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10 Apr 2010 00:00 - 3 May 2010 00:00

The Art of Czech Comics, Comics in the Art

Czech Centre Tel Aviv and Ehrlich Gallery present ten artists/ duels that deal with comics and are actively involved in art works connected to the media of comics.

A comic is a unique medium: compared to literature it has an additional value – an image, compared to fine arts – the word. Comics mediate the spirit of the times merging the visual and the word in a condensed transparent stream. Comic books published in Bohemia after 1989 revealed that there is no topic comics could not handle and with dignity.

Prior to the Velvet Revolution (1989), Czech culture and art had been controlled and censored by the crushing communist apparatus. The Communist regime feared comic art, which was then stigmatized as harmful, imperialistic junk and was banished to the periphery of the arts. Between 1948 and 1989 Czech comic survived as harmless entertainment for kids (Ctyrlistek – Quatrefoil) or it faded into the world of sci-fi literature (Muriel a andele – Muriel and the Angels). It took a few years for the comic medium to resuscitate itself  in the post revolutionary socio-cultural space and to step out of the imposed ghetto. Today, comic art represents a fully-fledged art category – comic festivals are being organized on a regular basis, awards are being granted and magazines with specifically comic art subjects are being published.

Screenplay writer Jaroslav Rudiš (1972) and draftsman Jaromír Švejdík (1963) stood at the peak of the new wave of Czech comic art when publishing the first book about the station man Alois Nebel. They have succeeded not only by elaborating on the topic of the Czech-German-Polish historical coexistence in the most catching way, but also by introducing a dynamic black and white caricature - Frank Miller.

Others soon followed Rudiš and Švejdík. Duet Vojtěch Mašek (1977) and Džian Baban (1977) started to spin surreal stories under the Fred Brunold’s Monstrkabaret caption whose framework is based on macabre experiment of the Soviet communist power. Jiří Grus (1978) has written and designed the magic realistic series of Voleman – a man torn between the routine life of Prague’s Holešovice – and other fantastic adventures. Karel Jerie (1977) elaborated Sophocles’s tragedy about King Oedipus. Lucie Lomová (1964) published a comic called Anna chce skocit ’ Anna wants to jump ’, a story of a girl in the context of Czech history after the year 1968.

Some authors, for example Karel Jerie, extend the field of comics to a spontaneous expression of visual arts. Others work backwards: from paintings and drawings with textual comments towards comic art. Their works are based on academic knowledge stimulated by imaginary principles and absorb major processes and elements typical of the comics:  the stress on action, ironic or absurd humor, richness of color, accompanied by admiring or caricaturing images, responding to the history of the visual arts.  

Michal Machat (1963) deals in his works with Michelangelo, Picasso and de Chirico. Petr Malina (1976) glosses Edward Hopper, Petr Nikl (1960) and Viktorie Rybáková (1961) elaborate on the art brut tradition, Martin Velíšek (1963) attacks realism, Josef Bolf (1971) offers a gloomy expression.





Zeitlin Street 23
6495518 Tel Aviv


From: 10 Apr 2010 00:00
To: 3 May 2010 00:00


Czech Centre Tel Aviv

Date 9 Mar 2010 00:00:00

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