Galerie Openspace continues its series on graffuturism, attracting the contemporary graffiti artists with technical mastery by presenting Jan Kaláb, one of the world revelations on the street art scene these past years, for the first time in France. Czech artist, Jan Kaláb is born in 1978 in Czechoslovakia, at that time - country without any street art piece and - decades later - became widely known in graffiti art world under the nicknames Cakes DSK and One Point. His action of painting the whole cars in New York at the peak of the anti-graffiti repression gains him the admiration of the graffiti artists worldwide. Besides this street credentials, strong part of Kaláb’s artistic portfolio is his plastic and geometric research in painting, sculpture and spatial installations.
Graffiti art sculptures led Kaláb to explorations of abstract art, a path he has been working on from 2007, using acrylic painting and brushes. In painting, his expansive graffiti style is reduced to a concentrated, minimalist expression inspired by De Stijl movement and modern art masters like Piet Mondrian or František Kupka. Kaláb’s artwork is geometric meditation on themes of depth, time, motion and dynamics. The creation of the huge abstract sculpture-like letters and posting them on street walls in Prague and worldwide, shift his work to a specific art practice between graffiti art and public art sculpture. In situ installations he made in the framework of public contracts or institutional exhibitions are particularly relevant in that regard.
Current exhibition The Pluriforme is formed by three conceptually connected series, and all the pieces included to the show have been made for the show and dating from 2016. First series is built around circle geometry transposed into a figurative painting. Kaláb is covering the surface of canvas with abstract notions of distorted circles to form projections of layered translucent bodies. Trough the acrylic “layers” within the canvas, Kaláb produced an effect of volume and depth, so the spectators could reflect the relationship between the visible and the invisible.
Second series continues research on on circle geometry and examines their geometric perfectibility in spatial mode. Perfectly rounded frames as well as the oblong ones are turned into abstract dynamic objects, called Rainbow Circles. Their vivid colors accompanied by the pastel-tone pieces are introduced for the first time in the The Pluriforme show, even though some of the work from the series exists on the walls worldwide.
The final, the third series of artworks treats two dimensional surfaces as a transformable material, turned into sculptures. Kaláb steps out from the flat surface of the painting, dramatically changing the frames to the windows, by constructing the multilayered volumes. This way, the artist emphasizes the inseparable relationship between the canvas and the frame wood, questioning the very notion on the painting media.
Galerie Openspace is opened in Paris in 2012, under the initiative of the Nicolas Chenus and Samantha Longhi, as continuation of their collaborative work in the magazine Graffiti Art. Series of exhibitions on the Graffuturism movement marked the turning point of the process of discovery and display of young French artists as well some of the most important names of graffiti art scene, presented for the first time in France. Jan Kalab’s show The Pluriforme will open on Saturday, 22nd October, at 6pm and runs from 22nd October to 12th November 2016 at Galerie Openspace 116, boulevard Richard Lenoir, Paris 11e. Gallery space is open from Wednesdays to Saturdays, 2-7pm.
Featured images: Jan Kalab - Red Point composition, 2012; Jan Kalab - Broken Rainbow, 2016; Jan Kalab - Flaming Point, 2004.
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