Composition with Fruits, 1992
180 x 30 x 31 cm
(c) VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012; photo: courtesy of Galerie Karl Pfefferle, Munich
Jiři Georg Dokoupil (*1954 Knrov, CZ) is one of those young contemporary artists whose work is difficult to pin down and assign to a particular art movement or direction. His art is too varied and his media too mixed to make this possible: he is just as likely to work in bronze as he is to use objets trouvés and foodstuffs – from car tyres to breast milk – or apply paint to a canvas with a whip. In Composition with Fruits Dokoupil engages with the history of bronze sculpture. His tower of bronze bananas stacked one on top of the other calls to mind the Endless Column of the Romanian artist Constantin Brâncuşi. The banana has been a popular symbol in art ever since Andy Warhol, and is still widely used today – for example in the work of Tilman Baumgärtel, who networks entire cities with bananas sprayed on the walls of houses and footpaths. Dokoupil's Composition with Fruits is also a tongue-in-cheek reference to the history of art and the connection between high and popular culture.