Praha Berlin Barter | Urban Spree
Jan Kaláb, Michal Škapa, Ira Svobodová, Robert Šalanda, Jan Vytiska, Jakub Nepraš, Jakub Janovský, Michal Cimala
Mar 24th – April 21st 2019 | Opening: Mar 23rd 2019, 6-9PM
In 2006, the civic association Trafacka was formed, comprising a gallery and residential space in an old power station in the industrial district of Prague. Within a couple of years the place was occupied by up to 100 artists living and working in 36 studios, exhibiting more than 200 projects in the Trafo Gallery, and spending more than 8 years cheek-by-jowl in a place that had been set for demolition right from the start. Trafacka gave us strong friendships, hundreds of memories, even a few kids, and was the main reason for building a proper gallery space at the new address of Prague Market, where we have been based since 2016. Now, surrounded by shopping booths in the grounds of the old slaughter house, we are cultivating a new Trafo Gallery and culture centre with four studios in our neighbourhood. The gallery plays host to six exhibitions and six accompany catalogues every year featuring street art, sculptures, painting, video art, and any other medium or style that grabs our attention and is happening on the Czech art scene.
One exhibition per year is sort of barter of international projects and galleries which leads us to Berlin, city of art, angels and friends. Eight artists based in Prague, all with a long relationship with Trafo Gallery and its history – Ira Svobodová, Jan Kaláb, Jakub Nepraš, Michal Cimala, Michal Škapa, Jan Vytiska, Robert Šalanda and Jakub Janovský – made a name for themselves against the backdrop of Trafo and are strong artistic personalities representing different styles.
Ira Svobodová paints precise architectural compositions and creates perspective using colours and shadows, Jan Kaláb is well known in Urban Spree and has deep roots in street-art and perfect colour schemes and shapes. Jakub Nepraš moulds sculptures as a platform for his vivid video-collages of the microscopic worlds of nature and Babylons. Michal Cimala creates sculptures often made from collected material in order to fashion existential compositions. Graffiti legend Michal Škapa works with urban scenery, apocalyptic and architectural destruction, or using expressive colours when inscribing his encrypted rune texts on canvases. Jan Vytiska is a painter of zombie-romantic and surrealistic stories often based in forest settings or in post-apocalyptic times. Robert Šalanda works with paper collages featuring abstract colour shapes and transposes them to canvas, where he playfully upgrades new compositions with colour gradients. Finally, Jakub Janovský is well known for his figurative drawings and black-and-white styling, silicon, enamel, airbrush and sprays, and his ironic take upon societal problems and characters.
All of these artists, whether picturing abstract motives, displaying their view of the world around or in their visions, are the subatomic particles that bind Trafo Gallery qua object together. Without them Trafo Gallery would never exist.
Director of Trafo Gallery