Alice Máselníková | Where Dawn Breaks

12 January - 11 February 2023

Alice Máselníková (b. 1989, Zlín, Czech Republic) is a Czech painter based in Stockholm. Her evocative and sometimes bizarre paintings are characterized by sweeping gestures and dreamlike depictions of mythologically inspired motifs. Human – or perhaps mythological? – figures are intertwined with the surrounding nature and seem to be engaged in some sort of hedonistic play in which they thrive, pursue, and devour each other. Seen among them are wondrous plants and creatures.


When approaching the works in the exhibition, one discovers finely layered lasures, each adding to the painting as a whole. Regardless of the medium – oil, watercolor, pencil – Máselníková works in thin layers of paint. This results in a play with transparency and luminance which is most striking in her depictions of vegetation and in the bare skin of the human figures.


Her continuously growing body of work addresses themes of nature, mythology, dreams, longing, relationships, and failure. There is a pervasive element of melancholy, a romanticist longing for beauty and harmony. In this sense, Máselníková’s paintings can be described as tales of a quest that has occupied human thought throughout the ages: the search for meaning.


To Máselníková, myth becomes a vehicle for approaching reality, but also a way of examining the darker sides of human existence. Her work reflects both utopias and decay, devotion and trance, meaninglessness and harmony.


The brink of dawn releases dreams at their most tender. As the goddess Eos pours her tears in the shape of morning dew on a new day, the reality hesitates for a while longer. It is precisely here, where light begins to saturate darkness, in that magic moment when anything can happen and everything can shatter. The exhibition Where Dawn Breaks ponders our longing for a world of wonder and beauty, stunned at the point of daybreak. A utopian place inspired by nature and mythology which is at the same time all too aware of the imperfection of being.


This new series of oil paintings and watercolors takes us into a melancholic vision of a world where dreams linger and the grotesque intertwines with the beautiful. We encounter bizarre characters painted in delicate translucent layers, perhaps in reference to their ambivalent but persistent desire to transcend. They may be twisted and deformed, failing to defy their sinful nature as they stalk and devour each other entangled in grass, insects and strange flowers. But while hurting and recoiling they still attempt to feel, touch and understand.

/ Alice Máselníková


Máselníková holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Philosophy from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Arts and Design, Dundee, and an MA in Curating Art from Stockholm University. She has also studied Fine Art at Universidad Politécnica de Valencia and attended a course at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Her work has been exhibited in a number of solo and group exhibitions (such as Eulengasse, Frankfurt, Top e.V., Berlin, KH7artspace, Aarhus, Konsthallen ABC, Stockholm, and Molekyl Gallery, Malmö) and is represented in several private and public collections in Sweden and internationally. Aside from her painting practice she writes poetry. She is also active as a curator, editor and cultural funding consultant.

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