Zdeněk Sýkora

Zdeněk Sýkora

Born February 3 1920, Louny
Died July 12 2011, Louny

An important Czech painter and graphic artist whose structures and lines reflect a specific artistic concept of painted space. He dealt with the relationship between colour and space in paintings, objects, and specific three-dimensional concepts. Besides abstract works, he also dealt with the theme of landscape which represented a natural inspiration for his creative work.
(Olga Staníková)

graphics, painting, object, architecture, new media


He participated in the activities of an informal surrealist group in Louny, and photographed and experimented with the photocollage technique. He started to paint under the influence of surrealism and cubism in the late 1940's and in the open air (together with Vladislav Mirvald, his friend and former classmate).


Zdeněk Sýkora. Paintings (solo exhibition, Prague)


There was a radical change in his artistic work after he saw Mattis's paintings in the Hermitage Museum, Gardens cycle (paintings reduced in both shape and colour).


He moved from natural and organic forms to geometric and abstract forms


Creative group in the Umělecká beseda (group exhibition, Prague)


In cooperation with Vladislav Mirvald, he implemented a fire-protection curtain in the Fučík Theatre in Louny (which was lost during the reconstruction of the theatre in 2001).


The first of his structure series was created – Grey Structure. He used combinatorial principles to organize the geometric elements in his structures.


He started to use a computer for the composition arrangements of his paintings in cooperation with mathematician Jaroslav Blažek. Thus, he was among the pioneers of this method.
Umělecká beseda (1964) (group exhibition, Prague)
Křižovatka (group exhibition, Prague)


He attended foreign exhibitions, such as Nuove realtá nell'arte de Cecoslovacchia contemporanea, La Carabaga club d'arte, Genoa
Graphic print
Graphic print (mixed media)


He was appointed a senior lecturer at Charles University in Prague.
Creative group Umělecká beseda (1966) (group exhibition, Prague)
The New Ways: Parade of Contemporary Avant-garde (group exhibition, Zlín)
Spring Exhibition 1966 (group exhibition, Prague)
Czechoslovak Contemporary Art (group exhibition, Berlin)
The Actual Tendences of Czech Art: Images, Sculptures, Graphics (group exhibition, Prague)
Constructive Tendences (group exhibition, )


Great architectural implementations in Prague (structures): ceramic wall at the Polish information centre in Jindřišská Street (which is part of a coffee-house today) and glass mosaic of Air vents of the Letná Tunnel by the architect Josef Kales (cultural monument since 2003).


He exhibited at the international exhibition of contemporary art Documenta 4, Kassel.
Constructive Tendencies from Czechoslovakia (group exhibition, Nuremberg)
Artists of Špála Gallery (group exhibition, Bratislava)
Concretists´Club and Guests (group exhibition, )
Documenta 4 (group exhibition, Kassel)
The New Sensitivity. Křižovatka and Guests (group exhibition, Brno)
Dodekaedr (group exhibition, Louny)
Recent Graphics from Prague (group exhibition, Washington, D.C.)


He participated in the first biennial of constructive art in Nuremberg – Konstruktive Kunst : Elemente + Prinzipien


The first retrospective exhibition in the Špála Gallery in Prague (he did not exhibit in Czechoslovakia again until 1987).


He exhibited at the second biennial of arts in Nuremberg, Was die Schönheit sei, das weiss ich nicht, Künstler-Theorie-Werk.


He created the first line painting by magnifying the structural elements. Instead of a strict order, he used the randomness of shape, length, colour, crossing, etc.


Within the Gorinchem ´74 symposium in the Netherlands, he made a pavement in the Netherlands (85 m²) which was renewed and moved in 2005.


He completed the implementation of structures in architecture – a marble sidewalk and a wall of the shopping centre in Litvínov.


First exhibition of line works – Kunstcentrum Badhuis in Gorinchem, Netherlands.
Zdeněk Sýkora: Computer-schilderijen (solo exhibition, Gorinchem)


One Line (graphics)
Quintet (graphics)
Trio Hiršal (graphics)


He worked on a large painting Line No. 24 (3 x 3 m, 227 lines) which he later called The Last Judgement (property of Centre Pompidou in Paris today).
He married his former student Lenka (*16th June 1957 in Plzen) and started to cooperate with her in 1985.


He painted strong colourful lines in his paintings


His first foreign retrospective exhibition Quadrat – Moderne Galerie, Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop.
Detail Nr. 21 (graphics)

Zdeněk Sýkora – Retrospective (solo exhibition, Bottrop )


Line no. 43
Line no. 43 (painting)

Zdeněk Sýkora – Graphics (solo exhibition, Ústí nad Labem)


A large retrospective exhibition (works from 1947) in the The Brno House of Arts (in cooperation with the theorist Jiří Valoch). Sýkora started to cooperate with Heinz Teufl which resulted in his solo exhibition in the same year (interrupted in 1968).
Line No. 56 (painting)

Zdeněk Sýkora (solo exhibition, Brno)
Zdeněk Sýkora: Pictures of 1968 and 1980–1986 (solo exhibition, Bad Münstereifel)
Zdeněk Sýkora – Paintings, Radek Kratina – Objects (solo exhibition, Prague)


He created a large painting (3 x 6 m) which was exhibited at the Konkret 9 symposium in Nuremberg.


