Jiří Anderle. Cycles: Soldiers and Dialogues

Additional photographs by Jan Saudek.

Consul General Mr. Bořek Lizec of the Consulate General of the Czech Republic will be speaking on the Baruch Foundation as well as the cultural exchange between Czech artists and the Chicago art community at 6:30.

Stephen Daiter Gallery is pleased to offer a selection of outstanding works by one of the twentieth century’s most gifted and prolific artists and draftsman, Jiří Anderle.   Works on display (many in mixed media) include drypoint, mezzotint, colored pencil, pen and ink, and paint.  And, pertinent to our gallery, Anderle has recorded images on film that inspire and inform his graphic work and painting.  Often he incorporates photographs  directly onto the surface of the artwork; Anderle was early in such open acknowledgment of photography. The artist has striven to capture every variation of the human condition through face and figure study, photographing subjects at the moments of peak expression.  Driven by a desire to explain mankind to man, Anderle unceasingly tackles the great themes of beauty, spirituality, sexuality, truth, the darkness of the soul and mortality, in artwork that is crisply executed and viscerally intense.

In the series, Soldiers; Illusion and Reality, the artist is direct.  Here, vintage photographic images show soldiers and their families posing in relaxed fashion.  The quiet-toned, century-old portraits attached to the surfaces of the artworks appear in stark contrast to the drawn, etched and painted figures, which dwarf and counterpoint  their source material.  Those same people now look surprised and anguished – coping with grievous injuries visited upon them by the ravages of war.  Anderle still somehow manages to create works so passionately and humanely rendered, that we are able to appreciate the art in the scene, as we would if we were examining Goya’s Disasters of War series or the D-Day photographs by Robert Capa.  In Anderle’s  various series of paintings and graphics, each of which he calls Cycles, we are made to witnessour place in the cosmos, often with life coming full circle. Truth speaks to power, age confronts youth, and fate shadows hope – with all the complex beauty, confusion, and pain that result.  Here again the splendid drawing creates a framework for engaged contemplation of the work of one of the great moralists of the art world in the second half of the twentieth century.  In the series, Dialogues with the Masters, Anderle juxtaposes the sacred and profane, the interior with the exterior, setting up seeming dialogues among the great artists and artworks of history, with each other as well as between the Masters and labyrinthine graphic creations of his own hard-driven imagination.

Anderle has garnered countless awards and prizes throughout Europe and America.  His paintings and graphics have been shown in hundreds of exhibitions.  He has been widely written about and published. And Anderle’s paintings and works on paper are in the collections of most major museums.