Marie Kohoutková

* 2000

Marie Kohoutková is a painter working at Studio Barvolam. Her colorfully expressive large-format paintings create a world reflecting the artist’s momentary interests, perception and the creative process itself. Marie began her career as an artist in the intimate circles of her family and friends as a way of non-verbal communication, allowing her to connect more closely with her surroundings and express her inner drive. Today, she attends Studio Barvolam regularly and works independently on her paintings, which bring her a great sense of gratification. While Marie doesn’t talk much about her paintings, they are very vocal and bold, not lacking a unique, dynamic signature.

Human figures and tigers are recurring motifs in her paintings. The human figures are inspired by scenes from Marie’s favourite musical film, Mamma Mia, and songs by the popular 1970s and 1980s band ABBA. The tigers are then often depicted in perspective with their heads looking at the viewer en face, with the characteristic stripes heavily defined on a brightly-colored background. The figures tend to feature large round eyes (often monochrome), which, in some paintings visually conflate with the whole head of the given figure. Despite the simplicity of the motifs, the paintings are dense in expression and have a very strong and expressive feel, although they are subject to a meticulous technique that is readily apparent in the artist’s work. The subjects of her paintings uncompromisingly occupy most of the large format, with clusters of people forming a dense network of bodies whose outlines are not always distinctly marked. Animals and figures are abstracted in an impressive way.

Marie Kohoutková uses oil pastels on paper as the main medium for her work, allowing for rich, unmixed shades of color in her paintings, while also retaining the dynamism of her strokes. Marie lays out her motifs onto colorful surfaces that please her admirers. The evenness of color, as well as the space expressed by the layering of color through the use of oil pastels, is significant to Marie. The overlapping colors use complementary as well as contrasting palettes, and interesting color spectrums. The work is very visually striking and yet in no way could it be described as simplistically decorative. Its power is undeniable.

The dynamism and deliberation are evident already in the creative process, in which the artist works on large formats made from a cut paper roll hung taut on the wall. She works with individual, bright colors. With precision and artistic intent, she physically moves closer and further away from the surface upon which she works, exercising control over the composition and color distribution. The process shows artistic self-confidence, as do the movements of her body, which transform into the individual strokes and the final product. The preference for large surfaces and fast, though meticulous, work, like the bright colors, reflect not only the artist’s creative confidence and vision, but also her passion and interest in the subjects depicted in her work. The paintings are created in a number of hours or an afternoon of constant concentrated work in the studio. This young painter’s deep immersion is admirable.

While Marie Kohoutková is unbelievably productive in her art, each of her works has a very specific atmosphere, quality and visual power. At the same time, it is clear that some paintings can be grouped into certain thematic series. Her signature style is recognizable and creates a visually coherent work. The large format then gives her works visual impact and grandeur that does not detract from their playfulness and adds gravitas. Although we already see a great deal of consistency at this point in Marie’s work, it is evident that Marie Kohoutková has continually evolved as an artist over the last few years – even over the last few months. We can continue to look forward to seeing where her artistic studio practice will take her as Marie continues to work on her painting style.

To watch her work in the studio, observing her systematic approach and deep immersion, and to see the works in person to scale is an experience that can further deepen one’s level of humility towards the process of creating a work and increase one’s appreciation of an already unique, distinctly memorable body of self-standing art .

Tereza Silonová, 2021