Oskar Spielmann. Brno, Alger, Toulon.

1 390.00 

Ivo Habán
Oskar Spielmann. Brno, Alger, Toulon.

ISBN 978-80-88256-26-7
Binding V8, 210 x 265 mm
Czech-German edition
Graphic design by Jan Havel / Belavenir
336 pages, Arbor vitae societas
354 illustrations


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Brno-born Oskar Spielmann (1901-1974) was one of the important, nowadays forgotten Czech-German painters of Jewish origin. In 1926 he successfully graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. After five years of active artistic activity on the Brno art scene, however, he left for Algeria in the summer of 1931 for a study stay, and this country became his new home until 1965. The North African sojourn profoundly influenced both the content and form of his artistic work and his perception of his identity. This is even more complex, however, as he took French citizenship in 1940 and lived the end of his life as a pied noir in Toulon, southern France. When Spielmann’s works created in North Africa appeared in Brno, Prague and Bratislava in the late 1930s, not all reviewers and visitors to the exhibitions were familiar with the artist. From the perspective of Central Europe, something very unusual was opening up to them. With his poetic vision of reality, Spielmann soon managed to appeal not only to Central European audiences, but above all to colonial-era Algerian society, which embraced his subjective interpretations of North African realities and exported them as part of the region’s cultural production to metropolitan France. The fascination with Oskar Spielmann’s dream worlds persists to this day, and his return to the context of Czech art is both a major cultural contribution and a redress of historical injustice.