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House of Art
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Kučera, Zdeněk / Tangram

undated, (1989)

acrylic, hardboard, 105 × 105 cm

This painting dates from Kučera’s late period; by this time he had been exploring geometric relationships for many years. His works from this period are based on an entirely minimalist form of expression, with a stark colour scheme reduced to the duality of blue and red. The painting demonstrates the artist’s thought processes as its rational geometric shapes are varied to create countless compositional relationships and structures. At first sight it appears rational, but the dynamism concealed within it leaves a powerful emotive imprint on the viewer. The initially cold-seeming geometric grid eventually develops into an open array of varied possibilities for interpreting the shapes, evoking thoughts of eternity and paradox.


(1935, Litovel) Illustrator, sculptor, painter, graphic artist. From 1952 to 1957 he studied mathematics and art education at the Education Faculty of Palacký University in Olomouc. Member of the Concretists’ Club. In 1959 he began teaching sculptural modelling at the Art Department of the Faculty of Education in Ostrava; he remained there until 1968, when his employment was terminated for ideological reasons during the crackdown (“normalization”) that followed the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. His artistic career began in the early 1960s. He created sculptures and free graphic pieces, as well as producing sculptural elements for architectural projects and participating in international graphic art biennales. During the 1960s he began to explore the medium of painting. In 1990, after the collapse of the communist regime, he was once again able to work as a university teacher. He headed the Art Education Department at Palacký University in Olomouc, and in 1997 he was awarded his professorship. Zdeněk Kučera was one of the visionary artists who abandoned informel in the 1960s and instead began to use strict geometrical forms similar to those preferred by the American minimalists. In the early 1970s he produced screen-printed works, in which he began to explore the paradoxical nature of visual perception, creating playful and illusory optical effects in geometric sculptural forms. The paradoxes of spatial illusions and symmetrical geometry remained at the centre of Kučera’s interest for the rest of his creative life, and he continued to explore these themes using the newly emerging possibilities afforded by computer software.
acrylic, canvas, 60 × 60 cm, purchased in 2021 with funding from the Czech Ministry of Culture

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© 2017 Galerie výtvarného umění v Ostravě
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