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The studios of the members of the group UB 12 and their portraits

The Power of Human Simplicity
The end of the fifties in Czechoslovakia. After the trial and executions of intellectuals such as Záviš Kalandra, after the currency collapse, after the state’s complete vassalage to the cruel and despotic regime to the East, distress, greyness and enmity arose everywhere. At that time, even born recluses began to gather in groups simply to have someone to talk to. Today, artists such as Adriena Šimotová, Václav Boštík and Stanislav Kolíbal are usually considered independently, but it was they who founded the group UB 12 together with other artists[1] in the early 1960s and carefully formulated a joint artistic statement. They gathered around the cultivated scholar and talented painter Václav Bartovský, who was a generation older, but who befriended them and publicly defended their creative freedom.

It was a time when the comrades refused to publish a monograph on Henry Moore or were offended by the work of Lucio Fontana, while the rest of the world was admiring his original conception of space. Stanislav Kolíbal recalls how the then head of Umělecká Beseda, Vlastimil Rada, returned from an exhibition in Paris and, with the contempt of a confirmed reactionary, told the others that Fontana’s canvases were just slashes, which disgusted the comrade all the more because they were cut all the way through. Similar outpourings pronouncements irritated the young artists until they finally left Union of the Second Regional Centre, originally Umělecká Beseda, and founded their own artistic group which would not reject the modern tradition. The link among the various personalities became Václav Bartovský’s power of human simplicity, the need for distinctive poetry and mutual friendship.[2]

One of the founding members of the group visited the studios of his colleagues in early 1962, camera in hand. It was the one who felt like an enfant terrible among them, and unlike the pacifiers [tichoslapek], who were afraid to make bullshit and remained in grey, grey-brown, or greenish tones, he was too colourful. According to him, what Vítězslav Nezval said about Kaplický applied to most members of UB 12 (students of Josef Kaplický): English clothing, French painting, Czech Josef Kaplický. Taken together, he said, they had precisely nothing in common. It was a painter of dazzling colours, light and South Bohemian themes, Oldřich Smutný.

Smutný was provocative with his statements, but his pictures are different, evoked by a feeling for the charm of the unique individual. In black-and-white photography, he preferred a wide range of white, from grey to black, which stimulated depth and imagination. He liked to take photos a lot and captured the faces of his friends from UB 12 as if “from within,” muted and lost in thought. One can see that they are related, but not the same.

Everyone has a different strategy for dealing with the regime and the conditions; they support each other and at the same time remain apart. They want to express the way they live. For all of them, art is a serious matter, and so they differ from one another significantly. In Smutný’s photographs, their studios look like houses of paintings and sculptures that come to life in daily contact with the members of the household. Only there are they seen in the true light of their inception.

For Smutný, the greatest artist of UB 12 was Jiří Mrázek, who, like Václav Boštík and Václav Bartovský, is missing from the photographs presented from 1962. The artistic group UB 12 exhibited independently for the first time in the spring of the same year. It was in the basement of the U Topičů building in Prague, originally the private gallery of František Topič, which was nationalized in 1949 and from 1950 to 1991 was administered by the Československý Spisovatel Gallery. Václav Boštík and Jiří Mrázek, however, renounced their involvement, probably out of consideration for others — they realized that their works would most likely be unacceptable to the censors. Nevertheless, the exhibition was accompanied by other complications and was closed for several days. Some works seemed to the comrades just as “abstract” or otherwise inappropriate and had to disappear. This was the case, for example, with the sculpture of Věra Janoušková and the painting “Landscape” by Jiří John, which, as Stanislav Kolíbal recalls, was too dark for the comrades, like a grave. Václav Bartovský is missing from Smutný’s photographs because he died six months before the exhibition.

In the exhibition “U Topičů,” we can view the faces of the other members of UB 12 through the eyes of Smutný, their studios and the reciprocity of their works. In the online presentation at artforgood.cz, we preserved the order and number of images on cine film and 6x6 negatives so that it is possible to look beneath the hand of the artists and glimpse the photographer’s intentions, which is all the more interesting the more thoughtfully the shutter was clicked at the time. Some images are rotated for easier viewing and all are of such quality that viewers can examine the details. The film strip is backed in black so as not to disturb its jagged edge. The photographic material was edited by Ondřej Přibyl, who intervened only to the extent that he ensured that the patina did not disappear, that is, with one exception. Oldřich Smutný laid down the condition that the publication of the pictures would not detract from the beauty of anyone’s work…

UB 12 has not existed for half a century. The resistance of their members to meaningless descriptiveness and their free thinking, of course, went against the Bolshevik regime which banned all similar groups during the time of Normalization. The individual actors, however, will of course remain figures who, despite Marxist theories and their contemporaneous supporters,[3] had a spiritual influence on the post-war generation. Václav Bartovský died shortly before the formulation of the Joint Declaration of UB 12. He became a role model for people for whom art was holy, for whom it was a religion for which one would lay down one’s life. In the photographs, one can perhaps see the “power of human simplicity,” not as a pathetic phrase, but how it is embodied in unique individuals.
Pavlína Bartoňová

 

[1] There were 14 founding members of 14 UB in 1961  – Bartovský, Boštík, Burant, Janoušek, Janoušková, John, Kolíbal, Mrázek, Mrázková, Prachatická, Smutný, Šetlík, Šimotová, Vitík.

[2] See the Joint Proclamation of UB 12 published on the occasion of an independent exhibition “U Topičů” in 1962. The name of the group remained unchanged since this exhibition, where 12 members exhibited.

[3] For example, the art historian Milena Bartlová even today claims that she is no        interested in the moral failure of individuals or individual heroism because “in the production of knowledge of the past, they do not play any great role.” In: VODRÁŽKA Mirek. Výtvarné umění a jeho subverzní role v období normalizace. Demytologizační a detektivní příběh. Centrum pro dokumentaci totalitních režimů 2019.

