The Czech Republic takes pride in having many famous artists. But do you really know them all? Get familiar with some of the biggest names on the Czech art scene and discover the genius works of Czech artists!
Jiří Votruba is one of the most well-known Czech artists, but he is also an illustrator and a graphic designer. Despite having a degree in civil engineering and architecture, he dedicated his life to the art industry. In one of the interviews, Jiří shared that he started painting as a hobby, and eventually it turned into something bigger. His works are easily recognizable, and you probably have come across some of them. For instance, Franz Kafka’s caricatures, Mozart, and historical Prague are depicted on t-shirts, mugs, and posters at souvenir shops around the city. Other works of Votruba are dedicated to classical music and Japan. By 2021, he took part in approximately 50 exhibitions worldwide: from designing swimming pools to creating illustrations in children’s literature, for which he became a national star.
One of the contemporary artists who became famous for her works globally is Alena Kupčíková. Her masterpieces are presented not only in the National Gallery in Prague (NGP) and but also in Europe, in the US, and Switzerland. The central topics of her paintings are the female body and intimacy. Her approach is extravagant: in some of her drawings, she even included human and animal hair. At first, Alena was working only with her own hair; later, she started using male hair and fur. Occasionally, she also uses hair to paint with instead of a brush. As for her multimedia works, she has a diversified portfolio of incorporate recordings of various sounds. In 2021, Alena is continuously seeking new opportunities to push the boundaries of an atypical medium.
Janák’s works are unique for a peculiar reason: he uses glass to create art. Janák started his career as a glass designer before founding his own studio. Today, he is a glass cutting faculty leader in the Secondary School of Glassmaking in Kamenický Šenov (the oldest glass school in the world!). The artist’s works can be found everywhere: in the Moser museum in Carlsbud, in Ulster Museum in Belfast, in the collection of the city Toyama. You can check out his works here!
Czech post-war art is still looked at with a serious amount of respect for the change it so vividly depicted. One of the artists of the time was a photographer and graphic designer Vladimír Boudník, who represented the ‘explosionism’ movement, which was popular in the country back in the 1940s. Boudník dedicated his creative career to ‘saving the world through the art.’ He used printmaking techniques to create the pieces – the inspiration for this came from the factory working with industrial metals and waste. Slowly, his abstractive works turned into magnetic graphics. His art was published in various volumes after the 1990s; some of them are available on the website, which is dedicated to Czech artists.