Růžena Zátková — Story of the Painter

Imperial Stables of the Prague Castle  7 APRIL - 31 JULY 2011

Organizers: Arbor vitae societas and The Prague Castle Administration

The exhibition curator and author of the monograph: doc. Alena Pomajzlová, Ph.D.

Accompanying programmes:
Taktika Muzika

Within the accompanying programmes we are preparing a photo exhibition Portraits of women artists, lecture series Curators women  on women artists and a fashion show ... Accompanying events will take place in Písecká gate (K Brusce 5, Prague 6)

About the exhibition

The exhibition project dedicated to an unfairly neglected Czech artist, Růžena Zátková (1885—1923), is based on research mapping white spots in Czech art history. This painter, who spent a large part of her life abroad (Munich, Paris and subsequently Rome where she was married and lived), left a varied collection of art works mostly inspired by Italian Futurism and its famous representatives. As a student of Antonín Slavíček, influenced by Munich symbolism and avant-garde Paris, she spontaneously adopted Futurism and went to study with Giacomo Balla, later she closely co-operated with F. T. Marinetti and was a friend of Natalie Gončarova and Michail Larionov as well as Igor Stravinsky. She became close to the Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrovič. Marinetti supported her not only in Italy but in Prague as well; he even concluded his second lecture saying: “In the name of Růžena Zátková, long live Futurism!” However, Zátková’s return to the Czech public through an exhibition planned for 1923 never happened. The artist died from tuberculosis in the autumn that year.

Růžena Zátková’s synthetic work includes a wide range of styles – collages, kinetic assemblages and multi-material sculptures as well as illustrations inspired by Persian miniatures, abstract paintings, realistic drawings and primitivist or purely decorative paintings. The life story of the painter, a sort of Czech Alma Mahler, is similarly rich and is an attractive subject in itself. Both the exhibition and the publication raise a number of more general questions dealing with different forms of modernity, the role of experiment, the importance of tradition and the status of a woman-artist. Zátková was one of the few Czech artists who managed to leave home and pursue a career abroad, even though this meant losing touch with the local scene to which she has not made a comeback to date. The planned exhibition is intended to make up for the recognition she is owed.


More at www.arborvitae.eu