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House of Art
TUES–SUN 10:00–18:00

JAROSLAV KAPEC / The multiplicity of life

18. 10. – 31. 12. 2023
The patron of the exhibition is Lukáš Curylo, Deputy Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region.
The project is financially supported by Czech Ministry of Culture.

The opening took place on Tuesday 17 October at 5 p.m.

Jaroslav Kapec (1924–1998) was a painter, an illustrator, a teacher, a preacher, and above all a unique individual whose art is deeply imbued with his own personal philosophy and Christian faith.

 His oeuvre straddles the boundary between lyrical abstraction and new figuration. Each of his works represents a personal event, a process that culminates in images – cryptograms. Their form is as complex as their composition, melding figural painting with geometry and letters. They create the impression of a cipher, thoughts concealed from the world, irreal realism. But Kapec also strove to capture on canvas the world he knew – the industrial city and its landscape. He took an imaginative approach, expressing the genius loci of a place rather than painting specific buildings Symbols from the world of things and people give way to dreamlike, disturbing visions – oppressive, yet at the same time magically appealing.

A number of factors – the interpretative challenges posed by Kapec’s work, political upheavals, and personal predispositions – came together and eventually led Kapec to withdraw from public life during the 1970s and work in seclusion; and it was not until the 1990s that his work was publicly exhibited again.

Renata Skřebská


Curriculum vitae


1952–1958 studies at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts under Prof. Vlastimil Rada, Miloslav Holý and Karel Souček

1958 return to Ostrava

1964 study visit to Paris, Kapec joined the “Kontrast” group

1970s withdrawal from public life, work in seclusion, teacher at the People’s Art School in Ostrava

1980s–90s return to the art scene

1991 Kapec joined the revived KONTRAST 90 group


Solo exhibitions (selection)


1962 Ostrava, Dílo Gallery (with Josef Treuchel)

1965 Ostrava, Gallery of Fine Arts, first retrospective

1967 Brno, House of Art, Jaroslav Král Gallery

1969 Copenhagen, Denmark, Prismat Gallery, retrospective

1969 Opava, Petr Bezruč Memorial

1971 Katowice, Poland, PSP-ZPAP Gallery (with Otto Cienciala)

1981 Český Těšín, Theatre

1984 Havířov, District Museum of Local History

1988 Havířov, Vilém Wünsche Gallery

1989 Ostrava, Gallery of Fine Arts (with Vratislav Varmuža)

2010 Frýdek-Místek, Langův Dům Gallery

Curator: Renata Skřebská
Text: Renata Skřebská
Graphic design: Katarína Jamrišková
Promotion: Jana Malášek Šrubařová, Magdaléna Staňková

© 2017 Galerie výtvarného umění v Ostravě
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