Palo Macho: To Be Is to Be Different

We cordially invite you to Gallery N in Jablonec nad Nisou for the opening of the Pala Macha exhibition. Joint works with Jana Hojstričová will also be on display.


  • Galerie N

    • Jehlářská 14/520, Jablonec nad Nisou, 466 01, Česko


  • Opening: April 9, 2024 at 5 p.m.

    • introductory word: Peter Michalovič
    • duration of the exhibition: 10 April - 15 May 2024



  • Peter Michalovič

Curator's text for the exhibition: 

Palo Macho’s exhibition, Byť znamená byť iný (To Be Is to Be Different), consists of two relatively separate parts. The first is comprised of circular cut-out paintings. At first glance these works share the same shape and dimensions; this very feature makes them a coherent series. Of course, it is a series that can be supplemented at any time with other paintings. The perimeter of each circle can be considered something of a frame, for it separates the object from the exhibition space. At the same time, however, it can be considered a border, because it delimits the painting area. Macho’s paintings are unusual. In traditional glass painting, glass represents the ground, lines form the contours of figures and paint is subordinate to the figure; yet in Macho’s case the line is eliminated, and the paint is freed from the obligation to serve as a background or to colour the figures. Colour is autonomous here, it relates to itself, and everything that is important for the constitution of the meaning of the paintings is dependent on the relations between colours and coloured surfaces. This means that what the viewer sees on the picture surface cannot be directly named, that verbal description fails and becomes powerless in relation to the image, and the most that words are capable of is navigating the gaze to what needs to be noticed to make sense of the whole. The meaning of the images must be understood as a difficult negotiation between the work and the viewer; moreover, the viewer must come to terms with the fact that the meaning gained is always temporary. Meaning happens and changes from one perspective to the next. The surface of objects is a field of dynamic action, and concrete meaning is always a mere actualization of one of the virtual possibilities.

However, this is only one aspect, the other is genetic – that is, each painting can be considered as one frame of an imaginary film that attempts to show the evolution of Macho’s painterly signature, the author’s idiolect being formed over the last ten years. The paintings, in their compressed form, recapitulate his creative development, making visible how artistic thought formulates a problem and articulates effective solutions via the language of painting. The aim of the solution is not to present an unambiguous result, but to evoke aesthetic pleasure in the viewer and to change their perception of the relationships between colours and surfaces.

The second part of the exhibition consists of two kinds of objects. The first is dominated by line, i.e., it is represented by drawings. Here, colour is neutralised to form a monochromatic background that highlights the lines of the drawings. The lines delineate simple figures, and yet, in this case that simplicity is explicitly functional. This is because it allows the viewer to concentrate on the drawing an sich, that is, on what is immanent to the drawing and what cannot be replaced by other components of the language of visual art. While drawing does form a unity of expression and meaning, this unity is very unstable. If the viewer looks at the image from one perspective, the expression becomes transparent, and the viewer is directly led towards understanding the meaning. If the viewer looks at the image from a different perspective, his attention is drawn to the line, its physical presence, something he perceives aesthetically without understanding it as a transparent carrier of meaning. Both perspectives are legitimate. Indeed, not only are both legitimate, both are necessary because only their complementarity can make it possible to understand the irreducible ambivalence of the meaning of images.

Other objects are joint works by Jana Hojstričová and Palo Macho. It should be remembered that Macho likes to work within a creative duo; dialogue with another artist serves him not only by expanding the possibilities of creation, but also and above all by changing himself. He understands dialogue in a hermeneutic sense; for him, a good dialogue is one that is not led by the participants, but rather one that leads the participants. In this dialogue, each party loses something while in turn gains something else. Macho wins a heightened sensitivity to otherness that prevents him from becoming stagnant and forces him to advance into terra incognita. This is why the title of the exhibition accurately expresses the credo of his work: ‘To be is to be different.’ This is not an empty phrase or mere rhetoric, it is a harsh statement, because to be different is also to be a nomad, to be constantly on a journey with no ending in sight.

Peter Michalovič


Palo Macho being fdifferent 042024 - poster