Prague Fantastic Realism 1960–1967

Fantastic Realism is a style of painting now little known in this country. Its exponents in the second half of the 20th century concentrated on the treatment of fantastic and grotesque subjects, relating their output on the one hand to the legacy of various historical epochs of art history, and on the other, to themes relevant to their contemporary popular culture. While the movement had its principal centre in Vienna, a specific branch did evolve here as well. The Colloredo-Mansfeld palace exhibition will present this phenomenon as manifested in the early stages of the careers of three artists who met in the early 1960s at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts: namely, Jan Jedlička, Mikuláš Rachlík, and Vladivoj Kotyza. The aesthetic of their works was determined, during the years of their studies, by the impact of the bizarre, occasionally absurd local spirit characteristic for Prague in those years, wherein magic of the city’s past history intertwined with the drabness of the communist era, and nostalgia for the loss of the one-time high bourgeois culture with the surreal poetry of the suburbia, ruins and rubbish heaps.