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Eduard Ovčáček

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painter, graphic artist, sculptor, photographer, illustrator
Eduard Ovčáček (1933) was born in Třinec (Czech Republic). In the years 1945-1952, he studied at the two-year Business School in České Těšín, later he transferred to the Higher School of Economics in Ostrava. After graduation, he went to Bratislava, where he studied at the University of Economic Sciences, from where he returned to Ostrava to the University of Mining. Here, in the years 1954-1956, he participated in organizing drawing and painting courses, intensively studied painting, wrote poems and was interested in modern literature. In 1957, he was accepted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (department of monumental painting, Prof. P. Matejka), where during his studies a group of students dealing with non-figurative art, discussing the problems of abstract art and existential philosophy, was formed. For the author, the compositional system of paintings by B. Kubištu (later influenced by A. J. Dubuffet, A. Beardsley, W. Blake, early P. Klee) was especially inspiring for the author. In 1960, together with M. Urbásk and other students, they founded the Bratislava Konfrontácie group (together with M. Čunderlík, J. Jankovič, J. Kočiš, D. Kočišová, P. Maňko, D. Valocký, later R. Fila, J. Beňo , M. Haberernová, A. Miertušová), where they promoted the principles of V. Boudník's "active" graphics. While studying at VŠVU, he participated in non-public exhibitions Konfrontácia 1., 2., 3., exhibited with the group Parabola in Olomouc (first literary works) and in Poland (he was also a member of the art groups Kontrast in Ostrava, SČUG Hollar and SVU Mánes) . In 1962, he studied for a short time as a guest at the University of Arts and Crafts in Prague (textile studio, Prof. A. Kybala). After graduating from VŠVU, he moved with his family to Ostrava (1964), at the same time he began establishing his first written contacts with authors of experimental poetry (e.g. Pierre Garnier). From informal (Vežký epitaph, 1961-1962; Deformation cycle, 1961-1962; Epitaphs, 1961-1963) he moved to lettrism in the 1960s - font and sign became the leitmotif of his further work (Ortiež I., 1964). Ovčák's lettristic works, whether they are wooden sculptures and reliefs, burnt decollages or graphic sheets, are the result of the intermingling of three basic areas - structural abstraction, visual poetry and his own lettrism. The most typical for the author is the Latin script, whose graphemes he repeats many times on the surface of the sheet and thus creates a new, non-semantic text, at other times he isolates the graphemes and uses them to form the dominant motif of the entire work or its parts. In some graphic sheets, graphemes form clusters - as a paraphrase of totemic formations and visual forms of written records of non-European cultures. In his works, he often quotes written script or sheet music. The author's invention of burnt collage is not only a technical curiosity, but above all a double meaning parable. No material remains in the contours of the font after burning, the message of the letters disappears to allow for its own reinterpretation and other associations. The cycle of graphic ready-mades from 1970 is based on found materials, which the author perceives as signs (variations and rotational shifts of one element), semanticizes and incorporates them into a potential communication system, the result of which becomes a metaphorical paraphrase (serious and grotesque, ironic and rational aesthetic). The author has been working since 1992 at the Faculty of Education of the University of Ostrava, where he is the head of the studio of free and applied graphics (since 1993 a docent, since 1994 he participated in the Performance meeting - MALAMUT'94 in Ostrava, in 1996 he was the chairman of the Ostrava Biennale of Czech Graphics ´96, since 1997 he has been organizing the Serigraphy workshop (annually) at the Department of Visual Arts of the University of Ostrava. In 1998, he was the author of the exhibition project Czech Serigraphy (50 Czech authors). He exhibited independently from 1965 - Ostrava, further e.g.: 1967 - Bremen, 1981 - Essen, 1992 - Hamburg, 1995 - Berlin, 1998 - Mainz, 2000 - Bratislava, collectively since 1961 (more than 200 in the Czech Republic and abroad), won many domestic and foreign awards, such as: (1965 - Prize for graphics, Poland; 1995 - Grand prix of the capital city of Prague; 1996 - Czech Savings Bank Award, Biennale of Czech Graphics, Ostrava; 1998 - 1st prize for graphics, International Exhibition of Graphics, Namur, Belgium; 1999 - Vladimír Boudník Award, Prague; 2000 - Honorable mention anie, Graphics of the Year 2000, Prague). The author's works are represented in the collections of the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Kassák Museum in Budapest, the National Museum in Warsaw, and the Albertina in Vienna. The author lives and works in Ostrava, also in Prague, but also participates in many events in Slovakia.

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