[b]MOSES REISENAUER'S SEVEN DEADLY SINS |[/b] second exhibition


31.01.2014 18:00 - 16.02.2014

Divus | en cs de

Přijte všici, co maj rádi Muchu čili nic i. ...

"Neboť tam, kde začíná samota, končí se trh; a kde se končí trh, končí se také hřmot velkých herců a hemžení jedovatých much."


Text for exhibitions of enlarged prints from Moses Reisenauer’s pocket The Seven Deadly Sins and Ten Commandments with occasional commentary.


Böhmen und Mähren Kunst – Stories from the sewer of Europe

The Czech Republic is the polar opposite of all real or imagined inhospitable lands. There is nothing here that might inspire respect for nature or fear of its elements. It is simply an adorable country, an enlarged village rock garden – if you have those things in Germany and know what they are. The Czech Republic is a former part of a now-defunct, repeatedly failed state that eagerly anticipated its demise. Its next-to-last resurrection, which was in exchange for the life of just one Jew, Hilsner, led to the Second World War. If there had been no Czecho-Slovakia (and later the Czech Republic), it would have been possible to build a motorway from Berlin straight to Munich, the world would have never heard the term “humanitarian bombing”, and robots would still be called automatons. The most important figures in modern Czech history are tatíček (“little father”), a third-rate philosopher in riding boots surrounded by naked children, Hitler, Mr. Werich, the two-headed monster Klavel, and agent 009 Schwartsumberg.

So let’s only talk about this accursed region without using its name, about this crater that looks as if it had been carved by a meteorite, whose margins provide natural defense but also isolation. Rivers flow from it as from a cracked jar, dirty, acidic and steaming because the Czechs produce electricity by burning old rags from the mounds of garbage cheaply acquired from the rich Germans. The Czechs are known as the only Slavs to hide their crimes against humanity. They have stuck their own foot in extreme unction, and yet they hand out advice until the hyenas start to choke with laughter. They hate all the surrounding tribes, except for the Roma, whom they consider to be descendents of the Romanians – who refused to occupy the crater in 1968. The Roma don’t have to work; they can drink, dance, and swear in their own language. Czechs don’t dance. And foreigners in general are not popular – except for Americans, whom they have never seen but they like the flag.

Although in such an environment art flourishes about as much as in the Gaza Strip, every now and then an artist appears who is willing to work in public despite the unctuous admiration of the uneducated and vulgar populace. One such public-yet-invisible artist is Pavel Reisenauer.


A grumpy loner, a skeptical mystic and a Christian in a tight spot

“Pavel Reisenauer was born on 7 October 1961 in Prague, where he lives to this day. After graduating from secondary school, he held various jobs (including work as a furnaceman and security guard) that allowed him to work on his paintings. He has three daughters. He has been employed by the weekly Respekt magazine since 1991, and has published a book, 209 Drawings and 33 Paintings. He has held numerous exhibitions, and in order to avoid succumbing to this temptation in the future, he recently set up a website gallery of his work” – which is also where this short bio comes from: www.pavelreisenauer.cz.

Like his web gallery, Reisenauer’s work can be divided into two areas. The first includes journalistic illustrations for Respekt, the Saturday insert “Orientation” for the Lidové noviny newspaper, and book illustrations for various publishers. Thanks to his illustrations – with their characteristic style and unrelenting humor – he is known to the Czech public if not by name then definitely from his drawings on the cover of these publications. The second area of his work are his non-commissioned drawings and paintings, through which we can get to know him in his own world: “Where solitude beginneth there endeth the market-place; and where the market-place endeth, there endeth also the noise of the great actors, and the buzzing of the poison-flies.” Aliens, the underworld, suburban landscapes, daughters, out-of-place animals, sex, alcohol, and above all loneliness. Also, the streets of Reisenauer’s favorite neighborhood, Prague’s Nusle district, where tourists and developers are still rare, and so it remains a haven for outsiders and crumbling tenements in a sold-out city. In recent years, he has preferred to work in series that give him greater freedom. The pictures in each series share a common motif, technique, use of color and style. These include the computer drawings from The Ten Commandments and The Seven Deadly Sins, as well as the temperas from Streets and the recently completed Nusle.


A visitation every day

This artist – who has successfully avoided public recognition and exhibits only rarely – has decided to bring to Berlin his highly personal interpretation of the Ten Commandments. Reisenauer has taken these basic rules for Jews and Christians (as contained in the Catholic catechism) and transformed them in his image, knocked them from the diction of church language and down to the ground of his reality: God appears as Superman, divine punishment falls upon a desolate suburban street, graffiti artists spray-paint a Jesus fish on the hood of a car, a legless mother has been taken on an outing in her wheelchair; we see evidence of suicide (far more common than murder), a slightly vulgar drawing of a penis attacking Venus, a black hand painted on the wall of a ransacked house, a skull that looks as if it has been pulled from a mass grave, its mouth grown shut, a woman depicted as a childishly gussied up and romantically enamored monkey, and superhumanly oversized mafiosi who remain unseen by passers-by. When asked where why he felt the need to confront these two traditional Christian subjects, Pavel Reisenauer says: “Because in the end I am a Christian, primarily one in a tight spot.”



