Marie Blabolilová showed her great talent as early as the 1970s and she ranked among the leading figures of the young generation of artist, for instance K. Gebauer, V. Novák, I. Ouhel, P. Pavlík and M. Rittstein. She is known for her straightforward, simple and sober expression, her work stems from her concentrated observation of the surrounding world but she does not render her observation in a descriptive or realistic manner. Sensibility merges in an original way with pragmatism, the intimate with the universal. Marie Blabolilová always captures a certain fragment of reality, its fractional section, simple, well-known things and everyday objects. She expresses herself in a clear and understandable way, however, her work does not lack sensitivity, poetic aspects and generalizing overlap. She is known mainly as a painter and graphic artist but also as a restorer of wall paintings.

The ability to adapt to the style of the completed work is used in an original way in her paintings, however, the original picture or ornament is further developer. She has always disliked any kind of disliked any kind of restraint and limitation. During her studies at the Academy of Arts in Prague she was greatly influenced by Professor Jiří John who never imposed any constraint on his students. She was also influenced to a certain extent by his typical brushwork and systematic overlay of thin lines.

Later she turned to graphic art, namely to etching. Her work is based on a graphic raster, the lines of different intensity are laid close to each other, vertically or horizontally or obliquely forming an orderly structure. The orderly structure is sometimes interrupted by leaving out a few lines and creating an empty space. The feeling of something unfinished gives an impression of elusiveness and versatility. With the help of a raster she creates kitchen still-lives, views of interiors, town motives and landscapes.

A typical feature of her work is the absence of human figures – there are no people in the streets, blocks of flats, interiors or landscapes, which in the black-and-white prints evokes feelings of existentialism and apocalyptical visions (e.g. Sandpit, Landscape of the third millennium, Resurrection etc.). She applies a similar approach in painting to which she returned in the 1980s. The dominating motives in her paintings are common civil motives, again without figures. Her paintings show her feeling for system and precise order. The basis of her paintings is formed by a regular pattern and a specific every-day motif – e.g. Phone box, Kitchen Still-life, Small Bookcase, Radiator, Chair and Table, Glass, Radio, Dress, Apron, Laundry on a Clothes Line and others). Sometimes the background and foreground merge, the surface of the painting is filled by repeating motives, which is true especially in her landscapes and motives from nature (e.g. Falling Snow, Storm in a Field, Corn, Forest, Orchard, Flowers behind a Fence, Sunflowers, Birches, Larches).

Typical Czech kitchen gadgets from the past are a rich source of inspiration. For example the colours and patterns of old linoleum have a kind of magic for her, she first copied the old linoleums and then used them as backgrounds in many of her paintings. Since the 1980s she even paints on linoleum or uses it in her new compositions. The original pattern of the linoleum is either partially preserved or changed or further developed according to her associations.

One of her favourite objects is the paint roller which was used in the past in Czech households to embellish walls of rooms by different patterns. She elevated the paint roller by using it as a cultured means to create a cultivated picture. She also focused on another typical object in homes of the past – a framed reproduction of famous paintings. She uses reproductions in her acrylic paintings dealing with the motif of interiors and creates impressive collages showing her gentle sense of humour. In a certain sense Marie Blabolilová´s work may be described as foretimed, she used non-traditional methods which were introduced in Czech painting only much later with the advent of the next generation of artist.

Vilma Hubáčková,

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