Vaclav Fiala (15.7.1896 in Prague - 25.6.1980 in Prague) graphic artist, illustrator and painter
In his childhood, he and his parents moved to Ukraine, lived in Kharkov and Crimea. After two years at a private painting school in Vienna, he studied at the Higher Art School in Kharkov from 1911 to 1915 and at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg from 1915 to 1916 (prof. Makovský, Belyyev, Tvaroznikov and Zaleman). The formation of his artistic personality was greatly influenced by the student environment, especially his friendship with futurists, especially with David Burljuk. He did not finish his studies, he was called to the Russian army and traveled with her through Russia and Siberia. In 1919 he found himself in Vladivostok, where he became a student of the university and taught drawing at the girls' gymnasium. In 1921 he exhibited with Japanese futurists in Tokyo and other Japanese cities. In 1922 he returned to his homeland and in 1923 he entered the graphic specialty of M. Svabinsky at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Of the graphic techniques, Fiala liked woodcut and lithography the most. After graduating from the Academy, he received a one-year scholarship to travel to France in 1927, and later went to Italy in 1930. In his paintings from both countries he found his distinctive painter's view of color simplicity, freedom of shape and constructive drawing. In the 1930s, he visited Slovakia and Transcarpathian Ukraine several times and benefited from a number of interesting topics. Throughout his life, Fiala devoted great attention to book illustrations: between 1920 and 1975, he illustrated 155 book titles. Woodcuts decorated Neruda's Week in a Quiet House, Pushkin's Captain's Daughter, lithography for Gogol's Taras Bulba, From the Tales of the Shahrazadines, and for the Seven Princesses, he used stone-engravings colored by color lithography. In free graphics, he tended towards epic shared compositions, landscapes and urban vistas. He used his extraordinary gift of subject-matter observation of facts in the field of graphic portrait. Since 1926 he has created 85 portraits in various graphic techniques, especially lithography. He created them out of inner necessity and personal interest at a time when the general aesthetic view did not favor this genre. In addition to the official (K. Gottwald, A, Zapotocky), he portrays a number of well-known personalities of Czech culture (A. Matejcek, V. Sedlacek, L. Simak, F. Hudecek, C. Bouda, O. Kubin) and also a leading orientalist J. Rypka . Oriental motifs also appear on Violet Exlibris. There are Indian, antique, Russian as well as purely Czech themes. It is characterized by realistic drawing. Otherwise, he focused on painting, free graphics, stamp design, banknote graphics. Because he spent his youth in Russia, he was inspired by other regions in his work. Fiala regularly participated in international book exhibition exhibitions (Hamburg, Krakow, Olomouc, Poznan, Como, Berlin, Budapest, Banska Bystrica). He exhibited paintings and free graphics in Japan, Russia (five exhibitions), he had ten exhibitions in Prague, the last in his life in 1975 in Spálova gallery and Hollar. He has participated in dozens of collective exhibitions at home and abroad. Already in 1928 he received an honorable mention for portraits at the d'Hiver salon in Paris, 1933 won the prize of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the 1st International Woodcut Exhibition in Warsaw, 1937 silver medal at the International Exhibition of Art and Technology in Paris. From 1928 he was a member of the Hollar Association of Czech Graphic Artists, with which he regularly exhibited and whose chairman he was in 1956-1960. He contributed literally to the Hollar Proceedings.