The exhibition Life Is Painful and Breeds Disappointment vol.1: Lovecraft deals with the influence of the key personality of modern horror H.P. Lovecraft in contemporary visual art and is the first attempt to map this theme in the Czech environment. The serious and growing interest in his work was also manifested in recent publications, which were also devoted to it in the field of cinema and literature. In the years 2010 – 2013, the Puls publishing house published his collected writings, he paid a lot of attention to Lovecraft and the magazines Živel No. 37 from 2013 and A2, No. 6 from 2015. His name appeared for the first time in the anthology Robbers of corpses (1970). Lovecraft was then dealt with by prominent personalities such as Josef Škvorecký or František Jungwirth. Subsequently, however, Lovecraft's work could not be published for a long time. The horror genre was perceived by communist ideology as bourgeois decadence. In practice, this meant that horror books were not published (with few exceptions), just as horror films were not very often distributed. A certain change did not occur until the 1980s with the advent of video. Primitively dubbed (mostly by one person) horror films were among the most popular film copies that traveled privately throughout the republic at the time.
It was the generation that came of age in the 1980s and thus had, in a certain sense, the first opportunity to get to know not only the classics of the genre, but also the B-grade production. In this sense, the generational experience of Czech artists was not very different from that of their peers abroad. It is therefore no coincidence that the 90s brought a sharp penetration of horror themes into visual art in a global context. The spectrum of works is very wide in form and content, from atmospheric depictions of anxiety to pop savagery to harrowing cruelty. Few topics resonate so strongly with our present, which is also laced with fear and anxiety. H.P. Lovecraft has long been underestimated and overlooked by literary historians, his work is given serious attention. The exhibition, which was created as a joint project of the Pilsen City Gallery and Trafo Gallery, will present the work of artists who deal with the phenomenon of H.P. Lovecraft's work in various ways and in various forms, from painting, drawing, through sculpture, to installations. While the Pilsen gallery offered a scenic solution to the exhibition as a result of its architectural structure and the size of the space, Prague's Trafo Gallery will present a form more concentrated on the selection of works and the ambient atmosphere.
A catalog of the same name was published for the exhibition, which, in addition to artworks on the subject, also contains theoretical texts about H.P. Lovecraft and his legacy in visual arts, philosophy, literature and film (Urban, Hříbek, Adamovič, Jiroušek).