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Milos Sejn Archives

THE MOVEMENT OF THE EYES AND THE HANDS ARE NOT WATCHING CONTOURS, BUT PENETRATION INTO THE WHOLENESS OF THE UNIVERSE.
 

Artist.s Books

In the last years Šejns drawings have fundamentally changed – for many years they had been technically traditional studies registering the shape characteristics of natural details, plants, animals, stones, details of rocks or the shaping of the whole countryside. Permanent returns to one motive, the effort of recording it – similar to the series of photographs – in its various changes, at the end of the seventies led to books drawn with pencil, later with lead, variations on the theme of the ravine. These books were further varied by the author by untraditional means either in his studio (blind-prints and perforated drawings) or direct in the open air. 

With Stone on Stone, 1981-1982

There were drawings with stones found at the drawn place – they stand at the beginning of a nowadays already very large series of drawings and drawn books that react direct to material found by Šejn in nature. Now he does not any longer draw nature, he draws by nature – with the edges of stones, but especially with natural pigments, leaves and blossoms of plants and trees, smashed lichens, mineral paints. 

Touch Book, December 21, 1983

Writing, drawing and transformed books

Down The Maple Brook / Giant Mountains 1995-2005

The drawing does not describe, but it immediately contacts a natural situation, points to it in form of a shortened recording, sometimes accompanied by a textual commentary. Sometimes there is the direct natural material – the flower itself is the recording of the colour, it evokes the situation of a certain place (Books about the garden, 1985). 

His collection of natural pigments, beginning in the year 1979 gets the character of an autonomous work of art; the single specimens, completed by precise local and temporal data can be considered the most elementary form of pointing to a certain natural situation, its reflexion. Large frottages of rock walls are reproductions of stone reliefs and at the same time a means of collecting natural pigments in the original situation, the frottage becomes the „picture of the rock“. If the same place is also recorded by photograph we can confront two ways of the author’s seeing, two possible forms of how to catch the changeable. This is certainly above all the testimony of the natural situation, but it is also the testimony of the specific possibilities and characteristics of both chosen media. The author himself sometimes draws with natural paints on the spot where be found them – thus for example he emphasizes the shape of a rock crack or establishes relations with an already existing colour accent, that came about without human help. The natural and the human are thus connected, there is a new unity that allows us to think about the character of the human and the natural, about their mutual relations. Again we consider the connection with primary creative human gestures, the first active contact of the paleolithic hunters with the environment they lived in, which probably were the beginnings of the fine arts culture of mankind. In his investigations of the natural Miloš Šejn aims to the most fundamental - and thus his creation from the reflexion of nature more and more becomes the reflexion of relation between nature and man. It was not by chance that the repertoire of his photographs was gradually enlarged by photos of the most simple interventions in nature, not only natural ones, but also artificial, human ones. They are example the traces of corrosion in stones, but also the traces of living beings and incisions, scratches or signs made by man. 


Walking - From a series of transformed books, July 2, 2014

The book, this most important bearer of information in the history of human culture, takes an always more important place in the artist’s work and it seems that in the last years it has become for him as important as the photograph. He keeps the traditional form of the book, but it serves him for a new message, in direct connection with his other works.
From a series of monothematic drawings arose books (Ravine I – VI, 1981) enabling the spectator to follow the changes of a single motive, different possibilities of perception; from actions (With Stone on Stone, 1982) followed sequences of various recordings, interpreting haptic and gestic characteristics of an action passed; from wanderings result books in which drawings and texts freely intermingle; natural pigments sometimes immediately evoke a natural situation, another time they are transposed into finger touches when pointing to the original place where the pigment was found is connected with the new, shaping gesture of the author whose aim it is no longer to describe but to create a new unity between two places and temporal moments. 

Down the Maple Brook, August 25, 1982

Miloš Šejn is an artist of rare sensibility who is capable of reflecting the actual relation of man and nature intently, but without sentimentality, with the knowledge of correlations. The author’s beginnings anticipated the methods and intentions of concept art, but he never quite identified himself with them. His creation is near to those isolated authors who in some way actualized the human perception of nature, be it in form of the visualization of wanderings (Karel Adamus, Jaroslav Anděl), of a photographic or textual hint, evoking in an only sequence something essential of the experience of the landscape (Hamish Fulton), direct collecting natural material and presenting it to the onlooker as a certain semantic and visual quality (Wolfgang Laib) or evoking the relation to primeval cultures and their rituals (Barbara and Michael Leisgen). Among the authors of this orientation it is the range of Šejns activities that arouses our interest, but above all the urgency of his message.

Part of text by Jiří Valoch: Miloš Šejn – Photography/Drawings/Books, Brno 1986
 
Artist.s Books
Bohemiae Rosa pointAcademy Archives point

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