Tuesday, 15 December 2009
I have just been enjoying a fascinating post on the blog Adventures in the Print Trade about Czech Graphics of the 1970s. As I indicated in a previous post on Jiri Trnka - a visit to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in the Trade Fair Palace in Prague first opened my eyes to the wealth and creativity of Czech artists that was hidden by the Iron Curtain, and it is good to see Neil of the Print Trade blog making the same discovery.
One of the delights of discovering Czech art and especially its graphics is for me the influence of fairytales - another reason why I am not surprised that it has struck a chord with Neil, who is an authority on the subject. Fairytales seem to have infused Czech life in a way that is very special. So often people coming to my part of the world will comment that Cesky Krumlov is a fairytale place. And whilst visually I can see why people might say this, I think it is something more profound, something deep in the Czech pysche, that is calling.
Czech graphics are distinctive. There is something playlike about them, they have a humour that can be dark (like many a Grimm fairytale) but also are light of touch. My Czech puppeteer friend who first introduced me to this place is also, among her many accomplishments, a wonderful artist. In particular I like her prints. She was always being told when she was living and working in England how unusual her art was. Without in anyway diminishing the standard and originality of her work I now can see that it is rooted in the graphics of her homeland.