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JUNE 22, 2024 - AUGUST 28, 2024

curated by Reiner Opoku 
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About the Exhibition


Jiří Georg Dokoupil is an artist overcoming genre-specific as well as physical and technical limits. Experimentation and invention have always been the driving forces in his practice. His entire career is marked by breaking with traditional painting views, switching mediums, and not committing to one style. In fact, the artist has been producing works on canvas since the end of the 1970s, and for much of that time, without the help of common painterly means. Instead, he has been using candle soot, car tires, fruit, foam, or soap to create his paintings. The freedom and the challenge of trying out anything art history has to offer and converting it into his cosmos has been a key element of his work since then. 

Dokoupil’s exhibition, Venetian Bubbles, comes once more as a surprise: Even after thirty years of working around his soap bubble painting theme, his elaborate and new group of works exhibited at the Sale Monumentali of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana reveals a completely new approach. He creates sculptures where his once-ephemeral soap bubbles now exist as solid entities within a three-dimensional space. Cheerfully, with a dash of sassiness, he uses bottle racks to “dry” his soap bubbles, manufactured in colorful glass. The temporary character of his paintings is now in a direct dialogue with the impossible: A soap bubble captured and conserved at the peak of its existence. Fragile and shiny, colorful, and strong in its presence, Dokoupil’s new sculptures radiate carefreeness and humor into the space. 

In his very last sculpture – the Open Bubbles Condensation Cube – made as a kind of homage to his former teacher Hans Haake, and his Condensation Cube from 1963–68, Dokoupil was able to create a system inside an existing system by adding glass-bubbles inside a box filled with condensed water.

© Reiner Opoku

Images: Studio Dokoupil, courtesy of the artist

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