Curator: Martin Dostál
Exhibition Design: Pavel Kolíbal
Exhibition Installation: Jan Dvořák, Film Dekor
Theodor Pištěk’s painterly expression has been praised in many cultural centres at home and internationally. However, the Brno art community, which has long been influenced by the conceptual way of thinking, has not yet had an opportunity to see the oeuvre of this painterly oriented and romanticism influenced artist in a greater extent. The exhibition in the House of Arts will be conceived in a way highlighting the grandness of the artistic expression of the painter. It will accentuate the motifs and themes of Pištěk's painting in which he works with hidden fantastic explanations of the civilised world succumbing to an illusion of its own rationality. It will also remind the visitors that Pištěk's work is one of a few within the context of Czech culture that reaches a standard on a par with the international protopostmodern works in Europe in the 1970s and it will draw attention to paintings which in the 1980s thematicised the design phenomenon belatedly appreciated by various postconceptual tendencies of today.
Theodor Pištěk was born on 25 October 1932 in Prague to a family of artists; his parents were the actor Theodor Pištěk and
the actress Marie Ženíšková; his great-grandfather was the painter František Ženíšek from the “National Theatre generation”.
Between 1948 and 1952 he attended the College of Applied Arts in Prague. In 1950, at the age of eighteen, he joined the Autoklub. At the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague he studied in the studio of Vratislav Nechleba (1952–1959) and he spent a final honours year in the studio of Antonín Pelc. At the Academy he met Hugo Demartini, Bedřich Dlouhý, Jan Koblasa, Jaroslav Vožniak and Karel Nepraš, with whom he established life-long friendship. The film director František Vláčil invited him to collaborate on the film The White Dove in 1959, where apart from the set design Pištěk also created the costumes. From that time he co-worked as costume designer on more than a hundred films. His first solo exhibition took place in 1960 in the Prague Film Club. In 1962 the association of practical jokers called Palette of
the Homeland was established, and Theodor Pištěk was one of its presidents. He created the costumes for František Vláčil’s masterpieces Markéta Lazarová and Valley of the Bees (1967). At the Expo 1967 in Montreal he collaborated on the design of the exhibition Man and His World. In 1972 and 1973 he was nominated for the Czechoslovak national racing circuit team. In 1977 he successfully participated in the 9th International Festival of Painting in Cagnes-sur-Mer. He received an Oscar from the American Film Academy for the costume designs for Miloš Forman’s Amadeus (1984) and was awarded with the highest French film prize, the César, for the costumes for the film Valmont (1989) by the same director. After Václav Havel was elected president, he designed the uniforms for the Castle Guard. In 1990 he initiated the founding of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award, and he also invited president Václav Havel and the artist and poet Jiří Kolář to be co-founders. In 1993 he had an extensive exhibition at the Aleš South Bohemian Gallery in Hluboká nad Vltavou and in 1997 in the Municipal Library at the Prague City Gallery. He received the Czech Lion award in 2004 for his long-term artistic contribution to
cinematography. As the only Czech he was included in the exhibition East of Eden in the Budapest Ludwig Museum in 2011 examining hyperrealistic tendencies in the United States and in Western and Eastern Europe. In 2012, on the occasion of the artist’s eightiethbirthday, a retrospective exhibition was organised in the National Gallery in Prague.
He lives and works in Mukařov
The exhibition is organized under the auspices of Ms Markéta Vaňková, Mayor of the City of Brno.