Jiří Černický’s work is full of expressive changes, tense gestures and unique humor. Each of this author’s works hides a strong story in terms of content, but also in terms of the search for adequate means of expression. Yet if we want to formulate a certain unifying line of his endeavors, then it is necessary to mention, above all, his unceasing capacity for almost childlike wonder, as well as his willingness to communicate openly, often at knifepoint.
Černický’s methods of expression are not limited to any particular medium; his range extends from classical painting, through video, objects, installation and performance, to personal engagement and the artist’s poignant physical participation in challenging projects such as Tears for Ethiopia (1993-94). At that time, the artist first collected tears from local inhabitants in containers placed in the shop window of the Emil Filla Gallery in Ústí nad Labem which he then personally handed over to the head of the monastery in the Ethiopian town of Lalibela after a month-long arduous journey.
Černický made his mark on a wider audience with his project First Schizophrenia Produced in Series (1998), when he commissioned the production of ceramic helmets stylized in the facial expression of Munch’s famous painting The Scream. In the same year, he became a laureate of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award.
Jiří Černický also used this ambiguous approach in one of his most formally dynamic works, the multimedia installation SONY Garden from 2002. The author entered a communication process with representatives of a multinational company and received their material support. The sponsor’s donation in the form of dozens of various hi-tech electrical appliances (monitors, video players, printers) was then destroyed by Černický, primitively and laboriously, and from the material thus obtained he assembled a kind of minimalist Zen garden.
However, this relativizing approach is not only typical of Černický’s spectacular and conceptually distinct installations, but also manifests itself in his seemingly lighter and aestheticizing painting projects. As an example, we can undoubtedly mention the bravura pictorial cycle Bin Laden’s Lamp from 1999, in which the author combines the principles of color and shape ornamentalism with a distinct social theme.
Research, interest in archives, and the phenomenon of manipulating the public with seemingly serious facts materialized in Gagarin’s Things in 2006.
In 2016, Jiří Černický prepared a specific project for the Rudolfinum Gallery, a solo exhibition entitled Wild Dreams, based on a series of more than fifty drawings and comprising an equal number of objects and installations, more than half of which were created specifically for the exhibition.