From 9th June to 25th July 2010 the GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo presents an exhibition dedicated to the works of the Czech poet and artist Jirí Kolár.
The show – curated by Giacinto Di Pietrantonio and Helena Kontova – is based on the book Jirí Kolár. The book, from an idea of Helena Kontova and published by Giancarlo Politi, is a sort of “dictionary” written by Kolár himself and has been used as a guideline in the show’s setup in the Museum’s four rooms on the first floor.

The show – comprising 99 collages (one of the artist’s favourite techniques that he started in the 1930s) – is intended as a homage to the artist’s activity through a survey on the most relevant collages realised between the 1950s and the end of the 1970s.

Kolár stated:
Life continually lays on us new layers of invisible paper. The last layer makes us forget the previous one. And when we manage to peel off or even rip off some layers we are surprised to see how many things there are inside us. How many things time has erased that we still have inside us! Things that can awaken inside us and come back to life”. (Jirí Kolár, Giancarlo Politi Editore, 1986).

Writings on paper stand at the heart of the art of Kolár – an artist whose works express the breakdown of grammar rules and propose the use of a free language based on voids and silence.
Kolár’s works are realized with various materials and different techniques: printed texts or writings in a foreign language or incomprehensible characters; geometric symbols (stars, spirals, concentric waves); old incisions; reproductions of famous paintings. Sometimes these writings refer to the simple shapes used by Kazimir Malevic (like the black square), to Paul Klee or to the cut canvases by Lucio Fontana.

The artist treated the collage technique as a scientific matter, listing in his Dictionary of Methods a sort of lexicon of all the techniques he invented and used: unusual and sometimes bizarre terms such as anticollage, hole collage, tactile and narrative collages, perforated poems (in colour, with knots and razor blades), rollage, crumplage, ventilage. Or the renowned chiasmage, fragments of images or texts – in Latin alphabet, Hebrew, gothic, Arab, and Chinese ideogram that Kolár took from different sources (like the Larousse dictionary, the Bible, the Koran, star atlases, scores, train timetables etc.) and the madgrammes, made by the lines traced by an encephalogram.