Andrej Dúbravský (1987) is one of the most distinctive Slovak painters of the present. Since his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, the young visual artist, who continues to garner greater international respect, has been attracting attention with his combination of provocative themes and a masterful technique that brings the possibilities of today’s painting up to date. To him, a picture is not only a way of thinking about the world, the possibility to question its stereotypes and corporate “truths”, but also a diary entry and the most intimate reflection on his own life.
Thus, the environment has been one of his main topics since 2015, in connection with his permanent relocation to the countryside, by which he compensates his yearly long-term stays in New York, at least partially. At the same, Andrej Dúbravský monitors the microcosmos of his garden equally attentively as the omnipresent chemical and industrial reality that leaves its mark on every moment of a human life. The first area is deep beneath the resolution of the human eye, while the other is so commonplace that hardly anybody notices it. The more his symbolic painting, which even includes the use of coloured pencils, approximates a naïve or child’s expression to the eye, the more apocalyptic consequences it conceals.
We are living on the brink of an environmental disaster. Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide used to kill weeds. It has been globally popular with both large growers and amateur gardeners for more than thirty years. Thus, it has been accompanying Andrej Dúbravský’s generation from birth. It is so widespread that it has even been detected in human urine and in mother’s milk. It increases the risk of cancer by 41%. The Czech Ministry of Agriculture announced in January that it would not impose a blanket ban on its use, and so glyphosate orgies may continue. This is another topic featured in the Andrej Dúbravský exhibition.
Aleš South Bohemian Gallery is the only art museum in the South Bohemian Region, and one of the five largest institutions of its kind in the Czech Republic. It started its activity on the 1st January 1953 and got the name of the south bohemian painter Mikoláš Aleš (1852-1913). Its main residence is a former neo-gothic castle riding school in Hluboká nad Vltavou (built 1845-1847 by the Viennese architect Franz Beer, and subsequently adapted by a Budweiser architect Jaroslav Fidra in 1953-1955). The castle riding school AJG holds the main exposition projects of the season. In 1967 a branch was established - AJG ceramics department, which is located in a refurbished building of the former castle brewery in Bechyně. A renovated Wortner House was opened in České Budějovice for exhibition purposes in 1993. It is a Gothic building restored in a Renaissance style. Alšova South Bohemian Gallery offers a wide selection of expositions from their own collections and also projects created in a cooperation with external curators, galleries and private entities. Apart from this there is a rich accompanying program of guided tours, lecture series, concerts. A newly established educational center organizes creative educational programs for kids and youths, art studios and teachers.