Negatives once again alive and well! 
When I was preparing an exhibition of Oldřich Smutný´s paintings in Telč in 2005, Oldřich said he regretted that he had photographed the studios of the members of the UB 12 artistic group in the early 1960s, but that he had already thrown away all the negatives and photos. I, too, was regretful.

Over the next few years we saw each other more often; I would help him with other exhibitions. Oldřich was an excellent companion and raconteur, and we often discussed UB 12.

Then one day Oldřich called me to say that his negatives were once again alive and well! They had been saved from destruction by his devoted disciple and friend Miro Marko. Oldřich had a network of friends, primarily from the ranks of his former scenography students, who assisted him in many practical things for the rest of his life.

When he left his studio in Nad Královskou oborou Street in Letná in 2010, he told Miro Marek to take the rest of the things or throw them away. Thanks to him, this historical and artistic document was discovered, preserved and returned to Oldřich years later.

In addition to the studio and portraits of Oldřich Smutný himself from 1962, we also see the studios and quite successful portraits of the Janoušeks, Adriena Šimotová and Jiří John, Vlasta Prachatická and Stanislav Kolíbal, Daisy Mrázková, Alena Kučerová, František Burant and the artistic theorist of the UB 12 group Jiří Šetlík. Jaromír Zemina joined the group just two years later. Václav Bartovský is also not in the photographs; he died a year before they were taken. Especially impressive are the portraits and views of the studio of Alois Vitík, who died in 1972. Unfortunately, one does not hear much about him today. Even the extensive monograph by Milena Slavická at UB 12 did not manage to include a single portrait of Vitík. On the other hand, Oldřich’s portraits wonderfully illustrate Jaromír Zemina’s book of artistic texts Via artis, Via vitae.

The strange thing is that Václav Boštík is missing from the photographs, even though Oldřich was personally very fond of him. I suppose it is because at that time he had no studio and worked at home within the circle of his large family. He left his studio to Jiří John, who had nowhere to paint.

Today, the collection of photographs by Oldřich Smutný is not only a valuable historical document, but is of undeniable artistic value. This has already been shown by several exhibitions, where many other of Oldřich’s photographs were presented.
DavidBartoň

DAVID BARTOŇ (born 1964) graduated the Czech University of Life Sciences in Brno and worked as an agricultural engineer, warehouseman, innkeeper, ceramist and director of the City Gallery in Telč. Since 1998 he has been a curator, gallery owner and artist. He paints primarily the landscape of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. Looks after the legacy of Oldřich Smutný and Václav Rožánek. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Václav Bartovský

22. 8. 1903 - 8. 8. 1961

1903 Prague +1961 Vůsí u Milevska

1915-1925

Studies at the Real Gymnasium in Prague, but does not graduate. Attends the private painting schools of Rudolf Vejrych and Jaroslav Poš. In the 1920s he makes his first contacts with the Prague art scene. A long-term friendship is established between Zdeněk Rykr and Václav Bartovský.

1928

First solo exhibition in the House of Artists in Prague (Krasoumná jednota).

1930s

Study trip to Paris where he becomes acquainted with modern French painting. He especially admires Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard. After returning to Prague, he studies painting techniques and becomes interested in cubism for a brief time as well as surrealism at the end of the 30s. Regularly contributes articles to the journal Zdroj on important personalities in Czech and world art, especially French painters.

1948

Becomes a member of Umělecká beseda. Here he meets Václav Boštík, Jindřich Chalupecký, and Jiří Kolář and becomes a recognized authority within the association. Jiří Kolář dedicates to him his poetry collection Master Sun on the Poetic Arts. Solo exhibition at the Topič Salon in Prague. Text of the catalog by Jindřich Chalupecký and Jiří Kolář. Contributes to the daily press as a critic and reviewer and works on a monograph of Bedřich Vaníček.

Beginning 1951 he leads art courses in Textile Design in Prague.

1958-1961

Becomes close with young artists (Jiří John, Adriena Šimotová, Stanislav Kolíbal, Vlasta Prachatická, Jiří Mrázek, Daisy Mrázková) in the loft II. of the Regional Center of the Union of Czechoslovak Graphic Artists, Umělecká beseda. Initiates the formation of the UB12 Group.

1960

A book by Jiří Padrta, Václav Bartovský, is published by the Publishing House of Czechoslovak Artists in Prague.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Selected artworks






















Václav Boštík

6. 11. 1913 - 7. 5. 2005

1913 Horní Újezd u Litomyšle ✚2005 in Prague

 

1933-1937

Studies drawing and descriptive geometry at the Czech Technical University in Prague.

1937-1939

Studies painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague under prof. Willi Nowak. During this time he meets the sculptor Jan Křížek.

1942

Becomes a member of Umělecká beseda. Gets married. The Boštík family have five children. Creates his first abstract drawings.

1945

Completes his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in the graphic studio. Through Jiří Mrázek he meets the students of the School of Applied Arts, future members of UB12.

1953

Confrontational exhibition of Václav Boštík, Jiří John, Stanislav Kolíbal, Daisy Mrázková, Jiří Mrázek, Adriena Šimotová in the studio of Václav Boštík in Prague, Nad Královskou oborou 15.

1953-1955

Employed as a laboratory technician and photographer in the Laboratory of higher nervous activity of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.

1953-1959

Together with Jiří John implements the Memorial of Jewish Victims of Nazism in the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague.

1956

Trip to Paris with Jiří John (with an exhibition of children’s drawings from the Terezín concentration camp).

1957

Solo exhibition at the Aleš Hall of Umělecká beseda in Prague.

Exhibits his abstract work.

