Two Worlds: One Dead and the Other Without the Power To Be Born War motifs by Václav Chad (1923–1945)


Date: 14.04.2015 - 19.07.2015
Place: Trade Fair Palace

Václav Chad would have been 92 years old this year. However, his life and work were violently cut short less than three months before the end of World War II, when he was killed by the Gestapo.

In spite of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia and establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Chad began to study at the newly opened Arts School in Zlín. In 1944, he joined the local resistance movement. On the night of February 23-24, the Gestapo came to arrest him and Chad was shot to death while trying to escape. He was well aware of what would happen to him if he were caught, and as he did not want to endanger the other resistance fighters by possibly betraying them, he chose to risk his own life. The foreboding of his imminent death also seems present in a drawing in his diary, under which, several days before he was killed, Chad wrote: “The last page of my diary, Feb. 18”. His work was strongly influenced by the tragic time in which he lived. It employs religious themes as well as war motifs. He did several variants of The Crucifixion and The Last Judgement, but the war also inspired drawings such as We Did Not Know When the War Would End or Two Worlds: One Dead and the Other Without the Power To Be Born.

Curator: Anna Pravdová

Graphic Cabinet, Trade Fair Palace, third floor 

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