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Eva Kmentová

Czechia
1928-1980
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"She went her own way. With absolute openness she accepted each new subject and rejected influences."-Ludmila Vachtová

photo: Karel Kuklík

Born in Prague in 1928, she attended the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, graduating in 1951, and married her classmate Olbram Zoubek the next year. In the 1950s, they shared a studio in Žižkov at the site of a former cement workshop. They became members of the creative group Trasa in 1957, but their sculptures were removed from the group’s exhibition in the Fronta Gallery in 1959 for ideological reasons. In 1976, when she was already seriously ill, she was awarded the private prize of Jiří Kolář.

In the late 1950s, Eva Kmentová created female figures in relief-like morphology, represented in intimate poetic situations, abounding in tenderness, joy and care. In some aspects they resemble diaries, without a struggle for form. After this period of neo-classicism, Kmentová passed through a cubist phase when she worked with generously rendered forms, followed by the Informel in the early 1960s, so deeply ingrained in the Czech tradition. When Eva Kmentová fell ill in 1974, she mainly dedicated herself to work with paper, in the form of drawings and objects. She died in Prague in 1980, aged 52.

 

Hands Mouth & Mouth Fingers

double sided metal relief, 44 x 42 cm , 45 x 41 cm, h 145 cm

Her work was a new point of view of corporeality in Czech art than were previously common. Contact with the body, haptic perception, injury and fragmentation were the most important for Kmentová. The theme of corporeality was the most iconical for her in the 1960s.

The main model of the sculptor’s works were their own flesh and pieces of body of herself and family members. This significant sculpture was represented in many international exhibitions from Berlin to New York.