Jan Merta at SVIT

Artist: Jan Merta

Exhibition title: Menu

Venue: SVIT, Prague, The Czech Republic

Curated by: Jiří Ptáček

Date: June 26 – August 14, 2021

Photography: Tomas Soucek / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and SVIT, Prague

Writing about Jan Merta is like walking on a rubbish heap from where you can only take away as much as you can carry – it makes you think about what to pick out from the waste and what to leave on the dump. There is no trick to help you out, you are not in some fairy-tale, like the one by Jan Werich where a crafty “almost-princess” is banished by her future husband for meddling with royal affairs, although he allows to take away the one thing that is most precious to her – so she has her prince rolled up in a carpet and takes him home (delivery free of charge). Already Merta’s canvasses are difficult (demanding) enough, with the artist shifting between personal memories and collective memory, intimate mythology and allegories of power and history. And it does not get easier with his works on paper, which he does not consider to be a form of supplementary activity to his main work, although in any case, he does exhibit them noticeably less often than his canvases.