Jan Uldrych, The Absolute at Large, 2018

The Absolute at Large is a classic science fiction novel written by Czech author Karel Čapek in 1922 (aside: he coined the term ‘robot’ in another book), although the book was set in the future year of 1943. In the novel, a reactor that produces abundant and cheap energy has been invented, yet a byproduct of the process is that it produces the ‘Absolute,’ which is a spiritual element that generates religious and nationalist fervor in the public at large, leading to many brutal wars. Uldrych describes the scene he painted from the book: “There are scientists all looking at one point, which is located in the golden ratio of the painting. The point is expressed only by the direction of their look. It generally points out something that has no objective qualities.”


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