1968

Solo exhibition in the New Hall in Prague. A six-month stay in Paris.

1970
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Exhibitions

Selected artworks






















František Burant

13. 2. 1924 - 17. 7. 2001

1913 Horní Újezd u Litomyšle ✚2005 in Prague

 

1933-1937

Studies drawing and descriptive geometry at the Czech Technical University in Prague.

1937-1939

Studies painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague under prof. Willi Nowak. During this time he meets the sculptor Jan Křížek.

1942

Becomes a member of Umělecká beseda. Gets married. The Boštík family have five children. Creates his first abstract drawings.

1945

Completes his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in the graphic studio. Through Jiří Mrázek he meets the students of the School of Applied Arts, future members of UB12.

1953

Confrontational exhibition of Václav Boštík, Jiří John, Stanislav Kolíbal, Daisy Mrázková, Jiří Mrázek, Adriena Šimotová in the studio of Václav Boštík in Prague, Nad Královskou oborou 15.

1953-1955

Employed as a laboratory technician and photographer in the Laboratory of higher nervous activity of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.

1953-1959

Together with Jiří John implements the Memorial of Jewish Victims of Nazism in the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague.

1956

Trip to Paris with Jiří John (with an exhibition of children’s drawings from the Terezín concentration camp).

1957

Solo exhibition at the Aleš Hall of Umělecká beseda in Prague.

Exhibits his abstract work.

1968

Solo exhibition in the New Hall in Prague. A six-month stay in Paris.

1970
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

 

Selected artworks






















Vladimír Janoušek

30. 1. 1922 - 8. 9. 1986

1922 Front Ždírnice u Nová Paky ✚1986 Prague

 

1940

Completes the Trutnov Gymnasium.

1940-1941

Attends a graduate course in Hořice. After the course is abolished, is employed by a construction company in Hostinné.

1941-1942

Studies at the School of Arts and Crafts in Brno. Admitted to the studio of prof. Karel Dvořák at the School of Applied Arts in Prague.

1942-1945

Forced labor under German rule. Works in Saxony, Germany.

1945

Fails the entrance exams at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.

1945-1949

Studies at the School of Applied Arts in Prague (since 1948 at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design) in the studio of prof. Josef Wagner. His classmates are Miloš Chlupáč, Věra Havlová, Eva Kmentová, Zdeněk Palcr, Alina Szapocznikovová, Olbram Zoubek.

1948

Marries the sculptor Věra Havlová.

1948-1949

Together with his wife he spends two semesters at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia under prof. Ivan Funěva.

1950

Graduates from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Acquires a studio in Malátova Street in Smíchov, where he works until 1956.

1952

Admitted to the II. Regional Center of the Union of Czechoslovak Graphic Artists, Umělecká beseda. Here he meets Václav Bartovský and other artists of the future UB12 Group.

1955-1961

Wins several competitions and executes public commissioins (relief for the House of Fashion in Prague 1955-1956, relief for the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Brussels, 1958, Karel Hynek Mácha’s memorial for Doksy, 1961.

1961-1970

Abandons traditional sculptural material and begins working with asbestos-cement, polyvinyl chloride, welding technology, metal plates and bars. The first mobile sculptures are created.

1962

His monograph on Jiří Šetlík was published by Publishing House of Czechoslovak Graphic Artists.

1964

Builds a studio in Košíře, where he works until his death.

1967

Mother passes away. First solo exhibition, Pendulums and other sculptures, takes place in the New Hall in Prague. Participates in the sculpture symposium in Liberec. At the World Exhibition in Montreal his sculpture Mother with a Child is placed in the Czechoslovak Pavilion.

1968-1970

Architectural work realized (paradise courtyard in the reconstructed George Monastery, sculptures with water components for Kajetan terraces and others).

1970

Creates a monumental sculpture Threat of War for the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Osaka.
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Selected artworks






















Věra Janoušková

25. 6. 1922 - 10. 8. 2010

1922 Úbislavice u Jičína ✚2010 Prague

 

1941-1942

Attends elementary school. Studies at the Vocational School of Sculpture and Stonework in Hořice.

1942-1944

Studies at the School of Applied Arts in Prague in the studio of prof. Karel Dvořák.

1945-1948

Studies at the School of Applied Arts in Prague (since 1948 at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design) in the studio of prof. Josef Wagner. Her classmates are Vladimír Janoušek, Miloš Chlupáč, Eva Kmentová, Zdeněk Palcr, Alina Szapocznikovová, Olbram Zoubek.

1948

Marries Vladimír Janoušek.

1948-1949

Studies for two semesters at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia under prof. Ivan Funěv. Becomes acquainted with Bulgarian folk art and with ancient monuments on the territory of Bulgaria.

1952

Admitted to the II. Regional Center of the Czechoslovak Technical University, Umělecká beseda. Here she meets Václav Bartovský and other artists of the future UB12 Group. She and her husband acquire a studio on Malátova Street in Smíchov.

1957

During a trip to the USSR she visits Moscow, Leningrad, a Russian monastery and temples in Zagorsk, and the Cathedral of St. Sofia in Kiev. In Warsaw she visits the studio of Alina Szapoczniková.

1958

Study trip to Greece.

1960

Independent exhibition with Adriena Šimotová in the Hall of People’s Democracy on Charles Square. Starts working in her new studio in Břevnov. Here she creates her hand-sewn tapestries. Study trip to Paris.

1960s

Begins to use asbestos cement, masters welding technology, begins to create sculptures from coal slag, reliefs from white gypsum with elements of metal, sculptures and items from found objects, as well as her first collages from waste paper.

1962

Visits Tigra Jiu in Romania, where she becomes acquainted with religious monuments, the work of Brancusi, and folk art.

1962-1964

Together with her husband, she builds a studio in Košíře, which becomes an important art center in the sixties.