The first painting with lines which only ran from a few points (he continued until 1994). He built a new studio in Louny. He created paintings with horizontal lines (until 1993), lines running from a single point, angled lines, and lines forming areas (1994). In addition to very complicated lines there were also paintings with only a few lines.
Artists Tribute to Jiří Chalupecký (group exhibition, Prague)


Zdeněk Sýkora: Paintings, Graphics (solo exhibition, Prague)
Zdeněk Sýkora – Line (solo exhibition, Prague)
Tradition and Avant-garde in Prague (group exhibition, Bonn)
Zdeněk Sýkora. New Works (solo exhibition, Bad Münstereifel)
Zdeněk Sýkora: Line-Paintings (solo exhibition, Amsterdam)
Grey Brick 78/1991 (group exhibition, Opava)


Zdeněk Sýkora: Line Paintings from the Years 1986–1990 (solo exhibition, Mönchengladbach)
Zdeněk Sýkora: Calligraphy of the Order and Chance (solo exhibition, Prague)
Czech and Slovak Contemporary Art 1950 - 1992 (group exhibition, Novara)
Minisalon (group exhibition, Prague)
Insights - Czech and Slovak Contemporary Art (group exhibition, Cologne)
Czech Fine Art 1960-1990 (group exhibition, Prague)


Implementation of a twelve metre Sýkoras Wand for Selmoni AG, Basel. Until 1995, alongside the main activity, he also developed the possibilities of the paintings he had started in the late 1950's – landscapes, the Stains cycle, and he made paintings with lines running from a single dot (until 2004).


Line no. 115 (architecture)


A retrospective exhibition in GHMP and Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen.
Zdeněk Sýkora: Retrospective 1945 – 1995 (solo exhibition, Prague)
Zdeněk Sýkora: Retrospective (solo exhibition, Ludwigshafen)
Karel Malich, Zdeněk Sýkora (group exhibition, )
Zdeněk Sýkora – Karel Malich (solo exhibition, Bad Münstereifel)


Line no. 150
Line no. 150 (painting)
Line no. 156 (painting)

Zdeněk Sýkora: Paintings and Scores from the Years 1994 – 1998 (solo exhibition, Litomyšl)
Zdeněk Sklenář – Relations (solo exhibition, Ústí nad Labem)


Illustrations of several books published by Aulos, Prague: Jan Neruda – Cosmic Songs (1999), Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose – The Nature of Space and Time (2003), William Faulkner – Elly (2005), Karel Hynek Mácha – May (2007), Josef Hiršal and Bohumila Grögerová – Poetry of Structure and Line (2009)


Zdeněk Sýkora (solo exhibition, Louny)
Zdenek Sykora: Three Phases Zdenek Sykora's 80th Birthday (solo exhibition, Prague)
Art in Central Europe 1949–1999 (group exhibition, Barcelona)
Actual Infinity (group exhibition, Prague)
90 Years of the Brno House of Arts (group exhibition, Brno)


His painting Line No. 137 of 1997 became the logo of the newly opened Museum of Modern Arts – mumok Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna.


Minisalon (group exhibition, Ubud)
Black and White (group exhibition, Bruntál)
In honor of creative Team - the First Part of the Collection of Jan and Meda Mládek (group exhibition, Prague)


Paintings with lines which only pass through the format and have a better possibility of free movement.


Implementation of lines in architecture – entrance hall to the new building of Air Traffic Control of the Czech Republic, Jeneč u Prahy.
Received award from Herbert Boeckl Prize
Sýkora 2004 (solo exhibition, Prague)
The Sword of Damocles: Czech Art 1956–1972 from the Collections of the Olomouc Museum of Art (group exhibition, Olomouc)
Zdeněk Sýkora: Recent Paintings (solo exhibition, Amsterdam)
Zdeněk Sýkora (solo exhibition, Louny)
Herbert-Boeckl-Preiss 2005 Zdeněk Sýkora (solo exhibition, Salzburg)


A cycle of exhibitions on the anniversary of his birth – Zdeněk Sýkora 90 in the Gallery of the Capital City of Prague, Colour and Space in the Olomouc Museum of Arts and The Landscape in the Gallery of Arts in Karlovy Vary.
Zdeněk Sýkora 90 (solo exhibition, Prague)
Zdeněk Sýkora. Space and Color (solo exhibition, Olomouc)
Zdeněk Sýkora: Landscape (solo exhibition, Karlovy Vary)
Zdeněk Sýkora. Paintings from Regional Galleries Collections (solo exhibition, Louny)


Zdeněk Sýkora: Prints (solo exhibition, Brussels)
Born in Louny. On the Way of Zdeněk Sýkora (solo exhibition, Louny)
The Story of the Louny Theatre Curtain (solo exhibition, Louny)
Zdeněk Sýkora: Zero Lines (solo exhibition, Prague)
Doteky konstruktivismu (group exhibition, Prague)
Zdeněk Sýkora. Geometrical Studies (1961-1962) (solo exhibition, Osík u Litomyšle)
Zdeněk Sýkora (solo exhibition, Prague)
Zdeněk Sýkora. Landscape (solo exhibition, Klatovy)
Zdenek Sykora from the Museum Collection (solo exhibition, Nuremberg)
Uchronie aneb Příběhy ze sbírky (group exhibition, )


Zdeněk Sýkora: Parallel Path (solo exhibition, )
Chance as Strategy (group exhibition, Budapest)
From Tizian to Warhol / Olomouc Museum of Art 1951-2011 (group exhibition, Olomouc)


Zdeněk Sýkora. My Nature (solo exhibition, Prague)
Culmination / The Apex of Czech Fine Art (group exhibition, Prague)

Muzeum umění Olomouc 2011-2022