T E X T S . . .

Introductory speech at the opening of K.G. s exhibition

The sculptural type of Kurt Gebauer is inseparably linked with the late I 960s, a period when on the one hand, absurdity was something socially Inevitable, perhaps even amounting to the sole option for those wishing to come to terms with life, and on the other; there opened up previously unthinkable avenues of artistic freedom and experimentation. It was then that Kurt Gebauer discovered a new sculptural (or was it still sculpture?) vocabulary: he set out to stuff his sculptures, let them float in the air, and had them styled according to sewing patterns. Before long, by encompassing within his idiom a family of dumb dwarf figurines, he annexed even the space previously reserved for kitsch, including its political variety: his sculptures were contorted with laughter; he let his dwarfs wave to the crowds from the rostrum, or even let them grow up to monumental dimensions as they pointed to the other side of the slaughterhouse. That was long ago, indeed it was still before the Velvet - or; as some no longer hesitate to call It, Carnival - Revolution; as if he were echoing these voices, Kurt Gebauer has now launched onto the surface of the pond In Prague's Seminářská zahrada park a group of giant floating dolls, calling their assembly eloquently enough, Czech Pond. There, all of a sudden, it has transpired that his sculptures are not just falling apart with laughter; at the same time, they are sad. Actually, the fact that even at a time when cynical indifference and banality are more "in" than most other attitudes and qualities, Gebauer does not balk at sadness, is very much his strength.

Jan Hlaváček, 1995