In.Focus | Czech Printmaking: Tradition & HOLLAR Printmakers


March 14, 2013 , 7:00 pm

Printmakers of the HOLLAR Association of Czech Graphic Artists in Prague have long been valued worldwide for their exquisite works showcasing quality content and outstanding technical expertise. In connection with the print exhibition “The Spiritual Dimension in Czech Printmaking” on view at Manhattan Graphics Center from March 3-31, guest artist, printmaker and writer Alena Laufrova will discuss works of the HOLLAR’s printmakers, with a brief introduction of printmaking as fine art discipline by printmaker and writer Katerina Kyselica.

The HOLLAR Association, a non-profit organization established in 1917 in Prague during World War I, has a long-standing tradition in fine art printmaking. It proudly bears the name of Wenceslaus (Václav) Hollar (1607 – 1677), a great Bohemian Baroque draftsman, engraver and printmaker. In 1971, the ruling communist government dissolved the HOLLAR Association for political reasons. Only after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 was the whole scope of its activities restored, including national and international exhibitions and publishing. There are currently over 155 professional printmakers in the HOLLAR Association, whose works have been exhibited worldwide. Eleven of them showcase their prints, etchings, lithographs, linocuts and mixed media works here in New York City.

Alena Laufrova will present the exhibition “The Spiritual Dimension in Czech Printmaking” and the prints and printmaking practice of the eleven exhibiting artists: Karel Demel, Eva Haskova, Helena Horalkova, Jan Kavan, Marketa Kralova, Alena Laufrova, Pavel Piekar, Miroslav Posvic, Hana Storchova, Pavel Sukdolak and Nadezda Synecka. She will briefly discuss history of the HOLLAR Association and artists and printmakers of its past, including Frantisek Kupka, Vojtech Priessig or Josef Lada.

Curator Alena Laufrova on the featured exhibition:

“The exhibition does not aspire to be – and cannot be – representative of contemporary Czech printmaking as a whole. Yet it allows a showcase of the works of eleven Czech printmakers, the HOLLAR Association members, who, with other members, significantly contribute to the important position of printmaking in Czech society and have substantially influenced Czech printmaking. A number of the HOLLAR Association printmakers have represented Czech (and Slovak) printmaking in Europe as well as worldwide. They are artists whose works may be characterized by quality content and artistic value combined with outstanding technical expertise and skills. They show respect for traditional printmaking techniques and deliberately follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.”

The presentation is part of ‘In.Focus | Czech Printmaking’ – a week-long immersion into the realm of Czech printmaking, conceived around the exhibition “The Spiritual Dimension in Czech Printmaking”, featuring over 30 fine art prints that showcase the beauty of traditional Central European printmaking.

Visit exhibition website for more information KADSNY.WIX.COM/CZECHPRINTMAKING.

Alena Laufrova is an artist and printmaker based in Prague. She graduated from the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design where she studied graphic design and illustration with Prof. Zdenek Sklenar. Laufrova experiments with traditional methods of intaglio, creates book arts and other works on paper. She exhibits worldwide. Her works are in numerous private and public collections, including the Museum of National Literature in Prague, the Prague National Gallery, The State Hermitage Museum in Petersburg in Russia, or the National Museum in Washington, D.C. She writes on printmaking for GrapheionCZ.

Katerina Kyselica is an artist, printmaker and writer based in New York. She graduated from the Charles University in Prague and VCU School of the Arts in Virginia. She writes on art and design for Czech media. Her writings on printmaking have been published in the Journal of the Print World and GrapheionCZ. She owns KADS NY, an agency representing Czech printmakers in the US.

Organized by: Czech Center New York, KADS NY