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Urban Creature I Human Nature 

Double residency (Brussels - Brno) 

Jan Šrámek (CZ) & Mariia Timofeeva (BE)

Vernissage I 18.03.2022 > 19:00 - 22:00

Exhibition I 19.03.2022 - 07.04.2022

@ Grafik I Avenue Louis Bertrand 30 - 1030 Brussels

Jan Šrámek illustrator and teacher at the Faculty of Arts (FAVU) in Brno (CZ) comes one week to Brussels to create a series around architecture of Expo 58 and its impact on Czech visual culture. On her part Mariia Timofeeva (BE) illustrator and graphic designer in Brussels travels to Brno to find inspiration on the borders between magical forests and vibrant city and captures encounters between man and animal. 

The double exhibition is curated and hosted by Leticia Sere (Grafik) and is made possible by Czech Center Brussels, the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Brno University of Technology (VUT) and The Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and part of the Picture festival 2022.


Jan Šrámek  I “Impact of Expo 58 on Czech visual culture” 


About the exhibition​

The 1958 EXPO World Exhibition in Brussels marked a turning point for Czechoslovak visual culture. The Czechoslovak exposition won the highest prize "Golden Star" and thirteen other important awards in the international competition. Czechoslovak artists, designers and architects continued the pre-war tradition after a short period of forced socialist realism. After 1958, the so-called "Brussels style" permeated all levels of Czechoslovak visual culture, from architecture to product design to book typography.


One of the last surviving fragments of the Czechoslovak exposition from Brussels is the Expo 58 Restaurant, designed by František Cubr, Josef Hrubý and Zdeněk Pokorný. The building, which was originally part of the Czechoslovak exhibition pavilion, was later moved to Prague and today serves as the headquarters of an advertising agency. The illustration of the Expo 58 Restaurant forms the starting point of the project and returns symbolically to Brussels, through a series of illustrations presenting Czechoslovak architecture of the second half of the 20th century.


About the illustrator


Jan Srámek Graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Brno University of Technology where he currently runs the Video Studio together with Martin Mazanc. He forms an author duo with artist Veronika Vlková. Author of illustrations and co-author of the publications Apolenka z modrotisk (2020), To je metro, man! (2019), Prague Visions (2017), Strange Circumstances (2016), Pioneers and Robots (2016), Letenský Glosář (2016), Building Houses is Not Enough (2015), Lost Perspective (2013). His work has been presented in galleries and festivals in London, New York, Amsterdam, Seoul, Beijing, etc... In 2014 he participated in the realization of the Czechoslovak pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. In 2017 and 2020 he won the Czech Grand Design award in the category of illustrator of the year. Illustration for the book This is the subway, man! were selected for a prestigious exhibition at the International Children's Book Fair in Bologna 2020.



Mariia Timofeeva  I “Polyphonie(s)”


About the exhibition

Man and animal have long shared the same territories. The animal world is both omnipresent and decidedly absent in the city. The contact areas, the green spaces, are perceived as a decor. This work is a poetic way of getting reacquainted with the living world of the urban space, approaching the inhabitants of the city (humans and animals), sensitizing our eye to grasp the multitude of ways of being alive. These imaginary encounters, these urban polyphonies are inspired by the artist's observations during her walks and strolls in Belgium and the Czech Republic and are put into images in a series of mixed media drawings.


About the illustrator

Although she was born in Lyon, Mariia Timofeeva grew up a little further north. In Perm, Russia, where the cold and polar bears reign, she studied languages, literature and foreign civilisations. Mariia then turned to journalism and taught herself graphic design before landing in Brussels to continue her studies at Saint-Luc and La Cambre. Today, she works as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, but also in the press. She draws her inspiration from myths and legends, her mixed roots, literature, poetry and the beauty of chickens. In her creations, she also uses her own experience and makes sure to create a personal link with the subject she is exploring. She is interested in the notions of memory, remembrance, dreams, the origins of the image and writing. Mariia creates scenes that reveal her fascination with the world of magic and shamanism. Carried along by the underlying naivety of her work, we discover a charming universe where characters and nature are synonymous with vital force.


Curated and hosted by

  • @grafik1030 - Curator : Leticia Sere


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