Jan Kaláb

Czechoslovakian

When Jan Kaláb was born in 1978 in Czechoslovakia, graffiti was not to be seen in the Eastern World. In the nineties, as the country was opening itself to western influences, he became one of the pioneer of the local scene, and founded an iconic crew, the DSK. Sleepless nights around train yards, light tubes at police stations and above all hard work on his style: he went through all the classical steps of a writer’s career. Through Europe, he made a name for himself as Cakes. Next step to the Hall of fame: New York, where he made a big impression by painting whole cars in 2000, alongside with Key and Rome. Around the same time, he found a new way to push his own limits and challenge himself: 3-D Graffiti. Under the name of Point, he sculpted huge abstracts letters he chose to put in the streets and on the walls. The highest the better. This was another form of graffiti, in daylight, and without a spray, but truthful to the spirit of competition and innovation of the urban scene. Those sculptures lead him to abstraction, a path he’s been exploring through canvas from 2007, using acrylic painting and brushes. In the meantime, this admirer of Kupka graduated from the Academy of fine Arts of Prague – becoming the first Czech writer to do so. Jan Kaláb had his first solo exhibition in 2008 in Prague. Others solos took place in Romania, Argentina, Germania or in the United States. With time, his forms became more and more geometric. He used colourful squares and circles as an obsessive vocabulary for infinite variations around depth, time, and motion. Playing with circles conveyed organic imperfection and swing into his work. Dynamic is also crucial in his recent experiments, when he took pictures of some of his paintings in the streets of New York or other cities. The project became a social one when he realised he needed help from strangers to carry the canvas. This is no surprise, since collective energy is crucial in his creative process. The artist is very invested in collective events. He’s the co-creator of a highly dynamic cultural space in Prague, called Trafačka. More than 160 exhibitions took place there from the opening in 2006 till the closure in 2015. On his own or collectively, the motto is the same: always getting higher, always inventing new forms – a tribute to the soul of graffiti.

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017 ZOOOM, Magma Gallery, Bologna, IT
2016 Pluriforme, Openspace Gallery, Paris, FR
2016 Pulso Cromático, Castanier Gallery, Bogota, CO
2015 TENSION, BC Gallery, Berlin, DE
2015 ODYSSEY, Lollipop Gallery, London, UK
2015 EXTRA, Villa Pellé, Prague, CZ
2015 Getting Up, Partisan Creative Corner, Soest, DE
2014 ART IN PUBLIC, Pop up exhibition, Šmeralova 6, Praha, CZ
2014 ART IN PUBLIC, Pop up exhibition, 103 Allen Street, New York, USA
2014 AROUND THE POINT, HIC Gallery, Buenos Aires, AR
2013 SALUT, H’art Gallery, Bucharest, RO
2013 FROM POINT TO CIRCLE AND BACK, Oko Gallery, Opava, CZ
2013 POINT / ALTERNATE PLAN(E)S, the Chemistry Gallery, Prague, CZ
2012 GOOD CHOICE, Czech centre, Sofia, BG
2011 KALÁB 33 / PLANETS CROSSING , Trafačka, Prague, CZ
2008 POINT SHOP, Trafo Gallery, Prague, CZ

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017 PERCEPTUAL VERTIGO, Avantgarden Gallery, Milan, IT
2017 NO MORE CREW, Urban Spree, Berlin, DE
2017 ABSTRAKT FORUM, Forum Przestrzenie, Krakow, PL
2017 AVANTARTE X UNITLONDON, the Unit London Gallery, London, UK
2016 POP-UP EXHIBITION, Fabien Castanier Gallery, Miami, USA
2016 ZMRTVÝCHVSTÁNÍ, Trafo Gallery, Prague, CZ
2016 MIMESIS, MAGMA Gallery, Bologna, IT
2016 FRIENDS AND FAMILY, Fabien Castanier Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2016 HZGSJK, Goldenhands Gallery, Hamburg, DE
2016 TRANSBORDER, Fabien Castanier Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2015 OPEN ART – art biennale, Orebro, SE
2015 Et Cetera, MAXXI muzeum, Roma, IT
2014 TRAFACKA – CLOSE, Trafacka gallery, Prague, CZ
2014 ARTMOSSPHERE – 1st streetart biennale, Moscow, RU
2014 OUTSIDE / INSIDE, Tabla Rasa gallery, Brooklyn – New York, USA
2014 TRAFACKA / TEMPLE OF FREEDOM, Red Gallery, London, UK
2014 CHILDREN OF KUPKA, City Hall Putaux, FR
2013 ET CETERA, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Prague, CZ
2012 STUCK ON THE CITY, City Gallery Prague, Prague, CZ
2012 STREET SMART, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, SE
2012 THREE FROM TRAFACKA, Gallery of Modern Art, Roudnice nad Labem, CZ
2011 DE DENTRO E DE FORA, MASP museum, São Paulo, BR
2011 BOUTIQUE, The Chemistry Gallery, Prague, CZ
2010 1st BIENNAL DE GRAFFITI FINE ART, MUBE museum, São Paulo, BR
2010 METROPOLIS, Pavilion of Czech Republic, EXPO 2010, Shanghai, CN
2009 STORAGE, The Chemistry Gallery, Prague, CZ
2009 60 DETAILS project, Moscow, RU
2009 WE BELIEVE IN CRISIS, Trafo gallery, Prague, CZ
2008 NAMES, Trafacka gallery, Prague, CZ
2008 CITY’S CELEBRITIES, Moravian Gallery, Brno, CZ
2008 FACES AND LACES, Moscow, RU
2007 5+kk, Trafo gallery, Prague, CZ
2007 PLANET PROZESS, Senatsreservenspeicher, Berlin, DE
2007 SPACE FOR INTUITION, City Gallery Prague, Prague, CZ
2006 TRAFACKA – OPEN, Trafacka gallery, Prague, CZ
2006 ART BEAT, BG, Amsterdam, NL
2005 CITY OF NAMES, Kunsthalle Bethanien, Berlin, DE
2004 OBJECTIVITY, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, UK
2004 EVERWANTING STREETS, Röda Sten, Göteborg, SE
2003 BACK JUMPS (the Live issue), Kunsthalle Bethanien, Berlin, DE
2003 GENESIS, Ten 15, San Francisco, USA
2003 DA PAINTAZ, NoD Gallery, Prague, CZ
2003 3rd SHOW OF YOUNG ARTISTS, Regional Gallery of Fine Arts, Zlín, CZ
2002 SUBCULTURE, NoD Gallery, Prague, CZ
2002 FRESH MEAT, City Gallery Prague, Prague, CZ
2001 FRAGMENTS 4, Mánes gallery, Prague, CZ