Artwork of month
Marie Blabolilová Wheat and barley, 1977

Marie Blabolilová
Wheat and barley, 1977

etching, paper
505 x 753 mm

in exposition 
From the collections
Masaryk Square No. 24

Marie Blabolilová was born on March 4, 1948. As Martin Souček points out in the catalog for the exhibition of her line etchings in the Klatovy-Klenová gallery, it was a time "when thinking and feeling people were denied the horizon of truly "better tomorrows". It seems logical to say that the only thing she felt natural about was painting.

October 2022

She graduated from the Secondary art school in Prague and then the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, first with Arnošt Paderlík, from where after a year (and after a conflict with a teacher whom she does not remember as inspiring) she went to František Jiroudek's studio. She wasn't happy there either and tried to break free from his influence. Therefore, in the fourth year, she went to the graphic specialist doc. Čepelák, where she stayed until the end of her studies - here she was given space to create freely. Evening painting with Jiří John was also an important encounter, which was one of those that shape artists throughout their lives. The period of her studies (1967–1973) was accompanied by extensive political changes: the occupation in 1968 and the subsequent normalization, dampening artistic activities in all directions, the onset of social realism and the transfer of a large part of artistic activities to the unofficial sphere. Marie Blabolilová continued in the line of graphic work, which she had already started under the influence of Jiří John, also as part of her final work with doc. Čepelák, where the use of line etching in an intimate concept of the landscape became the basis of her work. This is how the cycle of gardens was born. The interest in the seen reality and its simplification remains important, emphasizing the insight into the living reality presented through a raster or grid. This effort to blend abstraction (the grid) and a real motif leads on the one hand to feelings of timelessness, on the other hand it brings the viewer face to face with pure being or bare reality. The most common technique, especially in the early phase of the work, was line etching. Since the 1980s, in a sort of parallel line of work, she has been depicting everyday objects using the technique of tempera painting on canvas, since the mid-1980s, her work has changed again and she begins to paint directly on the grid and surface of linoleum, which she grasps through the painting grid, or formula painting, most often with acrylic on hardboard or acrylic on linoleum.

The exhibited work Wheat and Barley belongs to the first period after the end of her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. It dates back to 1977 and came to the Vysočina Regional Gallery in Jihlava a year later through the Ministry of Culture. It practically includes all the main themes appearing in Marie Blabolilová's work: A landscape separated in a certain way, which, compared to the first gardens, is open, not closed. A certain privacy, intimacy, is offered by the path between the fields. The front border of the fields starts just a few meters from the viewer, as if we were watching what is happening behind the threshing floor from behind the garden fence. If the gardens in Marie Blabolilová's work could be an image of paradise, then what would be the depiction of wheat and barley behind threshing floors?


Lucie Nováčková