Jiří Hauschka - I heard a twig snap, the wind rustled in the forest wastes
With the paintings of Jiří Hauschka (born in 1965 in Šumperk, Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic), we enter an environment where there is a confrontation, or rather a symbiosis, between man and landscape. The natural environment influences us more than we admit. Some painters have long felt this way, especially in places where there is more nature, i.e. in the northern parts, with forests and lakes, or in the southern parts, with jungles and waterfalls. There, the events connected with man are perhaps more raw, more real, more on the skin. Civilization, however, cannot escape even into the wildest forests. Especially when we meet painters there, whether in fantasy or in reality.
In the last two decades we have seen painting looking back on its history. How it looks back at its possibilities, how it traces what is still attractive and alive in past layers, and how it is surprised to find that it can still refresh the contemporary viewer with its colours, transparencies, compositions or gestures, and at the same time be attractive to contemporary artists. And he discovers that figurative motifs, set in this or that spatial or landscape configuration, have a visual and semantic potential that excites and appeals to people today as much as it did in the decades or centuries before us. Fragments of visuality from the past are put together with fragments of imagery from today.
Jiří Hauschka turns to the type of painting for which colours and symbolic connotations are important, as was the case at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries - in this period, Jiří Hauschka refers in particular to the Canadian painter Tom Thomson, who lived from 1877 to 1917 - or happens in the studios of contemporary artists such as Daniel Richter or Peter Doig. Reality is transformed in the painter's narrative into a layered narrative, where artistic memory is mixed with new experiences, insights, desires, and emotional stirrings. In the case of Jiří Hauschka, we find ourselves in the wilderness, the wilderness of painterly nostalgia, where we search for the human, and in urban civilization, that civilization which is on the verge of its possibilities, and where we thus feel and see the colours of the wilderness. We may, after all, have the legitimate impression that nothing is as it seems at first, at second glance. We are each safe in the forest. A snapped twig does not frighten us, the hoot of an owl heralds peace and tranquillity. The wind rustles through the trees. The surface of the lake glistens in the vista. Images and colours save us from reality. Forever?