The world depicted in the paintings of Tomáš Spevák is caught in a permanent state of aftermath. The architectural and natural settings in his paintings have been destroyed - not by the slow entropy of time, but by some more sudden, recent cataclysm of war or weather. Cleanup crews in gas masks and protective suits are on the scene. It’s not safe for civilians to return home, at least not yet; the situation has not been stabilized. Despite the intimate scope of the scenes - one house, perhaps half a block - it’s somehow clear the destruction is widespread. Despite the presence of responders and assessors, it’s unclear if there are plans to rebuild. It is always the aftermath.
Most often, the buildings reduced to rubble are residential rather than institutional, symbols of everyday life laid low by unseen forces. Feral plants and unsupervised children offer dark sparks of hope that something might yet survive, creating surreal narrative symbolism as the human impulse for storytelling pushes back against the confusion of the tumult. This effect is heightened by his deft merging of abstract and figurative modalities within the structure of the compositions themselves, wherein objects that were already coming apart suddenly stop in mid-render and literally bleed into trails of pure gesture, iconography washed away like tears in rain. In this way he not only depicts but evokes the poetic texture of his generation’s and his nation’s in-between existence, expressing the human condition through a rich art historical language of form and theory.
Shana Nys Dambrot (Art Critic, Los Angeles, USA)
2005 - 2011: Fakulta výtvarných umění při VUT, Brno (studio T.Lahoda)
2001 - 2005: Střední umělecko-průmyslová škola, Žižkovo nám. 1, Praha 3
2005 – 2011: Faculty of fine arts VUT – Rybářská 13/15, 603 00 Brno, Czech republic, Studio of painting (head of the studio – ak.mal. Tomáš Lahoda)
2001 – 2005: Secondary school of applied art, Žižkovo square 1, 130 00, Prague 3, Studio of applied painting