1965

Solo exhibition at the Václav Spála Gallery in Prague.

1966-1969

Trip to Egypt and Italy.

1970
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.




Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Selected artworks






















Jiří John

6. 11. 1923 - 22. 6. 1972

1923 Třešť ✚1972 Prague

 

1938

Graduates the grammar school in Třešť. Trains as a locksmith.

1941

Works in a machine factory in Hedvikov. Creates his first line drawings for the local student journal Vítr.

1945-1946

Studies one year at the State Graphic School in Prague under prof. Zdeněk Balaš. Meets Jiří Mrázek, Jiří Šindler and Adriena Šimotová.

1946-1951

Studies at the School of Applied Arts in Prague (since 1948 the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design) in the studio of prof. Josef Kaplický, concurrently with Adriena Šimotová, Jiří Mrázek, Jiří Šindler, Jiří Schmidt. Through Jiří Mrázek he meets Václav Boštík.

1947

Attends an exhibition by Josef Šíma in Prague’s Topič Salon.

1948

Václav Boštík assigns his studio to Jiří John in Nad Královskou oborou 15 in Prague. A friendship develops between the two artists, which is of fundamental significance for both.

1951

Begins his two-year military service and discovers the poetry of Boris Pasternak.       

1953

Marries Adriena Šimotová. Enters the II. Regional Center of the Czechoslovak Union of Graphic Artists, Umělecká beseda. Here he meets Václav Bartovský. Together with Václav Boštík, Stanislav Kolíbal, Daisy Mrázková, Jiří Mrázek and Adriena Šimotová, he participates in a non-public confrontational exhibition held in the studio of Václav Boštík. Temporary worker on archaeological surveys at the Golden Horse near Koněprus, and discovers the world of geological strata and spaces beneath the Earth’s surface.

1954-1959

Works with Václav Boštík at the Memorial of Jewish Victims of Nazism at the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague.

1956

Visits Paris for the first time. Travels with an exhibition of children’s drawings from the Terezín concentration camp (together with Václav Boštík). Meets Jan Křížek.

1957

Takes part in the Exhibition of Five Artists in the Aleš Hall of Umelecká beseda in Prague. Meets Věra and Vladimír Janoušková at the Regional Center of the Czechoslovak Union of Graphic Artists.

1958

Works on illustrations to Michelangelo’s Sonnets.

1960

Birth of son Martin. Solo exhibition in the Aleš Hall of Umělecká beseda.

1961-1964

Illustrates Dostoevsky’s novel The Insulted and the Injured (published by Svět sovětů). Appointed assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where he leads an evening drawing school. He regularly participates in international graphic art exhibitions where he receives numerous awards (1963 silver medal in Sao Paulo, 1965 fifth prize in Ljubljana; San Marino, Písek, 1966 in Lugano, 1969 in Ljubljana, Václav Hollar prize in Prague, 1970 prize for drawing in Rijeka).

1964

Trip to Paris, where he met Josef Šíma. Studies the works of Joan Miró and Max Ernst. Alois Jirásek made a short film about Jiří John on a theme suggested by Jiří Šetlík.

1965

Independent exhibition in the New Hall. First signs of chronic kidney inflammation.

1966

Trip to Switzerland. Works on illustrations for the Lighthouses of Saint-John Pers for which he received the Mladá fronta publishing house prize in 1967.

1967-1968

Creates the tapestry Crystals for the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Montreal. Creates the tapestry Rosa for the Czechoslovak Embassy in London. The monumental image Movement of the Earth for the Federal Assembly building in Prague. Tapestry for the Czechoslovak Embassy in Stockholm.

1968

Awarded the Klement Gottwald State Prize. Trip to France, where he meets with Josef Šíma at his retrospective exhibition in Paris.

1969

Trip to Germany, Poland. Trip to France with Adriena Šimotová. Visits Josef Šíma in his studio. Illustrates Moon by Karel Toman, published by Mladá fronta. Tomáš Osolsobě makes the film Talks with John.

1970

Jaromír Zemina completes John’s monograph for the Obelisk publishing house (the book was not published until 1988 by Odeon).
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Selected artworks






















Stanislav Kolíbal

11. 12. 1925

1925 Orlová

 

1938

After Těšínská joins Poland, the family moves to Ostrava. He studies at the Real Gymnasium in Ostrava-Přívoz.

1943

As a guest he exhibits at the member exhibition of the Moravian-Silesian Association of Fine Artists in the House of Arts in Ostrava.

1944

Sent to forced labor mines in Ostrava. Passes the exams for the School of Applied Arts in Prague. However, the school is closed this year. Creates illustrations for books by Edgar Allen Poe, František Halas and Boris Pilňak. First meeting with Václav Boštík at the Vyšehrad publishing house.

1945

Publishes his article “Response and Manifesto” in the periodical Nástup as a defense of modern art against ideological reproaches. Goes to Prague to study at the studio of applied graphics of prof. Antonín Strnadel. At the School of Applied Arts he meets students of prof. Kaplický - Jiří John, Adriena Simotová, Jiří Mrázek, Jiří Šindler. Starts working as a book graphic designer.

1948

Creates a cycle of seven wood engravings for Václav Pour’s publishing house. Makes his first filmmaking experiment in an abandoned village in the border area. His sculptures of stones originate in the river bed of Bečva near Vsetín, which prefigures his later sculptural work in a fundamental way.

1950

Graduates from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. Illustrates Mickiewicz’s Ballads and Romances for the Vyšehrad publishing house (forbidden to be published). Begins to study stage design at the Theater Faculty under prof. František Tröster.

1952

Admitted to the Czechoslovak Union of Graphic Artists. At the II. Regional Center in the loft of Umělecká beseda he meets Václav Bartovský and other future members of the UB12 Group. Works on theatre productions in Ostrava, Opava and for the National Theater in Prague.

