Žitka Svobodová is one of the most unique and unique writers active in the Czech art scene. Although he studied painting, he soon began to devote himself to painting. From the mid-seventies, he expanded his work to create wire objects.
He joined the Academy of Fine Arts for the third time, before which he was not accepted due to personnel reasons. Svobodova graduated from AVU in 1967, at a time when a more relaxed day was shining. “At that time, Kafka started to be published. It was a total bomb. Everyone read it. We sympathized with him, it was a ridiculous time, it was impossible to go anywhere,” he recalled in an interview. A memory of the nation.
However, a year after he graduated, Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia. For Svobodova and many others, this marks the end of the idea that they can freely create and express themselves as they wish. “Almost my whole year in exile. I lost my background, I had something in common. I left the academy and the tanks came in a year, what was that like?” That’s what he gave in an interview in March 2023 to Johanna Lomova and Tomasz Kliszek in the magazine. Art & Antiques.
The author’s work did not correspond to the officially recognized official style during the period of normalization, so he decided to devote himself to restoration for existential reasons. He worked on restoring historical monuments until the Velvet Revolution.
As she later summarized, the work was both time-consuming and physically demanding: “I was under a lot of pressure, so after coming home, I would quickly draw for two hours what I had done all day. I drew scaffolding, pipes, boards, wires. I made an exhibition out of it. “It was an anti-union theme. It became popular precisely because it was so different,” he recalled in an interview with Memory of the Nation magazine.
Until 1989, he did not exhibit, but he did participate, for example in the Chmelnice-Mutějovice Symposium in 1983, as he recalled in an interview for Art and Antiquities:
“I mean, there was no pub, we went to the convenience store all week and ate bread and cheese. It was cold and we slept somewhere that wasn’t warm and it was very rough. Then someone stole the exhibit two days later, probably for the material.”
Zhitka Svobodova’s life’s work can be seen in an exhibition at the GHMP Municipal Library until August this year. View photos from the exhibition.
Jitka Svobodova (* 1941) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1961-1967), Monumental Painting and Restoration Studio (1973-1976).
He later worked as a restorer and freelance artist, and in 1991 he was appointed the first professor at AVU after the Velvet Revolution, where he led the drawing studio until 2011.
He prepared many solo exhibitions in the Czech Republic and abroad and participated in many collective exhibitions, his works are represented in important public and private collections.
Svobodova remembers 1989 very fondly. A lot of artists started studying at A.V.U., but couldn’t get into school until then. Headed the drawing studio until 2011, becoming the first female professor.