Václav Kautman - Design and Craft

Life in a wood, wood in the life 

Duration of the exhibition: 13. 4. - 18. 6. 2005  

Václav Kautman

Václav Kautman was one of the most outstanding Slovak artists, in spite of the fact, that his work, particularly sculptures, has not been recognized until now. Not a member of artistic associations, groups or alliances, Kautman was an author standing outside the main stream of trends of his time. However, his austere works and special shapes reflect methods of the modern style in then-Europe. Besides, there were neither ancestors nor followers of the style outlined by Václav Kautman in Slovakia. Nature was a teacher to him and folk craftsmen were the knights of his „Round table“. During his life-long cooperation with the ÚĽUV (the Center for Folk Art Production), Václav Kautman uncovered and preserved unique artifacts of the Slovak folk art and revived many forgotten and unused technologies. In addition to organizing and creative activities as an employee of the ÚĽUV, Kautman worked on his private artistic career. Engaged in applied arts since 1950, Kautman did not have to follow the rules of officially recognized style of socialist realism. His free works are true inspirations of an artist not hindered by official ideology. Kautman did mostly figurative sculptures presenting them as being on the edge of abstract art, however, he placed emphasis on careful research and perfect knowledge of a model, on exploiting material and respect to the principles of techniques. Later, Kautman expanded the scope of themes and worked with human figurative motifs. Eventually, he did several monuments, the massive sculptures or rather architectural designs. Being a lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design for decades, he was a mentor of many, later successful designers. Among many influential artists of that time the work of Václav Kautman is a notable contribution to the Slovak art. Kautman is a special and unique author, the work of which is of permanent value.


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