Jiri Kolar, 1979 portrait - Photo by Hana Hamplova

Jiri Kolar / Jirí Kolár

August 20, 2013

Jiří Kolář was an influential Czech cultural figure – a poet, writer, painter, and translator. Throughout his longstanding practice, he constantly and devotedly aimed to deconstruct everyday reality by underlining the repressive nature of politics. Kolář took a critical stance towards the regime in former Czechoslovakia and was banned from publishing his works, after ending up in prison during the 1950s.

Kolář belongs to the group of influential intellectuals (which also included Václav Havel) who were inspired by the Prague Spring, when the communist regime became more permissive. Due to his critical engagement, Kolář was banned from returning home after a scholarship to West Berlin, and so from 1980 on he lived in Paris. Since the 1960s, Kolar was more engaged with visual art and started experimenting, by perfecting the collage form.