1953

Acquired a studio on Nad Královskou oborou 23 near the studios of Boštík, John and Bartovský. Marries the sculptor Vlasta Prachatická. Completes his studies in scenography. Remains at the Theater Faculty (until 1959) as a part-time stage teacher. He begins to occupy himself with sculpture seriously and systematically. Birth of daughter Markéta.

1956

Birth of son Paul.

1957

Participates in the Exhibition of Five Artists in the Aleš Hall of Umělecká beseda (Burant, John, Kolíbal, Prachatická, Šimotová). Trip to Greece. At the National Museum in Athens he encounters ancient Greek art and is especially impressed by statues from the Cyclades Islands. Illustrations to a fairy tale collection (this book becomes important for the development of Czech book illustration). Illustrations for books by Torquato Tasso and A. P. Chekov.

1958

Co-organizer of and participant in the Art Exhibition of Young Artists of Czechoslovakia in the House of Arts in Brno. Co-founder of the Bloc of Creative Groups. Visits the world exhibition in Brussels. Discovers a monograph by Isam Noguchi and a book about Alexander Calder (becoming acquainted with the work of these two artists will change his current view of sculpture).

1959

Trip to Egypt, Syria and Lebanon.

1964

Creates sculptures for the Great Moravia exhibition at Prague Castle. Designs a solution for the supporting walls of the Nusle Bridge and a relief wall for the Czech Airlines office in Sofia. Trip to Italy. Attends the Venice Biennale. Attends an exhibition of Lucio Fontana in Milan. Elected to the management of the MSGR section (painters, sculptors and graphic designers).

1965

Graphically prepares the monthly journal Fine Art until its demise in 1970 (together with Jiří Schmidt). Participates in the preparation of the Paris-Prague exhibition and installs the exhibition in Paris. His statue “Table” is selected by the Guggenheim Museum in New York for the Sculpture of Twenty Nations exhibition. Creates his first abstract sculptures.

1966

In Paris he installs an exhibition of Czech cubism in the Musée National d’Art Modeme. Moves to a studio on Rooseveltova Street in Prague 6. Creates a roof garden for the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Montreal.

1967

Installs an exhibition of Contemporary Czechoslovak Art in Turin as well as exhibits. Meets Lucio Fontana. First solo exhibition of sculptures in the New Hall in Prague. Receives an award in Bologna for illustrations to the book Crystal Sisters as well as an anniversary award from Albatros in Prague.

1968

Participates in the organization of the exhibition New Sensitivity in Brno. Creates an 18m wall for the Czechoslovak Embassy in London. Study stay in Vence (southern France) in the studio of the Karoly Foundation. Attends a symposium in Korcula (Vela Luka), where he becomes friends with Achille Perilli.

1969

Works on a sculpture for the Czechoslovak Pavilion in Osaka called Homage to Japan. Receives a six-month Ford Foundation scholarship, but the political situation does not allow him to travel.

1970

Solo exhibition at Špála Gallery in Prague. Participates in the exhibition Between Man and Matter in Tokyo (a selection of the Japanese critic Yusuke Nakahara).
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Exhibitions

Selected artworks






















Alena Kučerová

28. 4. 1935

1935 Prague

 

Spends her childhood with her parents in Prague and her grandparents in Lhota near Stará Boleslav.

1950-1954

Studies at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design on Křižovnická Street in the studio of prof. Rudolf Beneš, where she meets her classmates Čestmír Janošek, Jan Švankmajer, Theodor Pištěk, Karel Nepraš, Nada Plíšková, Jarmila Pešická.

1955

Admitted to the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague to the studio of Karel Svolinský. However, he refuses to accept for cadre reasons, so she transfers to the studio of Antonín Strnadel. Graduates from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in 1959. Studies with Eva Bednářová, Rudolf Němec, Zbyněk Kučera, Karel Laštovka, Marie Macháčová and Vladimír Kopecký, who studied under Kaplický. Kopecký introduces her to former Kaplický students Adriena Šimotová, Jiří John, František Burant and Jiří Mrázek. After graduation in the second half of the fifties she devotes herself to graphic design.

1960

On the recommendation of Šimotová, she becomes a member of the UB12 Group.

1961

Creates a series of black line drawings to accompany Christian Morgenstern’s poetry collection Gallows Songs. From her first expressively abstract compositions she moves to geometric abstraction.

1962

Marries Vladimír Kopecký.

1965

First solo exhibition in the Hall of People’s Democracy on Charles Square.

1967

Solo exhibition at Jaroslav Král Gallery in Brno. For the Czechoslovak Pavilion in Montreal she creates a four-meter high window – etched glass with abstract composition (the stained glass was purchased by the organizers and placed in the Canadian Conservatory). First prize at the international graphics competition Premio Biella.

1969

Honorable mention at the International Graphic Biennial in Ljubljana.

1970

Second prize at the International Graphic Biennial in Krakow.
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Selected artworks






















Jiří Mrázek

22. 4. 1920 - 2. 3. 2008

1920 Prague ✚2008 Prague

 

1930-1939

Attends Real Gymnasium in Prague. His drawing professors are F.V. Mokrý and Pravoslav Kotík.

1937

Mrázek is impressed by the exhibition of modern French art at Mánes. Meets Václav Boštík at the Arnošt dormitory in Prague at an exhibition of young artists.

1939

Graduates Real Gymnasium. An unsuccessful attempt to enter the studio of Willi Nowak at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where Václav Boštík is studying at the time. Studies drawing at the Technical University in Prague under prof. Cyril Bouda, Oldřich Blažíček and Josef Sejpka. After the schools are closed by the Nazis, he studies at the Ceramic School in Prague.

