Jiří Georg Dokoupil

How do you paint without a brush? How does the paint get onto the canvas, how can a picture come into being if the artist's everyday tool is not used?

Jiří Georg Dokoupil has been asking himself this question since 1986, when he decides to put away his brush and become an "atypical" painter. He becomes a "tinkerer", an inventor who turns to a classical canvas by means of various tools. For example, he "paints" his leopard pictures overhead with a burning candle - soot pictures - impressive works are created, whose wildness of the animal is also recognizable in the execution. Soot in all shades - a game with fire in every respect.


Away from this, he experiments with soap suds. Pigment is incorporated into it, left to rest, the right consistency must arise, and then the resulting soap bubble is captured with the image carrier. The bursting is the application of color, the imprint becomes a random appearance. Soap bubbles burst on top of each other - or step individually on the canvas, a canvas that has previously been primed over a large area and becomes the ready foundation of this unique painting. Unique works are created, which have an enormous depth effect and are controlled by a guided randomness.

Jiří Georg Dokoupil has now been working on his series of "Bubbles", soap bubble paintings since 1992 and it has taken him time to bring the soap bubble to a perfection in its consistency. According to one of his stories, the first bubble has not yet been able to be captured and when he tried it, it "bounced" off the canvas again and floated on. So Dokoupil invents, he tests, tries and turns to all kinds of materials to develop his art beyond classical painting. It is series that are created, series named after his painting utensils.


Jiří Georg Dokoupil was born in 1954 in the former Czechoslovakia and then fled to Germany with his family at the age of 14. His career led him to study art in Germany and New York, and even though he originally wanted to become a mathematician or filmmaker, as an artist he became a fixed member of the Cologne artists' group "Mühlheimer Freiheit" as early as 1980. The artists of the 1980s, who have gone down in art history as "Junge Wilde", have consciously turned diametrically against the avant-garde (minimalism or conceptual art) in their work, in their painting - they have reached deep into the color pot and have brought the punk culture of the 80s on the canvas. Now Dokoupil rejects any categorization, no terminology should describe his work. He remains singular in his art and is inevitably one of the most impressive representatives of painting today. In addition to exhibitions in the most important museums in the world, including Hamburg, Madrid, Vienna, New York, he was also represented at documenta 7 in Kassel. Numerous international collections are in possession of his works.

Today Jiří Georg Dokoupil lives and works in Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Bulgaria and Gran Canaria.