Šárka Koudelová

  • Czech Republic (b. 1987 in České budějovice)
  • Currently in Prague, Czech Republic.


  • Sum up the main character of your work, your long-term interests and themes.

Altough I spend most of the time painting, I understand exhibiting as my main and most exciting media. I use any method or media possible to follow the idea. Every exhibition, or even a participation in a group show, is a coherent project, for which I prepare comprehensive situation with inner relations. My goal is to transfer the visual perceptions and emotions, which are, in my perception, connected with the idea I work on.

My diploma from three years ago (Everything What Is at Present And Why Is Quattrocento Seriously Contemporary, 2016) dealt with principles that connect artefacts of Italian quattrocento with current painting trends. However, it was not just a formal parable but a relativization of time flow which I tried to create by removing the so called “airbag” between an image and a viewer. This basic motive, i.e. the polemic over the relationship of man to the flow of time, has stabilized in my thinking over the three years I have spent actively on the art scene. I believe that my distrust of human perception of history has been projected in my creative approach even before the diploma. Even the painting technique I use relativizes the benchmark of human life as our natural timer. Even though this slow way painting did have a specific trigger, it became my natural language after all. My painting form has developed from depicting my own mineral collection that I have had since my childhood. Each thin tier of oil colour that I create by miniscule movements of the tiniest brush possible, leaves behind a layer that initially imitated geologic sedimentation of material. As this method perfectly depicts my philosophical understanding of the world, it has become my natural language. My recent works are often related to historic motives and content links as well. They are not mere interpretations of classical works but rather targeted ignorance of deep-rooted distance. Naturally, this polemic over time distances has spread also to geographic kriteria in sense of cultural origin (like in „hot sand between the sandal and the foot“, 2019, Zahorian Van Espen, Prague). We perceive history and the geopolitical situation as a given reality, but I try to show the audience that time is not just linear and our society concept is not as stable as it may seem.

  • Describe the context of your work – what are your inspirational sources and theoretical starting points, which artists and tendencies do you consider as referential to your work.

In my diploma project mentioned in the first paragraph, I tried to create unusual parallels, which I stated in the theoretical part. There was one I still think of. I found out that there is a connection between the post-Gutenberg acceleration of the dissemination of visual motifs and the current super-acceleration of visual perception thanks to the internet. We all follow the same blogs and instagram accounts. Thus, it is not that suprising that I feel more connected with some foreign art scenes, no matter there is just a virtual connection for now. I guess it is because my interest in borderline between the western and the eastern civilization, that I feel a connection with many Middle-Eastern artists or those with such roots. For example, I appreciate the work of Jordan Nassar, Arghavan Khosravi, Wael Shawky or Michael Rakowitz. I also like the creative strategy of Camille Henrot, David Czupryn, Christoph Knecht and I am grateful for the path established by Kiki Smith, Judy Chicago and the Czech genius and feminist Toyen.

  • Try to characterize what makes your work specific, wherein lies its force, what makes it different from the work of artists with similar approaches and themes.

Besides my own art practice, I curate shows of other artists too. I started to curate in 2012, when we opened gallery with my husband, artist Ondřej Basjuk. Altough our small space focused on works on/of/with paper closed due to gentrification in 2015, I actually didn’t have a pause in curating. On a regular basis, I curate exhibitions of foreign residents in Prám studio in Prague from 2018 till now. I think, this connection with curating has opened my own creative strategy to new approaches on one hand and on the other it refined my personal focus.

Despite of being labelled mostly as a painter, I don’t feel that usual pressure of the machistic clichés, which are, in my opinion, strongly connected with painting itself. And especially within the Czech art scene. You can often hear that the larger the painting, the better. I think that my focus on small formats on wood or any other minuscule work and a special sense for inner relations, historical links and my ability of working in any media possible and of preparing particular choreography for each project, is something I can rely on.

  • What is your work process like? Do you deal with preparation and research? How do you search for your themes? How do you choose the media you work in?

Altough I usually create a whole project with a research behind it and my exhibitions often look like very strictly built compositions, suprisingly, the image of the situation mostly appears quite intuitively on my mind. Since my art practice creates one stream with my life, the topics and motifs of my shows come very naturally. I usually got inspired by something I have red in the news or an ancient artwork connects with some recent emotions in the society. I percieve the art from ancient to baroque as very conceptual. They always used particular materials and colors, which had a specific meaning. I tend to work in the same manner.

  • What is your vision for the future? How do you want to develop your work and continue your previous projects/realizations? What is your long-term goal/dream?

One of my dream exhibitions will take place next year. I always wanted to present my view of art as an interconnected stream of relations, culture similarities and butterfly effects. I will have an exhibition in which I will use both my art and curatorial practice to create a space for artworks made by guest artists. For now, this show bears a provisional title „The Gentle Spirit“.