The sculptor Petr Stanický (1975) has been gaining ground on the fine art scene since 2000. However, his work has been increasingly reflected abroad rather than in his home country. Following a solo exhibition in Strasbourg earlier this year, Stanický is currently presenting two site-specific objects at the famous Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The works of Petr Stanický are also represented in the collections of prestigious museums and institutions, including the Kinsey Institute in the USA, the National Glass Museum in Leerdam, the Pinakothek in Munich, and the National Glass Centre in the UK.
What have been the factors influencing Stanický’s artistic journey, on which he has from the very beginning been passing through foreign experience, and what are the ones shaping it today? Already as a student of the Prague-based UMPRUM, where he studied in the sculpture (Kurt Gebauer) and glass in architecture (Marian Karel) studios, he visited the College of Art in Edinburgh and the Rhode Island School of Design in the USA, followed by a postgraduate programme at the New York Academy of Art. Here, he worked in the studio of Jeff Koons, meeting artists such as Leonid Lerman, Eric Fischl, or Bruce Chao.
His experience with the local fine arts, augmented by the perception of New York City architecture and its structure, based on a rectangular system, provoked the artist's new reflections on the issues of space, the internal order and the possibilities of its verification, but also of its questioning and disruption. Space as the central concept cements Stanický's work, and it is also the main theme of the Zlín exhibition. Nevertheless, we must not forget that the omnipresent denominator of Stanický‘s reflection on spatiality and formation of space is the question of human existence. "Questions of humanity are related to thinking, and thinking is related to the body. The body is both content and space. And space is all around... ". In this context, it is worth mentioning the wall relief Anthropoid 42 (2009), also displayed in the exhibition. In the relief, Stanický with a piety imprinted on a thin lead film the relief on the wall framing the window of the crypt behind which the assailants of the Reich protector were hiding. The work refers to a particular place at a particular time, in close connection with the milestones of human history. An important role is played by the "spirit" of the place that carries the "record" of a past event. In this work, a historically documented fact on the one hand and the idealistic idea of the impregnability of the empire and of the human intangibility on the other hand acquire the meaning of a generally valid bipolarity of reality and illusion.
A relation to a particular space, this time to a gallery environment, determined the selection of another of Stanický's older works, The Great Corner (2004). It is a relatively large object, built on the principle of accurate joining (pegging) of wooden elements. The origin of the shape is a decayed tree trunk that has been carved up, re-cut and re-joined to form an architectural object. The interior of the sculpture, featuring the intermingled wooden mass and empty views through the object, enter into a dialogue with the language of the artificial material of the cetris wall, a dominant element significantly determining the surrounding space. Illusion and the associated language of the variability of "living" permeable forms of the wooden object represents a sensitive reaction to the offensive aspects of the "dead" cetris surface, aspects of a permanent and unchanging state.
Stanický’s site-specific objects are also motivated by respect for location, its tradition and memory. For the Presence exhibition at the Václav Chad Gallery, Stanický used galvanized metal mesh to create a larger installation titled In Place. Built into the smaller gallery room, it grows out of clearly defined spatial layout; however, this layout is dissolved as the installation plays the theme of illusion, delusion and transience. By intermingling masses and spatial plans, using light effects, deflections and reflections, as well as by conceiving the sculpture as a "structure within a structure," Stanický turns the initial system of construction into deconstruction. Similarly as in The Great Corner, the principle of deconstruction (the cutting up of the trunk) was turned into construction (re-joining the individual parts to form a new object). And this is exactly the moment that characterizes the core element of Stanický’s sculpting, namely the continuous dialogue of complementarity of the inorganic and organic world, of the solid and the amorphous, the given and the random, reality and illusion, the reciprocity of fundamental values that give life and sense not only to the processes of creation but also to the existence as such.