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Artists' biographies : Eduard OVCACEK

Date of birth: 1933

Nationality : Eduard  OVCACEK

Eduard Ovcacek (born March 5, 1933 at Třinec, Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic) is a graphic artist, sculptor, Lettrist painter and teacher of printmaking in the Faculty of Arts in Ostrava. His work develops around several axes, including engraving, concrete and visual poetry, silkscreen, collage, photography lettriste, graphic arts, as well as performances, installations and sculptures. Between 1957 and 1963, Ovcacek studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (Slovakia), under the leadership of Professor Peter Matejka, then at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, with Prof. Antonín Kybal (1962). In 1960, with his friend Miloš Urbásek etcher, Ovcacek has created a group of independent artists named "Konfrontace" (the Meetings of Bratislava). This group worked especially around the abstraction called "informal". In 1967, Eduard Ovcacek will also co-founder of the "Club concretists" with Arsen Pohribny theorist. He teaches printmaking techniques at the University Palacky Olomouc from 1963 to 1968, the Prague Spring. From the 1960s, Ovcacek maintains close contacts with Polish artists contacts that will continue after the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the armies of the Warsaw Pact in 1968. He established friendly contacts with Marian Bogusz, protagonist of the Polish art scene of the time. Ovcacek also maintained contacts with artists from other countries who shared his artistic concerns. He also met and corresponded with the French poet Pierre Garnier visual. In his book Spatialism and concrete poetry, Garnier has also included various works of Eduard Ovcacek, especially circles (Kruhy) made the typewriter. Typography and movable type printing play a particularly important role in his work, from his earliest works to his latest works. Marked by the influence of Marinetti, and in particular his book Words in freedom, Ovcacek uses all plastic and expressive potential of typography in a process closely related to lettrism and concrete poetry. The artist is strongly opposed to the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968: he loses his job at the university. He participated in many dissident activities and illegal. The lesson of the series A capital was established immediately after the invasion of the armies of the Warsaw Pact in Prague, when censorship was not yet restored. This series of plates was published in the magazine Czechoslovak "Literární listy" and in some other journals abroad. It then publishes samizdat (self-published titles) to disseminate its work so clandestine1. A few years later, in the context of the Czechoslovak normalization, the artist will signatory of Charter 77 alongside other artists such as playwright and later president of the Czech Republic Václav Havel, founder of Charter 77. Eduard Ovcacek is currently a professor in the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ostrava (Czech Republic) and maintains close contact with academics including Slovakia and Poland (mainly universities in Katowice, Kraków and Łódź). He lives in Ostrava, where he continued his artistic work. His work is represented in public and private collections in the Czech Republic, Europe, Asia and America.

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