Jan Merta, born in 1952, today counts among the most significant contemporary artists of the Czech Republic. Living and working in Prague, the painter Jan Merta operates with motifs taken from everyday life and abstracts and alienates them in such a way that they take on altogether complex and obscure meanings. "I produce variations on a theme in order to get closer to it," says Merta, whose paintings of the famous film character "ET the Extra-Terrestrial" and the associations they awakened with Hans Holbein's "The Body of Christ in the Tomb" recently caused a sensation (exhibited at the Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery in 2004). His new paintings have such titles as "The Chopped-off Iris" and "Portrait of my Wife Lenka" – seemingly classical motifs, yet tinged with irony and enigmatic overtones. Merta will be showing several medium-sized and a number of large-format paintings in the exhibition.