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Legend of the world collage | Galéria mesta Bratislavy | Allowance organisation of the City of Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic


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The Scholarship of Radislav Matuštík has been established in 2004.


Legend of the world collage

Author: Jiří Kolář
Mirbach Palace (show Contact)
4. 12. 2015 - 13. 3. 2016

     This exhibition is a memory of Jiří Kolář, an artist of world importance, who on 24th of September 2014 would have been hundred years old.

     It was mainly his fine art work which gained international fame. Kolář´s poetry is not of less quality, but for language barriers not easy to communicate. It is a hard nut to crack for a translator. He succeeded with collages in which he used not only all known means and techniques but he invented many new.

     He was born in a proletarian family in south Czech Protivín as a son of a baker and washerwoman. He spent his youth in Kladno where after primary school he learned joinery.

      Already in the year 1941 his first collection of poetry Křestní list (Christening Certificate) was published. In the year 1942 he had his merit in establishing the important Skupina 42 (Group 42). Besides Kolář there were other poets: Josef Kainar, Ivan Blatný and Jan Hanč, painters: František Gross, František Hudeček, Jan Kotík, Kamil Lhoták, Bohumír Matal, Jan Smetana and Karel Souček, sculptor Ladislav Zívr, photographer Miroslav Hák and theoreticians Jindřich Chalupecký and Jiří Kotalík.

    In the year 1949 he got married to the artist Běla Helclová. In the years 1950 to 1952 he finished his best known poetry collection Prométheova játra / Prometheus´ Liver. Its manuscript was confiscated by police and the author spent nine months in prison in the year 1953. The communist justice convicted him for one year but he was given amnesty. After his release he met daily with his friends at the „Kolářův stůl“(Kolář´s table) in the Prague café Slávia until his departure for a study stay in Berlin in the year 1979.

     In the end of the fifties of the past century he gradually parted from the verbal poetry and pushed words almost to the edge of his creation. His collages had great success. After his first individual exhibition in London in the year 1963 he exhibited with success in numerous important galleries in Europe, in Northern and in Southern America. The prestigious Guggenheim Museum in New York exhibited large collections of Kolář´s works even three times in the years 1975, 1979 and 1985. On the American continents he exhibited at the Biennale in Sao Paolo, in Canadian Toronto and Vancouver, further then in Chicago, Dallas and Buffalo. However, the larger part of the exhibitions took part in important galleries in Europe: Paris, Rome, London, Geneva, Cologne, Basel, Kassel, Munich, Nuremberg, Essen, Milan, Turin, Bern, Zurich, Florence, Brussels, Stockholm, Vienna, Salzburg, Rotterdam, Berlin, Bochum, Bremen, Athens, Cannes, Madrid, Barcelona, Krefeld, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Lisbon. Unbelievable!!! Still in the year 1963 he proved his organisational talent and established the group Křižovatka / Crossroads, where besides him and his wife Běla were active also Zděnek Sýkora, Otakar Slavík, Karel Malich and others. During the years 1971 to 1989 in the Czech Republic exhibitions of Jiří Kolář were prohibited and none of his poetry collections were published. Confiscated was even his monograph from M. Lamač and the compositions/types of his books were scattered. (rozmetány sazby jeho knih). In the year 1977 as one of the first he signed Charta 77.

 Although in the year 1979 he obtained permission for a year of study in West Berlin after it ended he was not permitted to return to his homeland.  In the year 1980 he settled in Paris, but the communistic power did not forget about him. In the year 1982 he was sentenced to a year imprisonment and loss of all property.  

      In the year 1984 he received French citizenship and finished his Dictionary of Methods, in which he gathered all his collage techniques. Many of them were his inventions. It is not by chance that in the world he is often presented as Picasso of collage.

     After ten years of stay in Paris in the year 1990 he returned for the first time to Prague and still in the same year with Václav Havel established the Prize of Jindřich  Chalupecký for young artists.

     In the year 1993 Kolář almost eighty years old lived to see his retrospective exhibition in the Národní galerie/National Gallery in Prague.  In the year 1999 he definitively returned to Prague, where his life journey ended on 11th of August 2002.

     Thanks to his outstanding talent and unbelievable diligence but also modesty and discipline from a bakery apprentice and joiner from Kladno he became one of the most famous and in the world most valued Czech fine artists.



Jan Kukal


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Jiří Kolář

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Františkánke nám. 11, 815 35 Bratislava

Open daily except Mondays
11am - 6 pm

Panská 19, Bratislava

Open daily except Mondays
11am - 6 pm

Pohľad z hradu Starhemberg
Author: Moritz Saint Genois
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