Věra Nováková: Via Vitae

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Karolína Kočí
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Via Vitae is a tribute to Věra Nováková, an icon of the Czech art scene. This selection of her work at the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art is supplemented by the work of 22 Czech artists and poets for whom she remains an inspiration. The exhibition will be open until 16 October 2022.

For more than a half-century, Věra Nováková's (1928) paintings and drawings have been been an important part of the Czech art scene. She briefly attended the Prague Academy, but was expelled after the Communist putsch of February 1948. During the decades that followed, she and her husband, Pavel Brázda, worked in seclusion, unable to show their work publicly, and isolated from the direct influence of current artistic trends.

Yet their work reflects various trends in the art of the second half of the twentieth century, from late surrealism and informel to experiments with letters and words. She also illustrated books and magazines and created sculptures and installations. But her focus was always on the human element. The miraculous moment of birth, the harmony of life forces, the eternal struggle between good and evil, pain, death, questions regarding the essence of humanity and the sense of human existence. These themes interweave the seven decades of Věra Nováková's work.

"I painted what I lived," says the artist of her work. The Via Vitae exhibition doesn't attempt to present Věra Nováková's work in all its complexity, nor in chronological order. It's intent is, through specific works of art, to reveal the story of a rich artistic life full of twists and turns, searching, and hope. A story that is a remarkable reflection of not only the evolution of Czech art, but also of important social issues and topics that remain more than relevant even today.

Věra Nováková's life and artistic journey is one without compromise. It is a journey full of searching, discovery, and finding, one that she is continuing with admirable insight to this day. In the final part of the exhibition, 22 Czech artists and poets pay tribute to this icon of the Czech art scene.

Exhibiting artists and poets: VĚRA NOVÁKOVÁ a Michal Blažek, Josef Bolf, Petr Borkovec, Erika Bornová, Michal Cihlář, Tomáš Císařovský, Jan Hísek, Veronika Holcová, Juraj Horváth, Viktor Karlík, Jana Kasalová, Ivan Matoušek, Jan Merta, David Němec, Viktor Pivovarov, Veronika Richterová, Michal Singer, František Skála, Václav Sokol, Jiří Štourač, Jaromír Typlt, Josef Žáček

Curators: Otto M. Urban a Michaela Šilpochová

The exhibition will be open until 16 October 2022.

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