Jiri Georg Dokoupil

Kmov (República Checa), 1954

Jiri Georg Dokoupil

Jiří “Georg” Dokoupil (born 3 June 1954) is a contemporary Czech artist. He was founding-member of the German artist groups Mülheimer Freiheit and Junge Wilde, which arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Dokoupil lives and works between Berlin(Germany), Madrid (Spain), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria).

After the invasion of the Soviet army in Prague in 1968, he escaped with his family over Austria to Germany. In 1976 he began studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cologne. Later on he also attended classes at the Universities of Frankfurt and the Cooper Union in New York, where he studied among others under German concept artist Hans Haacke. The influence of Haacke is evident in Dokoupil‘s early work. From 1983–84 Dokoupil was guest professor at the Academy of Fine Arts of Düsseldorf and 1989 in Madrid.

In 1979 Dokoupil founded the group Mülheimer Freiheit with artists such as Hans Peter Adamski, Peter Bömmels and Walter Dahn. The group was associated with the art dealer Paul Maenz who organised Dokoupil‘s first solo exhibition in 1982. In their shared studio in Cologne on a street named Mülheimer Freiheit, the six Jungen Wilden sought to explore a contemporary expression for their art by using a neo-expressive, figurative style of intensely colorful painting with traditional subjects and by overriding the intellectual, reduced formal language of Minimal and Conceptual Art.

But already in an early stage Dokoupil developed a less wild, rather unusual method of working and soon found his own radical subjective way with individual considerations. With his “book painting” shown at Documenta 7, Kassel, in 1982, Dokoupil attracted the attention of the art world. It was a gigantic material painting called God, show me your balls, a kind of homage to a Julian Schnabel plate painting, (which were made of broken ceramic dishes collaged into an image). Schnabel was not invited to participate in the exhibition – in Dokoupil‘s eyes a serious affront. Since then – besides the early group exhibitions with the Mülheimer Freiheit – Dokoupil’s work has been seen in numerous one-man shows in galleries, museums and at other cultural sites worldwide.

In accordance with the thesis of Dadaist Marcel Duchamp, Dokoupil never wanted to be subordinated to a personal or a forced style. He never developed a uniform style that would allow the observer to recognize his work. Rather he paraphrases different preceding styles, plays with them and invents new techniques. Only a certain expressivity and his affinity for eroticism may define his world of images. His oeuvre today contains over 60 series and far more than 100 devised techniques or styles.

Here you can see the artist's works that are part of the collection.