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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

Jitka Hanzlová: One to One at Yancey Richardson Gallery

Image Above: © Jitka Hanzlová, Untitled, 2012 and Untitled, 2012. Courtesy of Yancey Richardson Gallery.

 

Yancey Richardson Gallery is ready to present "One to One", the galleryʼs second solo show of photographs by Czechoslovakian-born artist Jitka Hanzlová. Developed between 2007 and 2014, the exhibitionʼs images meditate on the figure of the horse, a subject as old as the history of art, and express the artistʼs profoundly personal relationship with these animals while renewing the role of the horse as a subject for artistic exploration.

The title "One to One" refers to the relationship between human and horse, which must remain equal despite their inequality in physical power, for over six thousand years. As Jesus Carrillo Castillo notes in his essay for the retrospective catalog Jitka Hanzlová, “Images of horses in the media and in the collective imagination, where they have evolved since childhood, are much more deep-rooted than our experience of the actual animal... Hanzlováʼs photographs set out to return to a state in which the depiction of the horse is united with an intense experience of it and to a time when the experience of the horse was in turn linked to many other, equally lost experiences.”

JitkaHanzlova2© Jitka Hanzlová, Untitled, 2012 and Untitled, 2011. Courtesy of Yancey Richardson Gallery.

 

Drawing on her own life story, Hanzlováʼs photography subtly explores the ways in which home and surroundings indelibly shape identity. It constitutes an imaginative investigation of ʻbelongingʼ at the turn of the twentieth century. Born and raised in former Communist Czechoslovakia, Hanzlová fled to Essen, Germany in her early 20s where she lives and works today. This essential experience is reflected in all of her series.

JitkaHanzlova3© Jitka Hanzlová, Untitled, 2011 and Untitled, 2011. Courtesy of Yancey Richardson Gallery.

 

In "One to One", Hanzlová portrays the horse: seen at a distance within its environment, in its own reality as an individual. She also conveys her emotional response to her subject through enigmatic images of details. An ear, a rump, a mane, a tail, all intently observed, relay the artistʼs deeply felt, visceral experience of the animal. The images are evidence of familiarity with and proximity to the horse conjuring its mystery and otherness of being.

JitkaHanzlova4© Jitka Hanzlová, Untitled, 2010 and Untitled, 2014. Courtesy of Yancey Richardson Gallery.

 

As Hanzlová notes, “Their stillness seems to be endless, far in their own time.” Jitka Hanzlová has lived in Germany since 1982. She has had solo exhibitions in several international museums, including the Museum Folkwang, Essen; the Fotomuseum, Winterthur; the Stedelijk, Amsterdam and Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany. The Fundacion Mapfre, Madrid, presented a retrospective exhibition in 2012 which traveled to the National Gallery, Edinburgh in 2013. She is the winner of the 2007 BMW Prize at Paris Photo, the 2003 Grand Prix Award, Arles, and was shortlisted for the 1999 and 2002 Citibank Photography Prize. Monographs on the work of Jitka Hanzlová include Bewohner (1996), Rokytnik (1997), Female (2000), Forest (2005), Hier (2013) and the forthcoming Cotton Rose (2015). Her work is held in the permanent collections of several major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Stedelijk Museum, Museum Folkwang, Essen and the Fotomuseum Winterthur, among many others.

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