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Ladislav Sutnar (1897–1976) Venus

acrylic on masonite
1966-1967
lower left
109.5 × 180.5 cm
frame

Starting price1,800,000 CZK Final price2,520,000 CZK
89th Auction, lot 82 This playful and sensual painting belongs to the late period of work of the award-winning Czech artist and globally recognised product and graphic designer Ladislav Sutnar. Since the 1920s, he had been dealing with modern approaches and possibilities of visual communication, whilst his goal had always been maximum intelligibility and the ability to quickly transmit essential information. These efforts led him to create his own innovative visual language based on consistent practical and theoretical foundations. He applied it not only to his graphic work but also to objects of daily use – dishes, lighting, furniture, toys, etc. At the beginning of the 1960s, Sutnar was fascinated by the form of the female body, which he approached with his characteristic visual language based on his previous graphic work. He always started his works with careful studies that guaranteed a clear and impressive visual effect. It was no different in the case of Venuses; he always composed their geometrically constructed figures using a square grid to achieve a balanced or, on the contrary, dramatic composition. Woman-Venus became the subject matter of Sutnar’s long-term cycle, which responded to his American experience. As he stated in his text The Strip Street from 1963, he dedicated this cycle to the women he had met during the nightlife on New York’s 52nd Street, near which he lived at the time. The location was full of bars where women offered their bodies for male pleasure and this atmosphere Sutnar captured in his large-scale acrylic paintings. He depicted the presented Venus using clearly defined geometric shapes in contrasting colours and intensified the dramatic impression by the diagonal division of the two-colour background and the dynamic pose of the woman. The study for the presented artwork was reproduced in the monograph Ladislav Sutnar: U. S. Venus (I. Knobloch / T. Pospiszyl / K. Císař / M. Juříková, Prague 2011, p. 102). It comes from a high-quality Moravian collection. Assessed during consultations by doc. T. Pospiszyl, Ph.D., and PhDr. K. Srp. The expertise of PhDr. J. Machalický is attached.
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