Zdeněk Sýkora: Four Firsts

12. 9. – 4. 11. 2023

Exhibition extended!

This year marks two important anniversaries associated with Sýkora’s work: sixty years since the completion of his Grey Structure (1962–1963, oil on canvas, 150 x 120 cm, Benedikt Rejt Gallery in Louny), which was the first painting in the series of combinatorial structures that Zdeněk Sýkora focused on for ten years and gained him fame in Europe and elsewhere; and fifty years since  he created his First Lines (1973, oil on canvas, 150 x 150 cm, Benedikt Rejt Gallery in Louny). The artist continued to develop his system for producing line paintings, which, unlike structures, is based on randomness, beginning in 1985 in collaboration with his wife, Lenka, until the end of his creative life.
The Benedikt Rejt Gallery in Louny organised projects to commemorate both of these anniversaries – this spring with the show Constructive Tendencies, and currently with the exhibition 50 Years Since the First Line Paintings by Zdeněk Sýkora (ends on 29 October 2023).

Through a presentation Zdeněk Sýkora’s graphic art, Galerie Zdeněk Sklenář would like to commemorate another four firsts in this artist’s oeuvre: His first structure in graphic form is the linocut Black-White Structure (1964, 61 x 45.5 cm, print run of 10 copies). This print is one of ten linocuts that the artist designed himself and produced in small print runs in Louny.
His first serigraph and, at the same time, his first print produced abroad is the Red-Blue Structure (1967, 60 x 60 cm, print run of 100 copies), which was published by Edition H in Hannover.
The next first is his Lines Album (1980, 70 x 70 cm, print run of 60 copies). Worth noting is the fact that his lines were not published as prints until seven years after he created his first Lines, while the graphic forms of his Structures were published shortly after they were created as painting on canvas. The album was graphically designed and printed by the Neuchâtel gallerist Marc Hostettler. It consisted of three prints produced after reproductions of paintings (one of which unfortunately no longer exists), which were at that time exhibited in Kunstcentrum in Gorinchen, Netherlands, at what was the first ever exhibition of Sýkora’s Lines. His first Lines serigraph published in the Czech Republic was 27 Lines (1993, 27 x 27 cm, print run of 100 copies), which was published by Zdeněk Sklenář in Litomyšl as a part of the album Czech Graphic Works I. It was made after an original model the artist made specifically for this purpose.