1940-1941

Attends the Ukrainian Academy of prof. Ivan Kulc. Meets Jan Křížek in Václav Boštík’s studio.

1942

Unsuccessfully attempts to be admitted to the School of Applied Arts in Prague. First automatic drawings. Passes the exams at the State Graphic School in Prague. Studies for a year with Richard Lander and Zdeněk Balaš, who greatly influences his further artistic development. Meets Adriena Šimotová, Jiří John and Jiří Šindler.

1943

Admitted to the School of Applied Arts. School closed by the Nazis the following year.

1944

Marries the painter Daisy Troníčková. Leaves Prague with his wife and spends a year in the Bohemian-Moravian highlands in the village of Březiny u Svratky. Works for the architect ing. Jaroslav Čermák and designs applied art for church buildings.

1945-1949

Studies at the School of Applied Arts (since 1948 at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design) in the studio of prof. Josef Kaplický, his classmates are Adriena Šimotová, Jiří John and Jiří Šindler.

1949

Graduates from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design. By this time, he has three children. In the 1950s and 1960s works as a designer of Textile production in the woven textile studio of prof. Antonín Kybal (later the Institute of Housing and Clothing Culture, aka UBOK). In the mid-1950s Jindřich Chalupecký and Václav Bartovský work here. Becomes a member of the applied art creative group Balance.

1952

Included in the II. Regional Center of the Union of Czechoslovak Graphic Artists, Umělecká beseda, in the section of applied arts.

1953

In Boštík’s studio, takes part in the first confrontation between the works of artists Václav Boštík, Jiří John, Adriena Šimotová, Stanislav Kolíbal, Vlasta Prachatá and Daisy Mrázková.

1958

The Textile Studio, of which he was a member, won the Grand Prix at the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the World Exhibition in Brussels. Trip to Brussels.

1959

First solo exhibition in the Aleš Hall of Umělecká beseda in Prague. The exhibition is prepared by Václav Bartovský. Trip to Paris with the Institute of Fashion and Design (ÚBOK).

1964

Solo exhibition at the Václav Špála Gallery in Prague. Jiří Mrázek exhibits abstract paintings. The exhibition was attended by the American Lee Freeman from Chicago, who becomes his lifelong collector. Thanks to his support, he is able to leave his job at ÚBOK and pursue freelance work. Trip to England.

1965

Wins important awards at tapestry exhibitions in Menton and Liège.

1967

Mrázek's tapestries are awarded a gold medal at the Czechoslovak Tapestry Exhibition in Prague.

1968

Trip to the United States.

1970

Solo exhibition at the Platýz Gallery in Prague, organized by Ludmila Vachtová.
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.




Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Exhibitions

Selected artworks






















Daisy Mrázková

5. 5. 1923 - 14. 12. 2016

1923 Prague ✚2016 Prague

 

1938-1942

Studied at the Teacher’s Institute in Prague.

1942

Passes the exams at the School of Applied Arts in Prague. Studies at the State Graphic School in Prague for several months. Attends evening drawing courses by Emanuel Frinta

1943-1944

Studies in the studio of prof. Antonín Strnadel. Meets Jiří Šindler and Václav Boštík. With the help of friends, she prints the manuscript Canticum trium puerorum.

1944

Marries Jiří Mrázek. Spends a year in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands in Březiny.

1940s and 1950s

The Mrázeks move to an apartment on Sekaninova Street in Nusle. Daisy Mrázková focuses primarily on her three children, born between 1945-1949. She is unable to continue her studies at the School of Applied Arts. Meets Václav Bartovský. In the second half of the forties she devotes herself to wood engraving, and in the fifties primarily portraiture.

1953

Takes part in the first confrontation in Boštík’s studio among Václav Boštík, Jiří John. Adriena Simotova, Stanislav and Kolibala, Vlasta Prachatická, Jiří Mrázek. The exhibition becomes one of the impulses for the creation of the UB12 Group.

1957

At a poetry evening (Josef Červinka lectures on Morgenstern’s poems in Hiršal’s translation) she presents her works for the first time in Umělecká beseda.

1961

First solo exhibition entitled Portraits (together with Vlasta Prachatická) in the Hall of People’s Democracy.

60’s

Paints landscapes with fragments of figures and faces and gradually comes to abstract works. In addition to working on paintings, she also writes and illustrates books for preschool children. In the field of children's books, during the sixties, she is an important writer and illustrator. Her illustrations and free painting are closely related and influence one another.

1964

Trip to England.

1969

Solo exhibitions in the Václav Špála Gallery. Exhibits abstract images.
1970
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Selected artworks






















Vlasta Prachatická

27. 11. 1929

1929 Staré Smrkovice near Hořice

 

1945

Attended the Secondary School of Stone Sculpture in Hořice, where she worked under the guidance of prof. Jaroslav Plichta (student of J. V. Myslbek). She passes the exams (at the age of 16) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in the studio of prof. Otakar Španiel. Her classmates are Marie Uchytilová-Kučová, Milan Knobloch, Jan Mathé, Jan Kulich. Lives in Prague with her aunt, wife of cellist prof. K. P. Sádla.

1951

Completes her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts. Meets Stanislav Kolibal through whom she becomes acquainted with Jiří John, Adriena Šimotová, Jiří Mrázek, Vladimír Janoušek, Věra Havlová-Janoušková. The National Gallery in Prague purchases her sculptural portrait Mother.

1952

Begins work in the studio at Nad Královskou oborou 23 (until 1962).

1953

Marries Stanislav Kolibal. Birth of daughter Markéta.

1956

Birth of son Paul.

1957

Takes part in the Exhibition of Five Artists in the Aleš Hall of Umělecká beseda in Prague.

