Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Ira Svobodová’s White Spaces


I am all about the newest Pacific Standard Time initiative, Modern Architecture In L.A., so it’s no surprise to myself that I’m drooling over the ideological spaces painted by artist Ira Svobodová. Svobodová is a young Czech artist who is heavily influenced by architecture, both by the futurists who established modern architecture in the form of Bauhaus after the first World War, and by the modernist architecture that occurred in Europe and the U.S. following the second World War — presumably architecture influenced by the savvy design of southern California in the late 1940s – mid 1960s. Svobodová has her first US solo exhibition at CES Contemporary in Laguna Beach, CA with a show entitled White Space, on view through May 30th.

Taking theoretical inspiration from the Constructivists, White Space is a series that constructs ideological interior spaces. The artist writes: “Everything emanates from light and is ideologically created. White is the color of light – something that is actually colorless and, in terms of optics, conceals a wide range of colors, therefore containing the possibility of all other colors.” Following that introduction, I take to understand that the subtle background planes in her paintings are the white ideological spaces, while the pin-sharp rays of neon color form the possibilities of the spaces — spaces which the viewer is free to construct with plasticity.


Beyond the mental workout that these works offer, they’re beautiful to look at — linen panels painted with pure acrylic gels in carefully glazed, razor-sharp layers. They remind me a little of another obsession of mine: California hard-edged abstraction, made popular in — you guessed it! — the late 1940s to mid 1960s. Maybe it’s hip to be “square”.

Images courtesy of CES Contemporary.

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