Jiri Kolar - Grimace of the Century / 200-page paperback, 8.25 x 10.5 inches, illustrated throughout / Czech-English version from the National Gallery Prague
The book was published to accompany the exhibition of Jiří Kolář housed at Kinsky Palace. It is intended to introduce Kolář in an unusual manner – as an extraordinary and timeless artist whose oeuvre combines compelling content and a scathingly critical assessment of the world with literary and visual art experimentation of international significance. Apart from texts by Marie Klimešová and Milena Kalinovská, the publication contains reproductions of little-known or completely unknown works of different creative periods and artistic techniques. Representative examples from the renowned Weekly 1968 cycle are followed by seven more thematic sections affirming that with its courage and inner freedom Kolář’s artwork loses nothing of its topicality. The fresh approach to the artist’s output is also reflected in the book’s unconventional graphic design created by the 2018 Designers graphic studio.
Jiri Kolar (Protivín, 1914 – Prague, 2002) was one of the most important postwar poets/visual artists in Central Europe. A member of the avant-garde Group 42 in Czechoslovakia, most of his major texts were composed in the 1950s and 1960s. He is, however, more well-known abroad for his collage innovations, including his famous series Weekly 1968. Having developed a technique for combining fragments of texts and images from a variety of sources as a way to portray the destruction and fragmentation of the world around him, by the 1970s his work was being exhibited throughout Europe.