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Tomáš Hylmar

Deset dopisů Jindřicha Chalupeckého

The letters Jindřich Chalupecký wrote to sculptor Ladislav Zívr between 1974 and 1980 provide a glimpse of Chalupecký’s work during a period when he was excluded from public life owing to his political stance. To some extent they offer an image of the unofficial art scene, and in them Chalupecký hints at his foreign collaboration, most notably with art collector and gallery owner Artur Schwarz, who was planning to organise an exhibition in Milan of the work of František Gross, František Hudeček and Ladislav Zívr. Especially worth note are Chalupecký’s opinions on Group 42 (Skupina 42) and Zívr in particular. He assessed the work of Group 42 in reference to a large exhibition organised to mark the anniversary of the birth of three members of the group, which was defunct by that time. An exhibition organised by the National Gallery at the Municipal Library in Prague in the spring of 1979 assembled a retrospective collection of work by painters František Gross and František Hudeček and sculptor Ladislav Zívr. Chalupecký thus had an opportunity after a period of some years to view a collection of their life’s work. In his final letters he assessed Zívr’s opus positively and elevated him above many other artists. It should be noted that Chalupecký a Zívr did not always have an ideal relationship. Chalupecký followed Zívr’s work from his start in the 1930s. After 1948 Chalupecký spurned Zívr for cooperating with the Communist regime and for the related turnabout in his work, but the distance was maintained on both sides. The relationship between Zívr and Chalupecký was restored for a full fifteen years. The letters from Jindřich Chalupecký are an integral part of the diaries of Ladislav Zívr, stored in the Archives of the National Gallery in Prague, where there is also a separate archive collection devoted to Jindřich Chalupecký. It and the collection in the Literary Archive of the Museum of Czech Literature in Prague are the main sources of information for Chalupecký’s biography.

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