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    1981–1989 Series: Gazing

    Series: Gazing

    Even now this painting is very high on my personal scale of importance. My initial conception was to create a simple, yet striking composition evoking a water surface. At the same time, I was examining where we fix our eyes when we are gazing out to nowhere in particular and what is going on in our mind at that moment. Our eyes fix, they tend to rest on a fine structure, although not a strictly constructive one, such as a cloth cover, marble tiling, etc. They seek out a place free from interference by another spatial plane in the form of an object crossing the angle of view at a closer distance. It was then I realized there was an interesting correlation with the way we perceive the landscape. Hardly anybody who has walked up a forested hill can resist stopping at the forest edge to find a place where the vista of the countryside is not obstructed by a branch or plant. And then he simply gazes out. The distant landscape is composed of an underlying slow-paced rhythm of hills, fields and ponds punctuated by a faster-paced rhythm of trees, houses and vehicles. The whole is integrated into horizontal bands with an atmospheric tinge. At a spot like that we just stop and look. We do not think, only absorb and idle. While working on this painting I mixed a complicated tone of blue which ran out just as I was about to finish the first third of the picture. I made an attempt to mix another batch and yet another one a little later. It was not long before I discovered there were differences both in the colour value and saturation. I tried to work over some areas again and again. In the end, the painting was, unintentionally, endowed with a small-scale rhythm and a large-scale fine division into multiple bands.
    I also experimented with gazing out into nowhere when my eyes were fixed on a printed square grid. It proved almost impossible to make the eyes rest in this field. Something was missing there to allow them to rest peacefully. I hold it to be the tension generated by the mechanically repeated simple pattern. Over thousand of years our eye may have grown accustomed to viewing the “soft” natural order and finds the grid irritating. Accustomed or not, the eye and the mind have nothing to cling to and subconsciously glide down minute differences offered by a view of the water surface, a distant landscape or a mass of identical, yet individually created plants in the fields or trees in the wood. Individual articulation of the individual elements in the composition of my paintings is ensured by hand-crafted template-free work which I have more or less consistently employed. One of the Czech art theorists called this procedure “free-hand geometry”.