The contemporary sculptures by the Czech artist Pavlína Kvita, evoking human or animal figures, give shape to the images from her inner universe and the poetic way she looks at the world. Halfway between figurative art and abstract art, they impose themselves in space with a blend of strength and balance conferred on them by their curved, dynamic and pared down lines.
Architecture as a subject of study and a source of inspiration
Pavlína Kvita was born in 1988 in Valašské Meziříčí, in the Czech Republic, but she currently lives and works in Prague. The artist began her work in sculpture at the School of Applied Arts in Uherské Hradiště, then continued her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague between 2009 and 2015, in the sculpture department headed by Lukáš Rittstein and Jaroslav Róna.
The artist was initially interested in the transformation of the landscape and in architecture, especially the suburban development of large urban agglomerations. For a long time, she mapped the suburbs and studied the fabric of the monotonous buildings that characterise them, fascinated by these places that have no precise identity, having neither the attraction of towns and cities, nor the charm of natural landscapes.
Her first production consisted of three-dimensional objects or relief murals which were personal reinterpretations of suburban landscapes, thus transformed into imaginary landscapes. These architectural models, fragments evoking futuristic and apocalyptic worlds, encourage onlookers to explore these enigmatic places devoid of fixed rules and set limits.
Pavlína Kvita's poetic vision – inner space shaped into sculpture
Over time however, the artist felt the need to develop a more personal artistic approach. She has commented on this, saying: “The difference between the subject of architecture and what I do now is that, before, I used to view the world from the outside and I was inspired by the things I saw. Now, my gaze has turned towards this inner world, which I find much richer and more mysterious.”
Pursuing her artistic research guided by purifying natural and organic forms, Pavlína Kvita began creating anthropomorphic or zoomorphic figures. The essence of these torsos and imaginary creatures, imbued with personal symbols and mythologies, is defined in space by lines that tend towards abstraction. The figures seem both familiar and at the same time enigmatic, curious, and almost magical.
They assert their silent and timeless presence through a stable yet dynamic balance, as if they were in slow but constant motion, or as if animated by a kinetic impulse. Art historian and curator Iva Mladičová wrote about them, commenting that: “The artist's desire for the integrity of space is evident through the compositional principles of certain works, while the desire for integrity of time is evident in her creation of archaic forms and futuristic forms”.
A creative process based on destruction and creation
Pavlína Kvita's creative process begins with a wax model which is then reproduced to actual scale in clay based on a wooden framework. Having completed the clay sculpture, the artist creates a plaster mould into which she pours what will eventually become the final sculpture, after sanding and polishing. For her works with organic shapes, the contemporary sculptor uses materials that evince an industrial aesthetic, especially her use of reinforced concrete and iron. She also often uses Acrystal, a material made of aqueous acrylic resins and natural mineral crystals.
Pavlína Kvita establishes a very close relationship with the material, which is the basis of her sculptural work: “I really need to feel the work in my hands, to find it by breaking it down and destroying it, and then rebuilding it again. For me it is a process of destruction and creation, just like the process we see at work in life.” Her sculptures are the final image, the final point where the artist stops this process of exploring shapes and their possibilities.
Awards, prizes and exhibits in art galleries and public institutions
Pavlína Kvita has participated in numerous sculpture competitions in the public space. Her work has been recognised through several awards, including first prize in the “Sculptures for Prague 3” competition in 2014. Her works have been exhibited in the Czech Republic and in Europe, during personal or collective exhibitions run by art galleries and public institutions. These include “Andante” at the Czech Centre in Milan (Italy, 2015), the “Leinemann Prize” at the Czech Centre in Berlin (Germany, 2014), “Sculpture Now” at the Ministry of Culture in Prague and “Merzbau” at the National Theatre of Prague (Czech Republic, 2012 and 2010).