1967

Takes part in the Exhibition of Five Sculptors in the Václav Špála Gallery (Kmentová, Pacík, Prachatická, Vinopalová, Zoubek). Exhibits at the Sculpture Biennale in Middelheim (Belgium).

1969

Wins the competition for a portrait of Jan Masaryk for the entrance hall of the Czernin Palace of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czechoslovak Republic. However, due to the change in political conditions, the bust is never displayed. Works on a portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven for the Castle Hradec nad Moravicí.

1970

Creates a commemorative plaque for the composer J. B. Foerster for his house in Vienna.
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Exhibitions

Selected artworks






















Oldřich Smutný

17. 6. 1925 - 1. 9. 2013

Born June 17, 1925 in Debř. Originally, he wanted to be a violinist, but since fourteen years of age, he devoted himself wholly to painting. After graduating from grammar school in Mladá Boleslav, where he was introduced to art by Bedřich Mudroch, he studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague under the leadership of Jan Bauch (1945–1950), and additionally at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles’ University (1951–1954) and at the Academy of Musical Theatre Arts under František Tröster. He then became his assistant and thought painting, later on as an associate professor, at the Department of Stage Design for thirty five years. He was an author of several theatre scenes, namely for the National Theatre in Prague and the South Bohemian Theatre in České Budějovice. For years he devoted himself to photography and in 1988 he received 1st prize for visual art of an animated film S úsměvem (With a Smile) at the Huesca International Film Festival. He wrote and illustrated a book called Labutě, labutě… (Swans, swans…) published in 1982 and again in 1986. In the 1960’s, he became a member of UB 12 and since 1992, he was a member of the Umělecká beseda art group. Oldřich Smutný lived and worked in Prague and in Putim, where he passed away September 1, 2013.

 

1925 Debř u Mladé Boleslavi ✚2013 Putim

 

1938

Mother is dying.

1937-1944

Studies at the Real Gymnasium in Mladá Boleslav. Drawing is taught by Pravoslav Kotík and Bedřich Mudroch.

1945

Studies drawing at the Technical University in Prague. Passes the exams for the School of Applied Arts in Prague.

1945-1950

Studies in the studios of Professor Jan Bauch at the School of Applied Arts (since 1946 at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design). Alois Klíma and Václav Kiml are his classmates. Meets Stanislav Kolíbal.

1949

Father is dying.

1950

Graduates from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.

1951-1954

Studies stage design at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the studio of prof. František Tröster.

1952

Designs the stage setting for The Bartered Bride. During his work he discovers the landscape of South Bohemia, which has become his permanent inspirational source. Becomes an assistant professor in Tröster’s studio at DAMU.

1955

Marries pianist Žofie Kresáková. Builds a house and studio in Putim, South Bohemia, where he regularly lives and works.

1957

Trip to Greece and the GDR.

1958

Trip to Brussels.

1959

Trip to Italy and the Soviet Union.

1960

Trip to Italy.

1962

Stanislav Kolíbal introduces Oldřich Smutný to the artists of the UB12 Group. Invited to participate in his first exhibition in the Gallery of the Czechoslovak Writer.

1968

Appointed associate professor at the Academy of Performing Arts. Visits France for the first time and subsequently goes every year. Designs and creates stucco for the interior of the Czechoslovak Embassy in London.

1970

At the World Exhibition in Osaka collaborates on the interior design of the Canadian Pavilion.
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311



 

Exhibitions

Selected artworks

Films

More






















Jiří Šetlík

2. 4. 1929

1929 in Prague

 

1940-1948

Studies at the Czech-Russian Gymnasium and at the Real Gymnasium in Prague Michle.

1946

Joins the Social Democratic Party.

1948-1952

Studies art history at the Prague Philosophical Faculty under prof. Antonín Matějíček, Jan Květ, Jaromír Pešina and the aesthetics of Jan Mukařovský. After the merger of the Social Democratic Party with the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia he becomes a member.

1950-1954

Military service.

1956-1958

Research assistantship at the Institute of History and the theory of Art of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences.

1958-1964

Becomes head of the collection of modern art at the National Gallery in Prague. Together with his colleagues he prepares exhibitions of Antonín Slavíček, Jan Preisler, Josef Kaplický, Otto Gutfreund and others. Participates in the concept of a permanent exhibition of modern art in the National Gallery and in the preparation of a Czech exhibition for the World Exhibition in Brussels. In 1964 is compelled to leave the National Gallery. Accepts the position of editor-in-chief of the journal Umělecká práce.

1964-1968

Elected chairman of the theoretical section of the Union of Artists. Is a member of the editorial board of Fine Art magazine. Is a member of a team of workers preparing the World’s Fair in Montreal. Lectures externally on art history at the Academy of Fine Arts and at the University of November 17th. Contributes art reviews to Literární noviny and Plamen. Appointed a member of a working team to prepare the World Exhibition in Osaka.

1967-1968

Six-month scholarship in the United States.

1968

Appointed director of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, where he participates in the new organizational structure.

1970

Expelled from the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, deprived of all functions and public activities. Works as a construction technician at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague.
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Selected artworks

Films






















Adriena Šimotová

6. 8. 1926 - 19. 5. 2014

1926 Prague ✚2014 Prague

 

1941-1942

Studies at a private graphic school in Prague under prof. Jaroslav Šváb.

1942-1945

Studies at the State Graphic School in Prague under prof. Richard Lander and Zdeněk Balaš. Concurrently, Jiří Mrázek, Daisy Troníčková-Mrázková (for only a few months), Jiří Šindler, Vlastimil Berger, Dagmar Hejdová, Jiří Chadima study at this school.

1945-1950

Studies at the School of Applied Arts in Prague (since 1948 at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design) in the studio of prof. Josef Kaplický. Her classmates are Jiří Mrázek, Jiří John, Jiří Šindler. Jiří Mrázek introduced her to Václav Boštík.

