Prague Fantastic Realism

The episode of Czech art history connected with the early work of Jan Jedlička, Vladivoj Kotyza and Mikuláš Rachlík has remained completely hidden from both art historians and the public for almost half a century. By a fortunate coincidence (in conversations with Jan Jedlička) this episode was revealed by Vojtěch Lahoda, one of the authors of an exhibition in the Prague City Gallery. In stories that he overheard, and primarily in the images which he and other artists discovered tucked beneath the sediment of works of later decades, he discovered manifestations of a remarkable imagination, which he called Prague’s Fantastic Realism.

Jan Jedlička, Vladivoj Kotyza and Mikuláš Rachlík proved to be extraordinarily sensitive observers. From their distinctively individualistic and at the same time critical positions, they managed to capture many hidden and remarkable aspects of a society and environment that had been disrupted by communist totalitarianism. We find the magic of reminiscences and old images mixed with the surreal poetics of the Old Town and the periphery of Prague at the time, its ruins and waste dumps.
Jitka Hlaváčková

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