Česká centra, Czech Centres

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26 May 2018 - 16 Sep 2018

Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writings

An exhibition of works by over 80 modern and contemporary artists inspired by the writings of celebrated author Virginia Woolf. Following Woolf’s notion that creative women should ‘think back through their mothers’, the exhibition will explore her relationship to feminism and will reflect her efforts to find new forms through which to share women’s creativity.

Including works by international artists ranging from 1854 to contemporary commissions the exhibition will act as an inclusive study of writers and artists alike, highlighting the many connections between Woolf, her contemporaries and those who share an affinity with her work.

Works by Czech surrealist painter Marie Čermínová (Toyen), artist and photographer Běla Kolářová and Slovak sculptor Mária Bartuszová will also be part of the exhibition.

Born in Prague in 1902, Marie Čermínová alias Toyen was one of the most prominent Czech surrealists and a member of the renowned Czech avant-garde artist association Devětsil. Wearing men’s clothes and talking about herself as of a man, the ever original and eccentric artist considered herself equal to men and clearly distanced herself from the traditional role of a women in the 1920s society. Art offered Toyen a way to escape from the pressure of society, providing her with a means of self-expression useful for a demonstration of her denouncement of artistic and social hypocrisy. Her attitude to sexuality was most unconventional for that time, her openness and boldness in erotic art unrivalled. Having been introduced to the French surrealist elite by Jiří Štýrský, also a prominent Czech artist and member of The Devětsil, in 1925, she spent most of her life in Paris, and together with Štýrský established a new movement aiming to promote imagination in art, Artificialism.

Born in 1923 in Terezín, Běla Kolářová belonged to the 1960s generation of artists which touched off a new wave of constructivism in Czech art. Although predominantly associated with Jiří Kolář, her husband and a prominent Czech artist, she developed her own distinguished method and technology first in camera-less photography, experimenting with light, pressing small objects into layers of parafin to create an autonomous picture on the sensitive surface of the phootgraphic paper, and later in visual art using familiar objects connected with  the feminine and the domestic such as beads, paper clippers and razors, creating unique assemblages and collages. Běla a Jiří were forced  to emigrate, settling down in Paris where they stayed until 1999. It was only in 1990s when Kolářová begun to be recognized for her art, having it exhibited in various galleries around the Czech Republic.

Born in 1936 in former Czechoslovakia, a Slovak sculptor Mária Bartuszová graduated from Academy of Applied Arts in Prague in 1961. Since 1960s she lived and worked in Košice, Slovakia, where she came with her husband. Bartuszová's oeuvre presents histolic approach to the world, focusing on geometrical and organic elements, and includes among others also technological procedures of 'gravistimulated casting' of plaster in elastic forms, which are also conceptual constructs of her 1960s and 1970s sculptures.' During her lifetime, she had her work exhibited all over the country and has been recently featured in a number of international exhibitions such as Les Promesses du passé in 2010 and the retrospective Maria Bartuszová: Provisional Forms at Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw in 2014. Bartuszová's work is in numerous museum collections including Tate, London, Centre du Pompidou in Paris and Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava.

The exhibition is organised by Tate St Ives in association with Pallant House Gallery and The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Opening Hours
Tuesday-Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Thursday: 10am – 8pm
Sunday/Bank Holidays: 11am – 5pm
Mondays: Closed

More info

Cover image: Dame Laura Knight, The Dark Pool, 1908 - 1918, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

Běla Kolářová: Seekers of Lice II, from the series Make up Drawings, 1976
Acrylic nails, nail varnish and cosmetics on paper

Toyen (Marie Čermínová): Untitled, 1930-40, Photocollage





Pallant House Gallery,9 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1TJ

From: 26 May 2018
To: 16 Sep 2018


Tate St Ives, Pallant House Gallery and The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

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