19 Ikonotřas - 2011-2013, 450x600 cm akryl na OSB desce.-web

Icon-shaker, 2011–201
550×700 cm

This work has been inspired by the Orthodox iconostasis 1/ and Mondrian’s Neoplasticism. 2/ When creating this relationship, my aim was to express a certain degree of incompatibility as well as some affinities.

For his whole life, Piet Mondrian took the path of radical reduction of reality to mathematical relationships expressing the truth behind the world of illusions. One reason for this was to break the image. Based on the Hegelian dialectic, which teaches us that each element is determined by its opposite, Mondrian tried to reduce nature to an orthogonal form of a Cubist grid. I have always been provoked by this prophetic tenacity, which caused me anxiety as opposed to the people who see compositions of Plasticism as a kind of “universal harmony”. So I decided to demonstrate my relationship to Mondrian by doing the opposite of what he sought.

I bought the material for “Icon-shaker” at a Bauhaus store and created it in the DIY style. The rectangular structure consists of wooden beams, while the internal field is made of chipboard from pressed wood waste. Each icon has the name “A picture that looks like painting”. All were “colored” so that each of the chips and shards was painted in the appropriate color, both contrasting and complementary to their surroundings. At the same time the fields of “Icon-shaker” are tuned in colors typical of Neoplasticism, which creates a tension between the expected monochromatic purity and the surface broken into an incomprehensible number of facets. This has led to the illusion of breaking the minimalist field into a pile of shards, which seems like an illusion of the 3D space.

The “white” fields should have the same features. Instead of working with them within the plane of the composition, I removed them, creating a view of reality in the picture. Although the dominance of the grid is optically suppressed, its defining character is highlighted by being projected onto the space behind it. Where Mondrian tried hard to rid the picture of optical illusions, there is now their intense gradation, which in my opinion represents the true breaking of the picture.

The viewer of “Icon-shaker” stands in front of what is not just a painting, but can also be an object or space. What can be all of this together, and maybe none of it.

1/ An iconostasis is a wooden wall with sets of doors in Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic churches, separating the sanctuary from the nave (i.e., a particularly holy spot of the altar from the area for the laity), on which several rows of icons are placed according to a binding system. The iconostasis symbolizes the place where God resides.

2/ Neoplasticism was mainly about abstract purity which according to the representatives of this tendency corresponded to universal, spiritual and harmonious truths about the universe and the place of mankind in it (as stated by Piet Mondrian in his pamphlet “Neoplasticism in Painting” in 1917-1918.)

Mondrian’s Neoplasticism was founded from the very beginning to the end on the search for the destruction of image and form, the destruction of the concrete and of individuality.


A picture that looks like painting
Icon-shaker, 2011–2013

122×150 cm
acrylic on oriented strand board


A picture that looks like painting
Icon-shaker 2011–2013

123×100 cm
acrylic on oriented strand board

Ikonotřes Ikonotřas 1