Věra Nováková: From the shadow of communism to the sunshine of DOX


Self-portrait by Věra Nováková |  Photo: Emile Roger, Rádio Praga Int.

Scrolling by means of the assorted creative creations on show at DOX, it isn’t unlikely that you’ll come throughout the artist Věra Nováková, or slightly her very sensible self-portrait from 1950. On the second ground of the up to date artwork heart in Prague, not removed from the well-known airship, it’s with this canvas {that a} retrospective of the artist begins, entitled By way of Vitae. The curator of this exhibition, Michaela Šilpochová, walks by means of a part of the artist’s work with us:

“This exhibition, which is named By way of Vitae, which might be translated as ‘The lifestyle’, is a tribute to a life that stands out from the others and that, even in the present day, is a supply of inspiration, even for the youthful generations. . . »

Věra Nováková’s life was marked by a collection of obstacles and difficulties, linked to the political context of the time, which deeply impressed her artwork. Born in 1928 in Prague, she grew up in a big household. The artist confides that “in [sa] life, the eight in years are vital”. That is verified fairly simply. Only a 12 months after becoming a member of the Academy of Wonderful Arts in Prague in 1947, Czechoslovakia fell into communist palms after a coup d’état. This occasion could have an actual affect on the course of your life. Michaela Šilpochová displays on the years following the coup:

Series of illustrations shown for the exhibition Via Vitae |  Photo: Emile Roger, Rádio Praga Int.

“The turning level in Věra Nováková’s life was the 12 months 1949, when she was solely 21 years previous and was lately learning on the Academy of Wonderful Arts in Prague. As a result of communist regime on the time, Věra and her then-boyfriend – who later turned her husband, artist Pavel Brázda – have been expelled from faculty. For Věra, who got here from a really liberal and open-minded household, it was a defining second in her life. »

Tableau titled 'Still Life - Self-Portrait' |  Photo: Emile Roger, Rádio Praga Int.

This exclusion for political causes put an finish to the post-war optimism, which had virtually light, and, above all, known as into query his whole imaginative and prescient of the world. Nevertheless, this didn’t cease her from creating and utilizing artwork as a method of questioning and coping with this new actuality. That is exactly what reveals her work by her Zátiší – vlastní podobizna (Nonetheless life – self-portrait), commented on by the exhibition’s curator:

“This specific work, which is definitely a self-portrait, is a portray that Věra painted in 1949, the 12 months she was expelled from the Academy of Wonderful Arts. This work reveals how for her the world was damaged right into a thousand items. There’s a fragment of mirror the place her face is mirrored, and round it we see many objects from her home: keys, collectible figurines, clocks… They’re all dismantled, like her life again then, the place she felt the bottom was crumbling beneath her. foot. This specific portray expresses that feeling she felt of not being part of what she knew till now. »

Plusieurs toile by Věra Nováková |  Photo: Emile Roger, Rádio Praga Int.

It’s, subsequently, by means of creative creation that Věra Nováková selected her life path, a path of analysis, discovery and questioning round nice human considerations. Removed from the educational sphere and prevented from publicly exhibiting her work, Věra took benefit of her isolation to experiment and uncover for herself. Her work thus testifies to an astonishing creative richness. Portray, sculpture, illustration, experiments with letters and literature: these are the various strategies utilized by the artist to convey her emotions about what she was experiencing. She additionally crosses completely different creative currents starting from the portrait of the Renaissance type to surrealism, passing by means of casual artwork. Regardless of this plurality of kinds and strategies used, a sure continuity is current within the artist’s work. Michaela Silpochova:

Part of the exhibition dedicated to the theme of the beginning with Adam and Eve at the center |  Photo: Emile Roger, Rádio Praga Int.

“There’s a essential level in Věra’s artwork. Irrespective of the stylistic facet or the shape she takes, there’s all the time one thing that is still on the heart of her work and that’s the human being. Věra’s artwork offers primarily with these common human themes: the confrontation between good and evil, religion, loss, the start of life, loss of life. All these nice humanistic themes are there, it doesn’t matter what kind they take. »

First part of the diptych entitled Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Thus ends the glory of the world) |  Photo: Emile Roger, Rádio Praga Int.

Second part of the diptych entitled Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Thus ends the glory of the world) |  Photo: Emile Roger, Rádio Praga Int.

Throughout these seven many years of creative creation, the artist was involved with the identical themes that she by no means stopped remodeling. The DOX exhibition thus teams her works based on these main themes in an effort to observe the completely different remedies she has given them through the years. It ought to be famous that these themes retain a sure resonance in the present day, notably with regard to the connection between males and energy. Věra Nováková skilled two totalitarianisms, and her expertise of one of these regime permits her to transmit important classes to us by means of her artwork, as within the portray Sic transit gloria mundi (That is how the glory of the world ends). Michaela Šilpochová feedback this to us:

Paintings on display for the exhibition |  Photo: Emile Roger, Rádio Praga Int.

“She managed to place her finger on these highly effective, common themes which might be nonetheless current in the present day. She could be very anxious about what is occurring in the present day. She follows the information, reads the newspapers… What is occurring in Ukraine bears witness to what she already stated in her artwork, particularly, that each time somebody tries to impose his energy on others, it may well solely finish in catastrophe, and that’s the catastrophe we’re witnessing in the present day. »

Věra Nováková needed to anticipate the autumn of the communist regime to lastly be capable of share her artwork with the general public. Her first solo exhibition occurred when she was already 70 years previous. Now 94 years previous, she is without doubt one of the most influential up to date Czech artists, and lots of artists pay tribute to her. Twenty of them are on show on the finish of the By way of Vitae exhibition.

First exhibition hall |  Photo: Emile Roger, Rádio Praga Int.

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