla’s work can be found in its expressionism, intuitive automatism, meditative lyrical abstraction and spirituality and allegoricality of sacral art. Pervasive rounded biomorphic shapes with soft edges may, for example, bring to mind the surrealist works of Miró or Arpov, or even the abstract expressionism of Baziotes and Rothko or Kandinsky’s spiritual paintings.  However, Véla aims to defy stereotypical interpretation based solely on external similarities. His transformation of stimuli from the history of art as a whole is reflected in the play on the conventional symbolism of objects, shapes and colours, which in the spirit of Magritte, thanks to its intrinsic connection to linguistic constructions appears unreliable and arbitrary.    

Véla’s paintings attempt to revitalise the relationship between the world of objects and the subject of art through regression to naivety and fantasy. As a result, they often defy logic and intent and strive, as Rothko once did, to attain maximum sensuality – to activate the priomordial language of perception of the world. This also ties in to Véla’s reflection on the phenomenon of balance, which bears aspects of Klee. Twisted Voussoirs (Voussoir I-VII, 2013), Unstable Struts (Struts I-V, 2014), Rickety Cratches (Hollow I, 2011) and Hybrid Levels (Water Level, 2011) negate the laws of physics, yet they form a reference for intuitive interpretation and are the supporting frame for the compositional structure of the paintings. The search for an equilibrium between the painter’s inner vision and the external physical reality is best reflected in the metaphor of communicating vessels (Communicating Vessels I, 2012). 

The two-time finalist of the NG 333 award Vladimír Véla (*1980) lives and works alternately in Prague and in Turnov. He studied at the Academy of Applied Arts, first at the Studio of Classical Painting Techniques under Zdeněk Beran, thereafter Intermedia Studies under Milan Knížák. His art work is widely exhibited at exhibitions in the Czech Repubic, he has also exhibited work in Germany and the USA. He is represented in collections in the Czech Repubic and abroad. Véla, together with David Pešat and Ondřej Maleček form the art group EX. Besides painting he also devotes himself to teaching art.   

Olga Kovaříková

Solo exhibitions

2016 EX - Předobraz (with D. Pešata and O. Maleček), NG, Nitra
2016 Warm heart! / Vzhůru srdce! Gallery J. Jílka, Šumperk
2016 Platforms / Předpoklady, GASK, Kutná hora
2015 EX - Ausflug (with D. Pešata and O. Maleček), Raum für Drastische Massnahmen, Berlin
2014 Reverze (with M. Poláček), Nova galerie, Prague
2014 White and black! / Běl a čerň! (with M. Maupicova), the Museum and the Pojizerská gallery Semily
2014 Vladimír Véla - Paintings, Gallery Felixe Jenewein, Kutná Hora
2013 EX - It is not indifferent where we are (with O. Maleček and D. Pešat), Galerie Caesar, Olomouc
2013 Natři (with M. Maupicova and P. Šimíček), Galerie Klatovy, Klenová
2012 Black Hour, Gallery House, Broumov
2012 Cavity, Galerie OFFormat, Brno
2011 EX (with O. Maleček and D. Pešat), Topičův salon, Prague
2010 Kyproplej, Regional Gallery in Liberec, Liberec

Selected group exhibitions

2016 J. Dostál +21, OGL, Liberec
2016 Ornament of the Mass (Fragments from the Bible Visuality II), NG, Nitra
2015 Czech Dream / Český sen, Czech Center, New York
2015 Needle in haystack / Jehla v kupce sena, Topičův salon, Prague
2013 UB - Plane, Gallery Oko, Opava
2013 Butterfly Effect ?, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague

Art collections

National Gallery in Prague
The Regional Gallery, Liberec
Aleš South Bohemian Gallery in Hluboká nad Vltavou
private collections in Czech Republic and abroad