A jubilee is nothing but a date – but it can also be a moment for a short break. Having received a generous offer to prepare an exhibition for the Václav Chad Gallery, I decided – after considering several options – to create a „personal project“ (inspired by several examples from the late 1980s and especially by the exhibition Ladislav Daněk, 2 x 50 / Project - Non-Project, Caesar Gallery, Olomouc, 2008).

„A personal project“, as a way of thanking the people I have met at solo or joint exhibitions of free art or while working with them as a graphic designer. For every author, it is a real joy and enrichment when he or she becomes part of a small miracle, is invited to exchange or acquires a work of an artist internally close to him. The fact that I preferred mostly monochrome works is probably related to the field I have chosen – I immodestly consider myself being a book worker – so black and white matter most.

Each work is associated with a personal story. The stories are very different – from short encounters to friendships lasting many years. +- monochrome has therefore created a framework for presenting more than 120 authors. My apologies go to artists for whom colour is absolutely basic and essential. It is obvious that the choice of works is strongly influenced by the place where you lived for a long time. The backbone of the exhibition is logically made up of artists living in the Zlín region (the so-called Zlín Circle).

Homage, however, should unequivocally be paid to artists, curators, architects, publishers – courageous clients, colleagues and other companions, both those still living and those we can only remember, certainly those I simply could not get to know personally, but the influence of which has been crucial for me. That is why I allowed myself to choose as the main visual carrier of the exhibition the graphic art of a great, exemplary artist, whose genius is still being overlooked – Vojtěch Preissig.

It should be noted that this is not a thoughtfully built collection. And certainly not an art salon. This is not even a curatorial project, but a purely personal view. Life circumstances and coincidences gave birth to this diverse installation. I still feel greatly privileged that, for more than 40 years, I have been able to meet artists on a daily basis, that I could „have my breakfast, lunch and dinner with them“. And that is why, the works of both well-known and barely known artists, small and big, are presented here side by side. Among them are artists of pure heart. In fact, such different works could never be presented in a gallery operating in a classic mode.

I believe that unusual approaches to art and art techniques, the + - monochrome approach, the mutuality of works, their interaction, will give viewers an opportunity to think about the relationships between them. Perhaps the viewers will discover new contexts for themselves and at least a partial answer to the eternal question, what good is art to us, if it exists?

Once more, thank you all from all my heart.
Zdeněk Macháček