Window to the VVP AVU Video Archive

The film shows the members of the art club of the Bedřich Václavek Community House in Třebíč with Antonín Kybal during their outdoor painting trip which took place in the countryside around Ptáčov in 1959. This club was founded in 1953 for mostly amateur painters and a number of professional painters were involved in their training and education, e.g. Zdeněk Novotný, Vlastimil Toman, Bohumil Vostal. Antonín Kybal was a leading figure of modern Czech textile art and design, he had close ties to the local countryside and was devoted to landscape painting in the 1950s. He took the members of the outdoor painting course to his favourite places around Ptáčov where he had a house bulit after his own design. This house became a refuge for Kybal´s family during World War II after he was forced to close his successful Prague studio and textile design workshop (he worked for Krásná jizba, designed textile, including exclusive textile to order, cooperated with architects – e.g L. Žák, V. Grégr, V. Caivas. After the war Kybal became a reputable figure in the field of textile design, in 1945 he was appointed professor at the Academy of Applied Arts and Design in Prague and in 1948 he became an art advisor to the Czechoslovak textile industry and head of the Textile Studio (later ÚBOK). During those years his stays in Ptáčov were the only time he could devote himself to landscape painting and independent work. In the first half of the 1950s he made dozens of paintings which he considered privatissima – a selection of these landscape paintings was once displayed in Umělecká beseda in 1955. The film introduces Kybal after he had gained popularity due to his installation Czechoslovak Taste at the World´s Fair Expo 58 in Brussels which also encouraged him to deal with topics related to natural phenomena in his textile oeuvre. The film called Inspiration from the series Beauty of Life (script-writer and director K. Bohmann, photography M. Dostál) shows Kybal´s relationship to Ptáčov and the importance of landscape in his work.

Lucie Vlčková

Acknowledgment: Bohumil Vostal.

In the Window to the VVP AVU videoarchive programme the AVU Research Center in Prague (VVP AVU) in conjunction with Artyčok.tv regularly release works from the VVP AVU video archive. The selection for Artyčok.tv focuses on older works (materials from the end of the 20th century), works bordering on video art, film and documentation, or on purely documentary materials related to the recent development of Czech and Slovak visual art.

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