MATRIX 164 / Jan Tichy
April 5 – August 5, 2012
Diverse pursuits converge in the mesmerizing installations of Jan Tichy. Typically presented in darkened spaces, sculptural and architectural elements are illuminated by moving projected light. Tichy constructs beautiful formal spaces that subtly reveal social and political themes. The Czech-born artist grew up in Prague in the years leading up to the non-violent, anti-communist Velvet Revolution (1989). Learning of his Jewish heritage in his late teens, he later moved to Jerusalem and studied political science―soon changing to photography and sculpture―amid the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Politics are ingrained in his being, but rarely overtly expressed in his work. For Tichy, now based in Chicago, the urban setting is often the most highly-charged site of political differences. Therefore, he often uses iconic and symbolic architecture to explore issues of power in his work. Tichy’s MATRIX exhibition is in three parts. He has selected two installations that relate to the city of Hartford and to the landscapes of the Hudson River School, one of the signature painting collections of the museum. In addition, the artist has created a new work that specifically addresses the history of the Wadsworth Atheneum.
As with every upcoming MATRIX artist, Tichy visited the museum many months in advance of his exhibition in order to meet the staff, see the MATRIX gallery, explore the museum, experience the city, and, ultimately, formulate a concept for his exhibition project. The works presented in MATRIX 164 are Installation No. 6 (Tubes), 2008; Installation No. 11, 2010; and Installation No. 14 (Austin), 2012. The centerpiece of Tichy’s exhibition is Installation No. 14 (Austin). The artist explains, “The subject of the installation is the institution itself―the museum―its buildings, collections, staff, audience and history, which is questioned through the story of Chick Austin.” Learn more about MATRIX 164 from the artist sheet.