Magdalena Jetelova

Magdalena Jetelova

* 1946

a noted Czech artist, one of contemporary visualartists who have achieved International acclaim. In the form of wooden chairs, staircases and other objects from the late 1970s and the first hall of the 1980s she gave an ironic account of life under the Communist regime. Her participation at unofficial events resulted in her not being allowed to attend international exhibitions. Her artistic activity often bordering on illegality, was reduced to the sphere of artists with a similar outlook on art. In 1983-84 she organized in her former studio in Prague, an event with signalling smoke, thus visualizing the expansion of the "red" conglomeration. Dating from before her emigration is the by now legendary and still unfinished landart project, with the idea of an original underground space called Underground City. After her emigration in 1985, her studio was destroyed. When she lived abroad, she never slackened off in her creative activity. As early as 1983 an invitation came to exhibit in the New Art at the Tate Gallery in London, as the only representative of the Eastern Block countries, and then gradually Magdalena Jetelova joined the international artistic scene.

Sculpture became her original stepping out, outside the galleries. She began to deal with relations between an object and space. She deconstrues the present form of architecture by a new visuallty, destabilizes it slace by intentional reversal  or repetition of elements, and by a general shift in time she uncovers remote or excluded contexts. She was one or the first artists from the post-Communist countries to start applying new technologies and laser light and made use of coded language of GPS coordinates as well as of modern robotic systems. In the continuously improving technology of new media she has found an opportunity for a revival of communication and for mediation of uncommon emotional experience. She is flexible in her response to place, she extracts it from the common context and alters its structure, with the aim of perceiving different interlayers or time and space. She never forgets social aspects either, such as human reights and care of environment.

In 1992-1995 she implemented her monumental project Domestication of Pyramids in several cultural insitutions in Europe, in which she confronted their exhibition space with the strict geometry of Egyptian architecture. Among her other remarkable installations are Translocation I and II in Hannover and Darmstadt In Germany, where she worked with dynamic shifts in space and time. A direct reaction to place itself is found in her other time-cum-space structures. With light beams she marks out directions and makes division or linking visible (Island Project, 1992; Atlantic Wall, 1994-95; Crossing King's Cross, 1996). Ground for her complex creations is found close to landart, conceptual art, and action.

Magdalena Jetelova in 1990-2004 was teacher at the State Art Academy in Düsseldorf, from 2004 to the end of 2012 professor at the Academy in Munich. After 1989 she was a consultant to President Vactav Havel in the Prague Castle. She exhibited in many  prestigious galleries of  the world (e.g. Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona,Tate Gallery of Art London, Museum of  Modern Art New York, Chicago Art Center, Martin-Grophius-Bau Berlin), took part in international exhibitions (Dokumenta 8 in Kassel, Sydney Biennale, Gwangju Biennale in South Korea, 54th Bienale in Venice). On the occasion of being awarded the Lovis Corinth Prize In 2007, a large monograph about her was published. Her work is found in leading world collections, e.g. in Paris in the Musse National d'Art Moderne Centre G. Pompidou, in the Museum der Stadt Darmstadt, The Henry Moore Institute Leeds, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., The National Gallery in Prague.