PRESS RELEASE: Theodor Pištěk – Ecce Homo
The exhibition was organized by the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, the National Gallery in Prague
Authors of the exhibition: Martin Dostál, Helena Musilová
Exhibition curators: Helena Musilová, Jana Šmídmajerová
Architectonic solution: Pavel Kolíbal, Theodor Pištěk
Graphic solution: Marek Jodas
Accompanying programmes: Department of Education, the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art: Monika Sybolová, Oldřich Bystřický, Hana Rosenkrancová, Michaela Vrchotová, Michaela Kabátníková
Place: Fair Trade Palace
Date: 26 September 2012 - 6 January 2013
One of the main parts in the Fair Trade Palace will be the hitherto most extensive retrospective exhibition of the oeuvre of the Czech painter Theodor Pištěk. It will offer not only his paintings and drawings but also four large space installations, created directly for the architecture of the Fair Trade Palace.
Theodor Pištěk was born on 25 October 1932 in Prague and entered the artistic scene during the late 1950s, after graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Since then, he has ranked among the most significant and respected artists. From the very beginning, he was also simultaneously designing for the field of film industry, first collaborating with film director František Vláčil (Valley of the Bees, Markéta Lazarová) and later intensely working with Miloš Forman. He received the Academy Award, Oscar, for his costumes for Forman's Amadeus. Pištěk was moreover the Czechoslovak representative in car races. His love for beautiful cars and motorcycles lasts till today - and the world of motoring, cars and everything involved has always formed an inseparable part of his artistic oeuvre.
Pištěk's work and life defy almost everything what a painter should be according to the local standards, and his position on the Czech artistic scene remains to be rather specific. It is so even despite the fact that Pištěk the painter in his work distinctively copes with or anticipates many leading tendencies in the arts of the latter half of the 20th century (Structural and Geometric Abstraction, New Figuration, Photorealism, Installation Art and others).
The exhibition "Ecce Homo" aims at presenting all significant periods in Pištěk's oeuvre. Besides his today legendary photorealist paintings (let us note that Pištěk is the only local artist who consistently analysed the principles of Photo- or Hyperrealism in his work), it will also be his abstracting objects dating to the 1960s (variously cut and deformed parts of motors and radiators) and drawings from the cycle "Where Will I Live Next Time" as far as to his most recent installations. The bridging subject of the exhibition is the man and the civilization and Theodor Pištěk as an artist exploring the possibilities of various approaches to space in fine arts - from photorealist works to three-dimensional installation.
The exhibition is part of a long-term dramaturgy of the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art which plans to present Czech artists born during the 1930s. The next retrospectives will, for example, introduce visitors to the oeuvres of Hugo Demartini, Jan Kotík and other crucial artistic personalities of the second half of the 20th century.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with texts written by Stanislav Kolíbal and Martin Dostál and an interview of Helena Musilová with Theodor Pištěk, where the artist recollects the time of his studies and some of his activities as, for example, the Palettes of My Homeland and contemplates the influence of film on his free art.
The exhibition will also encompass rich accompanying programme, from single events linked with photorealist painting and the worlds of cars and film to education programmes for schools.