Lenka Klodová | From the Black Shadow

curators: Vjera Borozan, František Zachoval | National Gallery / Sofia Arsenal

Lenka Klodová’s solo exhibition presents works combining the performative and sculptural approaches that the artist has distinctively applied in her work since the 1990s. The exhibition’s main theme of gender and cultural stereotypes was developed for the Czech Republic’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. For this reason, it is dominated by David cerný (2009–2022), Klodová’s response to the well-known Czech artist’s Entropa, made by Cerný in 2009 on the occasion of the country’s first EU presidency and exhibited in the atrium of the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels. Cerný’s work produced a strong response in the media and on the political level, in particular because of its representation of Bulgaria. Closely related to David cerný is Klodová’s second piece in the exhibition, Geo-Men (2012), which uses a sculptural approach to depict the contradiction between the various figures’ shape and their shadow and thus speaks metaphorically to physical stereotypes and the social status of men and women. A performative and sculptural approach also characterizes her third installation, Torsos (2021), which combines casts of Klodová’s female relatives with recordings of her performances.

Lenka Klodová (*1969) studied sculpture under Kurt Gebauer at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague, from which she earned her doctorate in 2005. Thanks to scholarship programs, she also spent time at the Escola de las Belas Artes in Lisbon and Staffordshire Polytechnic in the United Kingdom. On the surface, her art works with humor, which nevertheless remains ambiguous and offers insight into the subjects that she has explored over the past thirty years. These include motherhood, the body, interpersonal relationships, stereotypes, and sexuality – i.e., themes that have been topical in present-day society. She also organizes the Festival of Naked Forms and since 2010 has headed the Body Design Studio at Brno University of Technology’s Faculty of Fine Arts.