Jiří Kolář was a Czech painter, poet, and writer from Protivín, Czech Republic. He became a full-time writer while living in the city of Kladno in 1943. In 1945 he moved to the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague. In Prague he worked the publishing house Družstvo Dílo as an editor.
When the communists came to power in Czechoslovakia in 1948, he was no longer allowed to publish. This ban was due to his critical stance toward the communist regime. In 1952 Kolář was put into jail after police found his manuscript, Prométheova játra. He spent several months in prison before being released.
Kolář was one of several artists and dissidents who used to meet in the famous Café Slavia to discuss ideas. Other figures who gathered there included Václav Havel, Jan Vladislav and Václav Černý.
Kolář created some very unique visual art in his lifetime and is sometimes referred to as the Master of Collage. Kolář influenced and invented many new techniques of collage, including confrontage, froissage, and rollage.
He used fragments of imagery and text from various different sources to piece together his collages. Many people believe his technique of making art from fragmentation and destruction reflected his view of the world.
In this post we will look at a collection of collages by Kolář which exhibit his surprising and visually striking combinations.