Profiles

Substance is form.

One of the classical beliefs connected with sculpture is that a sculptor sets free forms which are enclosed in matter. A torso seems to already exist in a block of marble. The only thing that has to be done is take a chisel and set it free.

Václav Litvan works with the mingling of the concrete and the universal, their collisions, blending and deformations. We do not see only the concrete in front of us, but simultaneously we always see the unseen – the universal. The analogy, universality, which refers to the structure of the world. Proportions, fragmentariness and supplementation, completion, substitution. The same as the motif of the cross in Václav Litvan´s work made for Věra Jirousová Award, which endlessly multiplies the same as a kind of fractal of which we can see just a fragment. And the same as a piece of the cubic cross is missing, because the thickness of the tree trunk did not allow him to enlarge the volume and imitation hollow wood had to be added.

“I´m not able to come up with an idea, go out and buy material and then do it. Something has to come up to me and make an impression on me or I have to be searching for something and when I find it, I turn it into something.” Material is not a black formless matter which has to be enclosed in the purity of an ideal, geometrical form, but on the contrary, it is already fully laden with that form. Matter already contains its form the same as a soap bubble will form an ideal sphere. The method that Václav Litvan uses might be called logical form. The actual contains the potential. The result is somehow already present in things and all what needs to be done is to set it free, let it show up, let it find shape.

The attractiveness of material, its wear-and-tear, patina, roughness, tendency to crumble, all this helpful. Because you can never even come close to the purity of metastructures. Therefore Litvan focuses on the moment when the archetype is almost vanishing or is just coming to the surface. The moment of a sort of merging. Imperfection supports the outlining of form. As if he was trying to capture the essence of things, that is not only what we can see, as something that is shown to us, but in addition as what an actual object is – something that is never quite visible and something that cannot be explained exactly either. Therefore that emphasis on the tension between the outside and inside, the surface and core, hollowness, imitation, sheathing, coating. Or on the contrary emphasis on the solidity and weight of material. Stretching, tension, expansion. Carving, biting. Drawing on a sculpture. Projections, sections. His works are never completely finished nor unfinished. They are never even completely independent, neither completely incorporated in the surrounding installation. They concurrently show individual categories of one single object. The point is to freeze them at the right moment to capture their inaccessible integrality. The moment of both their birth and disintegration. Flash of understanding.

The works by Václav Litvan are their own notions, self-definitions. They are objects cut out of the universe, tattooed with their own portraits, growing through many individual incarnations into themselves, they are a frozen flash of the evolution axis, a merging of all the sections of the time line.

Michal Novotný

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