Martina Drozd Smutná

Martina Drozd Smutná

"Martina Smutná’s paintings revisit the problem of the body through a feminist perspective in a very compelling way. Her practice is based on exploring the legacies of sources outside of the white male canon of painting.  Her paintings reveal the inner experiences of the body, its fragmentation and atomization on one side, and relational, entangled composition on the other.” (jury statement)

Martina Drozd Smutná (1989) is currently a PhD student in the studio of Intermedia II at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where she previously graduated in the Studio of Painting II. She became a finalist of the Czech Prize of Art Critique for Young Painting (2014), the EXIT Award (2015), and took part in the residency program at the Izolyatsia cultural centre in Kiev and the Czech Centre in Bucharest. As part of the AKTION scholarship program, she elaborated on the topic of her dissertation thesis at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, focusing on the origins and consequences of the use of gender-based evaluation and the understanding of painting as a masculine discipline.  Martina Smutná approaches her own artistic work as a language that can be used to talk about intimacy, vulnerability or the commonplace nature of personal stories that do not stand on their own, but are determined by other socio-political phenomena. In her paintings, she draws parallels between historical depictions of aristocracy and contemporary urban bourgeoisie and also shows how traditional gender roles affect our family, romantic and professional relationships. The subjects of her paintings are straddled between the past, the present and an apocalyptic future where the drive for a change goes hand in hand with disciplined inertia, creating a tension between power and powerlessness. 

She regularly presents her work at solo and group exhibitions on the Czech scene, e.g. at the Mladých Gallery in Brno (2020), Dole Gallery in Ostrava (2020), the National Gallery in Prague (2019), and the NOD Gallery in Prague (2018), as well as abroad, e.g. at Kunsthalle Trafo in Szczecin (2021), at the Baltic Triennial in Lithuania (2021), and at the Exile Gallery in Vienna (2021). 

Martina Drozd Smutná: CJCH 2022 Profile

Video: Michal Blecha