2021, iron, sheet metal

Martin Kocourek (1976, Jablonec nad Nisou)

A graduate of Kurt Gebauer’s sculpture studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, Kocourek currently lives and works in Kolín. He spent two years studying in New York. Besides several residencies in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, in 2018 he participated in the prestigious Reviving Humanity Memorial residency in Egypt, held under the auspices of President al-Sisi.

Kocourek’s work is easily recognized by the contrast between the material he uses (usually waste) and his works’ tender poetics, subtle irony and deep, intellectual content. Working with a light hand, he recycles industrial waste to create objects and installations with a distinctly symbolic charge. The main foundation for his artistic approach is the subject of spirituality, often implemented in the form of rusting metal objects, thus creating a sense of tension from the contrasts apparent in his work. Other terms by which one can describe Kocourek’s work include recycling, post-production and the aesthetics of the superstructure. He is often referred to as a “metallurgical poet of matter”.

Kocourek’s most recent series of works was on the subject of flowers. The artist himself succinctly describes his objects as follows: “I suppose my flowers are beautiful because they resemble actual flowers. But the scale and material is not the same. Sheet metal as solid and sharp as a knife. The delicate ephemerality of a flower, preserved for all eternity. And an almost unsettling size, big enough to make a person standing next to the sculpture feel like a bug from Kafka’s Metamorphosis. And yet its predominant quality is beauty. Beauty and ugliness, light and darkness: I must celebrate the contrasts on which the world is built.”

Lily was made for GASK as a one-of-a-kind sculptural work for the Jesuit gardens, where you will find it next to the staff house not far from the water stage.