Juliana (Stritzková) Jirousová was born in 1943 in Stará Říše, where she lived and created until her death (25 August 2023). Her solitary work is a peculiar branch of Czech imaginative art. Juliana Jirousová's grandfather was Josef Florian, the publisher from Stará Říše, whose publishing house Dobré dílo focused on publishing Catholic bibliophiles, including translations mainly from the French and German language environment, and collaborated with the best graphic artists and illustrators of his time (Bohuslav Reynek, Josef Čapek, Josef Váchal, etc.). Her father was the painter Otto Stritzko and her mother was Marie née Florianová, also a gifted painter.
Juliana began to create as an autodidact, for political reasons she was not admitted to an art school. She worked as an educator in psychiatric hospitals in Havlíčkův Brod and in Prague, devoted herself to art therapy. The works of psychiatric patients influenced her early work, close to the poetics of art brut. In Havlíčkův Brod, she took part in experiments with LSD as a volunteer, this psychedelic experience also left its mark on her early paintings. She also drew from the Old Reich circle of authors and from the fantastic realism of creators from the Wiener Schule circle. Her painting work was created from the end of the fifties to the end of the seventies. In 1968 she had her first solo exhibition (with Eva Lamrová), which was interrupted by the August occupation, she also exhibited with the Jihlava branch of the Union of Visual Artists. The last and only uninterrupted solo exhibition of Juliana Jirousová, which also featured early paintings, took place in 2012-2013 at the Libri Prohibiti library in Prague.
In 1976, she married Ivan Martin Jirous, an art critic and prominent figure in underground culture, with whom she has two daughters, Františka and Marta. They settled together in Stará Říše. After the birth of her daughters in the 1980s, she stopped painting for a number of years, returning to work only in the 1990s, when she began to create mainly pictures of saints, drawn with crayons and printed on clay plates.
the original text was written by Lenka Dolanová in 2020 as part of the work of the month