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Lot #157 
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Václav Boštík

Wave Motion

oil on canvas
1967
signed
62 x 62 cm
Estimate: 2,500,000 CZK - 3,500,000 CZK
Starting price: 1,500,000 CZK
Hammer price:
3,200,000 CZK

This masterpiece from the artist’s sought-after period is a very representative example of Boštík’s unmistakable work. This admirable artist became one of the key representatives for Czech fine art in the post-war years, as not only a painter, but also a graphic artist, illustrator, typographer, restorer, art theorist, and poet. His early abstract work was based on symbols, but then he started approaching the canvas as a universe on its own, in which he tried to concentrate scattered forces. He was interested in the inner energy of painting, the tension between lines and axes and between shapes. The metaphysics of painting and its principles became the meaning of his lifelong search; the surface of the canvas was a space of almost scientific research for him. The presented subtle meditative painting of a square format reflects the artist’s masterful painting skills as well as his lifelong rumination over the meaning of artistic depiction. It is presented in original framing and was bought by the current owner directly from the artist’s atelier in 1987. The painting was exhibited for the first time in 1968 in Nová síň in Prague, later in 1993 in the State Gallery of Fine Arts in Náchod (Václav Boštík, 2 June – 25 July 1993), in the same year in The Museum of Lanškroun (Václav Boštík, 4 September – 16 October 1993) and in The Museum of Litomyšl (Václav Boštík, 27 November – 10 December 1993). In 2006, the work was presented at the exhibition in the Zdeněk Sklenář Gallery (Memory of Václav Boštík, 10 May – 17 June 2006). It was also part of the artist’s retrospective exhibition in the Prague City Gallery at the turn of 2010 and 2011 (Václav Boštík 1913–2005) and is published in colour in the artist’s largest monograph (K. Srp: Václav Boštík, Prague 2011, cat. No. 265, p. 273); in the same book can be found a photograph of Václav Boštík in his atelier with the presented painting in the background (p. 217) as well as a photograph of its presentation at the exhibition in the Prague City Gallery (p. 468). Assessed during consultations by prof. J. Zemina and PhDr. J. Machalický. From the attached expertise by PhDr. K. Srp, Ph.D.: „[…] Boštík approached the painting as an event that is in continuous motion, as a process that continues to unfold in front of the beholders, if they pay attention to it: they just need to focus on the way in which the white touches the blue circle, from which the circle emerges and disappears into it again. We have in front of us the most important example of Boštík’s top work. Boštík’s closed, introspective, introverted world was given a highly objective, almost depersonalised form. […]“).