1950

Admitted to the II. Regional Center of the Czechoslovak Union of Graphic Artists, where she meets Václav Bartovský and becomes close friends with Věra Janoušková and Vladimír Janoušek.

1953

Marriage to Jiří John. Thanks to Václav Boštík, Jiří John acquires a studio at Nad Královskou oborou 15, where Adriena Šimotová also works. Takes part in the first confrontation of the works of artists Václav Boštík, Jiří John, Stanislav Kolíbal, Vlasta Prachatická, Jiří Mrázek, Daisy Mrázková in the Boštík Studio. The exhibition becomes one of the impulses for the formation of the UB12 Group.

1957

Participates in the Exhibition of Five Artists in the Aleš Hall of Umělecká beseda in Prague.

1959

A trip to Paris with the Institute of Housing Culture. Creates pictures of lyrical abstraction.

1960

Birth of son Martin. Solo exhibition (with Věra Janoušková) in the Hall of People’s Democracy in Prague.

1965

Independent exhibition in the Gallery of the Czechoslovak Writer in Prague. From this collection is selected a number of monotypes and gouaches for the Biennial in Sao Paulo and the International Biennial of Youth in San Marino.

1967

Participates in the International Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana to which she regularly contributes until 1983. Creates paintings and drawings close to the style of new figuration.

1968

Independent exhibition in the Václav Špála Gallery. Trip to Paris with Jiří John to attend the exhibition of Josef Šíma at the Musée d’Art Moderne. Meets Josef Šíma.

1969

Trip with Jiří John to Paris, where she again meets with Šíma in his studio.

1970

Independent exhibition in the Václav Špála Gallery. Gold medal at the International Biennale of Graphics in Florence.
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Selected artworks

Films






















Alois Vitík

25. 6. 1910 - 7. 2. 1972

1910 in Mimoň ✚1972 Prague

 

1929-1934

Studies at the School of Applied Arts in Prague under prof. Arnošt Hofbauer. In the 1930s he draws on cubism, fauvism and expressionism, and later on surrealism. He travels to France, Germany, Switzerland, Yugoslavia and Italy, and also visits the Soviet Union.

1943

Becomes a member of Umělecká beseda. In the 1940s and 1950s, he creates figurative paintings with urban themes, close to the poetics of Group 42. Exhibits with artists who later found Group 42 in 1940 at the E. F. Burian Theater in Prague.

1947

First solo exhibition in the Salon of Graphic Works in Prague.

1952

In the salon of the Union Center of Umělecká beseda he meets Vladimír and Věra Janoušek, who introduce him to the circle of artists of the future UB12 Group. In the second half of the 1950s he arrives at abstract painting.

1959

Exhibition in the New Hall in Prague.

1960-1972

Teaches at the Secondary School of Applied Arts in Prague, Žižkov.

1965

Solo exhibition in the New Hall in Prague.

1968

Solo exhibition (together with Věra Janoušková) at the Art Gallery in Karlovy Vary.

1969

Solo exhibition in the Jaroslav Král Gallery of the Brno House of Arts.
1970
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.


Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Selected artworks






















Jaromír Zemina

4. 4. 1930

1930 Přední Ždírnice (Trutnov district)

 

Spends his childhood and adolescence primarily in Znojmo and Brno, where his father Otakar Zemina works as an academic painter and teaches at secondary schools. Returns to his home village repeatedly throughout his life.

1942-1949

Studies at the classical gymnasium in Brno, with a one-year break at the end of the war, when he was forced to attend a Real Gymnasium in Jičín and Nová Paka.

1949-1953

Studies art history and classical archeology at the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno.

1953-1954

Works as an assistant in the Department of Art History in Brno. After six months he is removed from his position for ideological reasons.

1954-1956

Undergoes basic military service in several places in Bohemia and Slovakia, finally as a topographer.

1957

Is a founding member of the creative group Brno 57.

1958-1959

Unable to get a permanent job in Brno. Works in the Regional Museum of National History in Tišnov.

1959-1961

Employed as a specialist at the Institute of Art Theory and History of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague.

1961-1968

Admitted to the National Gallery in Prague, the collection of modern art, which he directs until 1965. In 1963 he prepares a comprehensive exhibition of Jan Zrzavý and the book The World of Jan Zrzavý. In 1966 he is curator of the exhibition of Czech cubism and the collection of Vincenc Kramář at the Musée national d’Art Moderne in Paris, in 1968 in Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

1964

Joins the UB12 Group.

1967

In cooperation with Stanislav Kolíbal prepares an exhibition of contemporary Czech and Slovak art for the Societá Promotrice di Belle Arti in Turin.

1970

For ideological reasons he resigns as the head of the modern art collection of the National Gallery and is transferred to Zbraslav, where he supervises the depository. Besides working in the National Gallery, he also prepares exhibitions of unofficial Czech and Slovak art.
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.

 

 

Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311

Selected artworks

Films






















through the eyes of Oldřich Smutný


The end of the fifties in Czechoslovakia. After the trial and executions of intellectuals such as Záviš Kalandra, after the currency collapse, after the state’s complete vassalage to the cruel and despotic regime to the East, distress, greyness and enmity arose everywhere. At that time, even born recluses began to ... more

The Head of UB 12
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Václav Bartovský, 1959

Václav Bartovský died (1961) ...

Václav Bartovský died (1961) ...

Václav Boštík
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František Burant
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Věra and František Janoušek
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Adriena Šimotová and Jiří John
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Vlasta Prachatická and Stanislav Kolíbal
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Daisy and Jiří Mrázek
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Oldřich Smutný
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Alois Vitík
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Jiří Šetlík
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Alena Kučerová
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UB 12 in the "U Topičů"
2 March  – 8 April 1962

2 March – 8 April 1962

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