Ján Mančuška is one of the Czech artists most frequently invited to show his work abroad today.
His large solo show at the Kunsthalle Basel ended two months ago and the artist has also been part of a number of group exhibitions at institutions around the world. These include shows at the Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento in Italy, Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, Sweden, the Center for Art and Media (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany, Zwirner& Wirth and the Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary in Vienna, Austria. In addition to garnering critical praise, the works of Ján Mančuška are also commercially successful: at the recently concluded Art 39 Basel, Mančuška’s large installation was on display in the Art Unlimited hall and two other installations
could be seen directly in the main exhibition hall.Nevertheless, despite his international success, Mančuška has not had a solo exhibition in the Czech Republic over the past six years (his last large show was at the Václav Špála Gallery in 2002). We would need to travel abroad in order to follow Mančuška’s meteoric rise in the art world in recent years, or be satisfied with reproductions of his work. The tranzitdisplay gallery therefore decided to fill this gap by inviting Mančuška to create something of a “report on his recent work.” This project takes the form of a specific, precise and large-scale installation for the tranzitdisplay gallery space. The curator and the artist decided to put together a show from a selection of Mančuška’s work from the past three years – the installation entitled 20 Minutes After, which was first exhibited at the 2006 Berlin Biennale,
his recent pieces that were shown for the first time at his solo Basel exhibition, and three new works created specifically for the tranzitdisplay show. The individual works are not “merely” installed; Mančuška is known for working with the space where his show is to take place, as well as with other exhibited pieces. The seemingly simple installation plan of individual pieces even contains possible inconspicuous, though well thought-out work with spectator
perspectives and time. As such, the layout of works creates its own story line. Mančuška’s work from 2005 to 2007 had a literary form and orientation. The works often involved materialized texts that were tied either directly to the place they were exhibited or examined the relationship between the time and space of the narrative and the time and spatial experience
of the viewer. Mančuška has focussed intensively on the medium of film since his breakthrough installation Killer Without a Cause.