Splìchal, Jan 1929-
SPLÌCHAL, Jan 1929-
PERSONAL: Born December 17, 1929; in Sloupnice, Czechoslovakia; married Libuse Struplova, in 1953; children: Daniel, Vera. Education: School of Decorative Arts, Jablonec nad Nisou, 1945-49.
ADDRESSES: Home—Ladova Street, 7, CZ-12800 Prague, 2-Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
CAREER: Photographer and printer. Polygrafia, Prague, Czech Republic, graphic artist. Exhibitions: Works included in permanent collections at Moravian Gallery, Brno, Czech Republic; Municipal Gallery, Hodonin, Czech Republic; and Town Hall, Bielefeld, Germany. Solo exhibitions include Club of the Arts, Cheb, Czechoslovakia, 1964; Gallery Dromedaris, Enkhuizen, Netherlands, 1967; Bunker Ulmenwall, Bielefeld, West Germany, 1968; Gallery of the Castle, Duchcov, Czechoslovakia, 1968; Gallery Dromedaris, Enkhuizen, Netherlands, 1969; University of Purmerend, Netherlands, 1969; Municipal Gallery, Wieringerwerg, Netherlands, 1969; Gallery Fronta, Prague, 1970; Municipal Gallery, Hodonin, Czechoslovakia, 1975; Zentrum ZIF, Bielefeld, West Germany, 1979; Jaromir Funke Studio, Brno, Czechoslovakia, 1980; Fotogalerie Lindemann, Stuttgart, West Germany, 1983; Gallery of Rumanian Creative Artists, Bucharest, Romania, 1984; Gallery Fotochema, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1984; Galerie Bünde, Dammhaus, West Germany, 1986; Galerie Fotoforum, Frankfurt am Main, West Germany, 1986; Municipal Museum, Horice, Czechoslovakia, 1987; Czech Cultural Centre, Havana, Cuba, 1988; Bödelschwinggemeinde, Bielefeld, Germany, 1988; Goethe Institut, Cordoba, Argentina, 1989; Municipal Museum, Freiburg, Germany, 1990; Gallera Genesis, Prague, Czech Republic, 1991; Fotogalerie Lindemanns, Stuttgart, Germany, 1992; Gallery Genesis, Prague, Czech Republic, 1992; Ravensberger Spinerei, Bielefeld, Germany, 1993; European Parliament, Strasbourg, France, 1993; Land Parliament, Düsseldorf, Germany, 1993, Rathauspavillon, Brackwede, Germany, 1993; Prague House of Photography, Prague, Czech Republic, 1994; Goethe Institut, Santiago de Chile, Chile, 1994. Group exhibitions include Creative Photography, House of Exhibition Services, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1958; Fotosalon, Municipal Gallery, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1965; Czechoslovak Photography, Pala Kultury i Nauky, Warsaw, Poland, 1965; Surrealism and Photography, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany, 1966; Promena Artists Group, Capek's Gallery, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1973; Lyrismo de Fotografia Cecoslovacci, at SICOF, Milan, Italy (traveled to Fotokabinett Jaromir Funke, Brno, Czechoslovakia, and Stadisches Museum, Freiburg, West Germany), 1973; Contemporary Photography, Fragner's Gallery, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1977; Tschechoslowakische Photographie 1918-1978, Fotoforum, Kassel, West Germany, 1979; Aktualni Fotografie, Moravian Gallery, Brno, Czechoslovakia, 1982; Czechoslovak Creative Photography, Gallery of Czechoslovak Writers, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1984; and Tschechoslowakische Photografie der Gegenwart, Cologne, Erlangen, Metz, Freiburg, Odense, Barcelona, Luxembourg, Texas, Kansas, 1990, and Festival of Photography at Zdár, Czech Republic, 1991.
MEMBER: Union of Czechoslovak Artists.
The Sculptor Frantisek Bilek, [Prague, Czechoslovakia], 1966.
V tvarné projevy surrealismu, Odeon (Prague, Czechoslovakia), 1969.
Jan Splìchal: Photographs, [Prague, Czechoslovakia], 1971.
Tau und Regen zu sein, Evang (Berlin, Germany).
Barockzeichnung: Meisterwerke d. böhm, Dausien (Hanau, Germany), 1979.
Praha nasich snu, Vysehrad (Prague, Czechoslovakia), 1980.
Naúpatí hory, Kalich, 1984.
Jan Splìchal: Photography, Foto Mida (Ceské Budejovie), 1993.
Published article, "On Photomontage," with Karel Dvorak, in Fotografie '73, 1973.
SIDELIGHTS: Czech photographer and painter Jan Splìchal's signature work is the photomontage. "Photomontage means for me multiplied expression of a creative character . . . that could not be mediated by means of pure photography," he said.
Splìchal, who lives in his favorite city, Prague, studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Jablonci and the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague before beginning a wide-ranging career incorporating print-work, photography, and stage design. He worked in a print shop beside Josef Sudek, a renowned photographer who would later publish much of Splichal's artwork. Splìchal was once entrusted with the negatives of master Czech photographers Jaromir Funke and Frantisek Drtikol.
As Splìchal began to work in photomontage, he experimented by combining images from various negatives to create unified artwork. He would start with ideas at the beginning, but do the major portion of his work in the dark room, combining the images to create a montage.
As Splìchal continued to grow artistically and technically, he began to concentrate less on formality and more on theme. He portrayed painters and sculptors pictured in dialogue with their artwork. Other Splìchal montage series feature towers of Prague, cathedrals, and landscapes, organic and inorganic, that underline the effects of industrial pollution on vegetation. Two audiovisual presentations, titled Creation and Landscapes, produced in the early 1980s, incorporate music and photomontage. His series on Prague serves as an homage to author Franz Kafka, depicting a dreamlike city, pasting together portraits of Kafka, ancient archways and staircases, and other long-vanished images.
Marc Archuleta, in nearbycafe.com, noted that Splìchal's photography generally does not generally emphasize formal. Archuleta said, "He searches out varied intricacies of light and dark subjects that are not always tangible but reveal beauty intuitively through the heart."
His exhibitions have shown in the Czech Republic, Germany, Chile, and elsewhere.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Dufek, Antonín, Aktuálni Fotografie (exhibition catalogue), [Brno, Czechoslovakia], 1982.
Dufek, Antonín, Soucasna Ceskoslovenska Fotografie (exhibition catalogue), [Brno, Czechoslovakia], 1969.
Hofstätter, H., and Petr Tausk, 100 Temi di Fotografia [Milan, Italy], 1977.
Photographers' Encyclopedia International 1839 to the Present, Edition Camera Obscura, 1985.
Tausk, Petr, Contemporary Photographers, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1982.
Tausk, Petr and others, Encyclopedia of Practical Photography, [Prague, Czechoslovakia], 1972.
Tausk, Petr, History of Photography in the Twentieth Century, DuMont (Cologne, Germany), 1977.
Nearby Café,http://www.nearbycafe.com/ (April, 1966), Marc Archuleta, "The Approach of Jan Splìchal."*