Place: Trade Fair Palace
For over fifty years, Stanislav Kolíbal (b. 1925) has been one of the most prominent figures of Czech and European art. The artist’s extensive exhibition called Drawing by Drawing, shown in the Veletržní Palace’s mezzanine gallery, features Kolíbal’s drawing cycles that he has been creating from 1968 to the present. Kolíbal regards drawing as a definitive work of art, while drawings, in his mind, also generate a shift in concept or a major turning point in the artist’s creative output, presenting – in concentrated form – his approach to a particular theme and its development. The exhibition opens with his White Drawings produced between 1968-1976, in which he contemplates time and temporality, while his Illusion and Fiction series dating from 1977-1979 thematizes illusion in space. His Berlin Cycle from 1988 introduced his diversified work involving geometry, whose purpose is to seek order, concordance and interrelations. This series led to further drawing cycles, watercolours and reliefs that served the artist as a point of departure for objects arranged in space and exhibition installations. The exhibition will also examine this context of rendering drawings in the third dimension, exemplifying them by significant artworks that have either never been exhibited in the Czech Republic before, or only minimally. The exhibition is also intended to stimulate a theoretical discussion on the nature of Kolíbal’s art in the context of the international art movement, and to seek both concordances and differences with regard to the established art-historical context. This endeavour will no doubt be further enhanced by the collection of the artist’s small-sized sketches, preliminary studies, drawing concepts and initial ideas (published for the first time) that almost intimately elucidate Kolíbal’s creative process. This retrospective, unusually designed and installed by the artist himself, with him presenting the drawing as a work of art in its own right, is accompanied by a catalogue with an exhaustive autobiographical essay, where Stanislav Kolíbal focuses on the social and personal aspects of his oeuvre and artistic orientation.
Exhibition concept and installation design: Stanislav Kolíbal
Curators: Adam Budak and Martin Dostál
The National Gallery in Prague, Trade Fair Palace, “Respirium” and mezzanine gallery
Tram 6, 17 – Veletržní palác
Tram 1, 6, 8, 12, 17, 25, 26 – Strossmayerovo náměstí