He Produces Luminous Transcendent Artwork
By Renée Phillips
Frantisek Strouhal was born in Moravia from a family of painters and artists. He currently lives in western Canada. As a creator of exquisite mixed media artwork, which he has titled “Art Embracing Awareness”, he is internationally admired for his flawless use of traditional 19th century techniques combined with his unique contemporary yet timeless artistic vision.
The human form is essential to Strouhal’s art work which he describes as “the most universal symbol of beauty that can stir and satisfy the mind and heart.”
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An Oasis of Tranquility
Figures seem to emerge from a surreal, dreamlike pool of warm sepia tones as if bathed or suspended in an ethereal vapor. As he explains, “Light and texture play the important role of portraying the energy and strength which emanate from beneath the surface of the subjects.”
A myriad of translucent layers and tonal variations enhance the seductive and mesmerizing appeal of his artwork. They are reminiscent of works by Odd Nerdrum, who was influenced by Caravaggio.
“My imagery is meant to serve as an oasis of tranquility, permanence and strength and to capture and highlight what is fundamental to our being and society”.
Strouhal’s subjects transcend their physical qualities and evoke an immediate visceral response in the viewer. They speak to us about the mysterious and complex human experience. They provoke inquiry and reflection upon such notions as transformation in the metaphysical realm of existence.
As the artist explains, “One of its essential aspects explores thoughts and inspirations of an existential nature and investigates the interaction and harmony between the spiritual and the physical world.”
His Slow, Painstaking Process
His choices of brushes, papers, textures and lithographic inks determine the quality of his images. It takes him many hours to build up a depth of ink, layer by layer, to create the desired image. “The processes I use are slow but intense; the result is an image that asks for that time back from the viewer. The painstaking craftsmanship this technique requires brings a sense of intimacy to my art.”
Strouhal believes that as an artist, “you have to synthesize thousands of seconds of seeing and reflect deeply on each step of the process.”
His Exhibitions, Awards and Accolades
Frantisek Strouhal has had numerous solo exhibitions in British Columbia. His many group exhibitions in the United States and Canada include the 2014-15 Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery in Vancouver.
The artist is a recipient of the Gold Medal at the Rotary Centre of the Arts in Kelowna, B.C. for his artwork titled “Time to Breathe” (shown above). The same work of art was selected for the Manhattan Arts International curated art exhibition “The Healing Power of ART”, 2015, from thousands of entries from around the world.
Strouhal also received Awards of Merit at both American Juried Art Salon’s International Fine Art Show and Decorative Arts International Show.
A Personal Renaissance
Strouhal explains, “My work is a reflection of my own personal renaissance. In this fast paced world, at times loud, and discordant the need to go back to our roots, to strengthen the wholesomeness of our being keeps emerging from our conscience. “
For Strouhal the ever-changing narrative approach is an integral part of the artistic process. Upon each viewing a different story unfolds. As he states, “This work exists to connect with others in contemplation, and peace. It is not static, but invites interaction.”
Visit Frantisek Strouhal’s website http://frantisekstrouhal.com/
To learn more about his process watch this video.