Jiří Hejna: Universe is like a Firebird...

Painting exhibition on the anniversary of what would have been the 90th birthday of the painter of the universe.  

Held by the Municipal Gallery in Litomyšl in cooperation with the heirs of Jiří Hejn and Gallery Kroupa.

curator Pavel Chalupa

Dům U Rytířů, Smetanovo náměstí, Litomyšl, 30th June - 28th August 2011

open daily except for Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 5 .m.

Opening on 29th June 2011 at 5 p.m. - on the same day, at 8 p.m., Igor Stravinsky's ballet suite the Firebird will be performed as part of Smetana's Litomyšl and Hejna's picture bearing the same name will be borrowed from a Parisian private collection specially for this occasion. 

Jiří Hejna was born in Prague in 1921. In 1964, after the arrest of his brother Václav, also a painter, left under adventurous circumstances for France. From that time he only returned to his homeland for a few days in 2004. On the occasion of his exhibition in Olomouc and Vysoké Mýto he then also visited Litomyšl. At that time, the idea of holding his exhibition on the occasion of his 90th birthday here was born. Unfortunately, Jiří Hejna died in Paris on 2nd March 2011, at the time of the culminating preparation for his first Czech retrospective exhibition in Litomyšl, which has thus become a posthumous exhibition as a result of tragic circumstances. 

Jiří Hejna won his fame in France mainly as a painter of extensive works in the field of the so-called "cosmic abstraction", becoming, as a Czech in Paris, an original follower of Kupka in the 1960's. The whole monumental cycle Compositions cosmogoniques, including the title picture of the exhibition , the oil painting Firebird dated 1960, was being created for almost fifty years and encompasses many hundreds of canvases portraying the invisible, as well as organised forces in the obvious chaos of the universe. Given the fact that the heirs to Jiří Hejna expressed their will to return the works of this founding personality of the Czech post-war non-figurative painting to his homeland, the visitors will be able to see works from the painter's estate that have not been exhibited yet.

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