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Karel Malich

Karel Malich is an example of an erratic personality, as critics often label artists who have been discovered after 1989 and have gradually been integrated into the history of modern art in the second half of the twentieth century. His work has often been read in the context of Constructivism, but today it is quite clear that its inclusion in that movement is merely conditional. At the same time, Malich’s work is legitimized by a spiritual source like Kandinsky and his occult contemporaries. Malich is presented on the European scene above all as a personality who radically changed the model of contemporary sculpture, dematerialized it, and connected it to the energy field of the widest cosmic space.

The kinetics of immaterial light energy in space, as was brought to art in the 1930s by Zdeněk Pešánek, creator of the first neon sculptures in modern art, was actualized by Malich in his wire objects. The sculpture became an energy event, created in a free space, never as a material fetish for a gallery. The linear constructions of his sculptures bear a latent kinetic potential, and depend on the behaviour of energy over time and change. We can follow the origin of his events in sketchbooks in which Malich systematically recorded his thinking from the 1960s to the 1980s.

 

J.S.

1924, Holice v Čechách / CZ, at that time ČSSR

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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  • (c) Mumok Vienna, photo Lisa Rastl