At this exhibition, Reisenauer will present his latest as-yet-unexhibited series, The Seven Deadly Sins. Here, Reisenauer focuses his critical and ironical gaze on himself. The theme required a more simplified approach as compared to the previous series: the square-format paintings are made in black on a white background, emphasized at most with foreboding details in a devilish red that is the only similarity with the previous series. With just one exception, the digital images’ main subject is the artist himself. His figure, accompanied by just its shadow, moves through a space without background, accompanied only by symbols or attributes of the relevant sin: a proud magician (more like a con-artist juggler of nothingness in a raggedy bathrobe and worn t-shirt); a harried money-chaser; a dreamer drooling for things he doesn’t have; an unhappy and not too attractive lecher with a strangely non-prurient expression; a drunkard who has been transformed into his bottle; a raffish loner and implacable ironist within whom pride struggles with insecurity and mystical faith with disillusionment, skepticism and resignation: the final image shows him in the position that he himself would probably like to adopt forever.


By Ivan Mečl (the ugly parts) and Olga Sixtová (the nice parts)


Pavel Reisenauer in Umelec magazine

Pavel Reisenauer in Divus Pragerkabarett

Life After Death

Supported by:
  MKČR     FB

31.01.2014 18:00 - 16.02.2014


There are currently no comments.

Add new comment

Recommended articles

Acts, Misdemeanors and the Thoughts of the Persian King Medimon Acts, Misdemeanors and the Thoughts of the Persian King Medimon
There is nothing that has not already been done in culture, squeezed or pulled inside out, blown to dust. Classical culture today is made by scum. Those working in the fine arts who make paintings are called artists. Otherwise in the backwaters and marshlands the rest of the artists are lost in search of new and ever surprising methods. They must be earthbound, casual, political, managerial,…
Contents 2016/1 Contents 2016/1
Contents of the new issue.
Magda Tóthová Magda Tóthová
Borrowing heavily from fairy tales, fables and science fiction, the art of Magda Tóthová revolves around modern utopias and social models and their failures. Her works address personal and social issues, both the private and the political. The stylistic device of personification is central to the social criticism emblematic of her work and to the negotiation of concepts used to construct norms.…
Nick Land – An Experiment in Inhumanism Nick Land – An Experiment in Inhumanism
Nick Land was a British philosopher but is no longer, though he is not dead. The almost neurotic fervor with which he scratched at the scars of reality has seduced more than a few promising academics onto the path of art that offends in its originality. The texts that he has left behind are reliably revolting and boring, and impel us to castrate their categorization as “mere” literature.
Where to go next?
out - archeology
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
Josef Jindrák
Who is S.d.Ch? A person of many interests, active in various fields—literature, theater—known for his comics and collages in the art field. A poet and playwright foremost. A loner by nature and determination, his work doesn’t meet the current trends. He always puts forth personal enunciation, although its inner structure can get very complicated. It’s pleasant that he is a normal person and a…
Spaghetti Sauce on Your Moo Shoo Pork
Charlie Citron
Road trip Lithuania
Road trip Lithuania
Arunase Gudaitas
Aš menininkas — Aš save myliu Vincent van Gogh in one letter to his brother described a café as a place where one could easily go insane. The café in the Center for Contemporary Art (CAC) in Vilnius is such a place. Insider connoisseurs of the local scene consider it “very bohemian” and, indeed, in contrast to traditionally lackluster and overpriced eateries in museums, the atmosphere in the CAC…
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Alena Boika
Books, video, editions and artworks that might interest you Go to e-shop
print on durable film, 250 x 139 cm, 2011
More info...
799,20 EUR
927 USD
print on durable film, 250 x 139 cm, 2011
More info...
799,20 EUR
927 USD
print on durable film, 250 x 139 cm, 2011 / signed by artist and numbered from edition of ten
More info...
799,20 EUR
927 USD
Print on art paper from serie prepared for "Exhibition of enlarged prints from Moses Reisenauer’s pocket Ten Commandments"....
More info...
290 EUR
336 USD


Divus and its services

Studio Divus designs and develops your ideas for projects, presentations or entire PR packages using all sorts of visual means and media. We offer our clients complete solutions as well as all the individual steps along the way. In our work we bring together the most up-to-date and classic technologies, enabling us to produce a wide range of products. But we do more than just prints and digital projects, ad materials, posters, catalogues, books, the production of screen and space presentations in interiors or exteriors, digital work and image publication on the internet; we also produce digital films—including the editing, sound and 3-D effects—and we use this technology for web pages and for company presentations. We specialize in ...

Citation of the day. Publisher is not liable for any mental and physical states which may arise after reading the quote.

Enlightenment is always late.
CONTACTS AND VISITOR INFORMATION The entire editorial staff contacts

Potsdamer Str. 161
10783 Berlin, Germany


Open Wednesday to Sunday 2 - 7 pm


Ivan Mečl
ivan@divus.cz, +49 (0) 1512 9088 150

Enclave 5, 50 Resolution Way
London SE8 4AL, United Kingdom
news@divus.org.uk, +44 (0)7583 392144
Open Wednesday to Saturday 12 – 6 pm.


Bubenská 1, 170 00 Praha 7, Czech Republic
divus@divus.cz, +420 245 006 420

Open daily except Sundays from 11am to 10pm





Divus New book by I.M.Jirous in English at our online bookshop.