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Lot #117 

Theodor Pištěk (✱ 1932)

Conversation with Hawking B2

mixed media (oil, lacquer) on wood-fibre
190 × 142.5 cm
Estimate: 3,500,000 CZK - 5,500,000 CZK
Starting price: 2,500,000 CZK
Hammer price:
5,200,000 CZK

Conversation with Hawking B2 comes from the atelier of one of the most sought-after and at the same time most talented living Czech artists, Theodor Pištěk. In addition to painting, which he considers today to be a key part of his work, he worked as a Czechoslovak representative in car races and as a film costume designer (he even received an Oscar in this field). As irreconcilable as such career dispersion may seem, Pištěk’s work achieves extremely interesting parallels that influence and intertwine and together form an original and complex artistic expression, completely unique to the Czech art scene. The painting Conversation with Hawking B2 shows the artist’s erudition and a very unconventional and synthetic way of thinking. This geometrically abstract canvas, quite rare on the art market, was inspired by one of the most outstanding personalities of contemporary theoretical physics and science in general, Stephen Hawking. Despite the obvious admiration of this subject matter, the work is far from descriptiveness and presents the painter’s typical symbolic synthesis, independent of any cultural dogma. The painting comes from a larger cycle of the same name, which Pištěk has been developing since 2005. He worked with movement in static space already between 1992 and 1993 in the painting Party at Plečnik’s, in which he indicated the direction of movement using dynamic geometric figures flowing through the air and leading the beholder’s curiosity around the corner of the room. These possibilities of expression through geometric abstraction led him after 2000 to the famous, purely abstract Conversations with Hawking, in which he works with a cubic structure and geometric elements on a black background. In recent years, however, he has been working with space using delicate circular compositions that tempt the beholder’s imagination. The work was presented at the Angelus exhibition in the House of Arts in Brno, in the catalogue of which it is reproduced (M. Dostál: Theodor Pištěk, Angelus, Brno 2019, p. 153). Assessed during consultations by T. Pištěk, the artist, and PhDr. K. Srp. The expertise of PhDr. J. Machalický is attached.