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House of Art
TUES–SUN 10:00–18:00

Three Leaves


cast pewter, patinated, 47 × 50 × 4 cm

In 1973 Kmentová created a plaster relief entitled Three Leaves. After her death, her partner Olbram Zoubek (likewise a sculptor) had a pewter cast made using the relief as a mould. The relief is typical of Kmentová’s work from the late 1950s and early 60s, when she suppressed three-dimensional forms. In 1965 she began creating imprints of found objects; these were the precursors to her (better-known) imprints of fragments of the human body.
Kmentová repeatedly used imprints of parts of the human body – hands, palms, fingers, soles – as well as natural motifs such as apples or leaves. These acted as symbolic motifs that speak to the viewer through the raw authenticity of the original, unadorned forms.


(1928, Praha – 1980, Praha) Sculptor. In 1946 she was admitted to the Prague Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, where she initially studied jewellery-making before shifting her focus to sculpture (at Professor Josef Wagner’s studio). She graduated in 1951. In 1957 she became a member of the Trasa 54 (“Route 54”) group. Following the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia she was only permitted to exhibit sporadically, at small regional galleries. In 1976 she was awarded the (private) Jiří Kolář Prize. After graduating from the Academy, Kmentová sought inspiration in the work of European modernist sculptors (including Lynn Chadwick, Kenneth Armitage, Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso); this inspiration was reflected in her simplified stylization of figures and her emphasis on gestures and shape-based compositions at the expense of details. Her largest surviving work, Woman in the Sun (1958), clearly shows the influence of Fernand Léger. Around 1963, her collaboration with architects led her to gradually move away from figural depictions and focus instead on abstract signs and large-scale reliefs. Kmentová’s works from this period are characterized by a powerful existential subtext. She produced cast reliefs using the textures and shapes of wood fragments to create abstract assemblages in concrete. After participating at the 1966 sculpture symposium in St. Margarethen (Austria), she began making large landscapes using the imprints of rounded stones to symbolize seeds and eggs. Throughout her life she had an intense connection with nature and landscapes, a fascination that was expressed in her typical works featuring imprints in plaster – soles, lips, hands and fingers. Abstract landscapes thus became landscapes of the human body. Kmentová’s reliefs featured words expressing urgency (“No”, “Why”, “I”) alongside fallen leaves or apples, imprints of fingers in the form of fragments, configured into assemblages on the surface, and again elements of the human body – feet imprisoned in the earth, exposed ribs, or the artist’s own crouching body as a plaster imprint.
asbestos cement, height 54 cm, purchased in 2021 with funding from the Czech Ministry of Culture


cast pewter, patinated, 27.5 × 27.5 × 4 cm, purchased in 2021 with funding from the Czech Ministry of Culture

Still Life

Girl in a fur

Girl in a fur

Old Eroticism

Old Eroticism

Concrete (Below a Slag-Heap)

Concrete (Below a Slag-Heap)

Wallachian Madonna

Wallachian Madonna

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