"Life in Spiral"
Oldrich Kulhanek, "Life in Spiral," 1996, lithograph, 69.4 x 49.1 cm.
By Suzanne Mir
The precision and grace with which Oldrich Kulhanek executes images of the human form reveal the artist’s mastery of anatomy. Educated in Czechoslovakia during the 1950s at the Art School of Prague, Kulhanek’s work reflects his classical European training. Most of his works are lithographs that beautifully demonstrate sinewy body mass and sensuous line quality. In addition, he creates large-format drawings depicting massive bodily forms. Incorporated within some of Kulhanek’s compositions are allusions to early European science and mythology. Other works contain references to 19th century symbolism, although just as many lack a historical context. Kulhanek has described his purpose as giving an account “of oneself, one’s time, the place where one lives, and of the soul of one’s contemporary man.” Indeed, his compositions are riddled with psychological drama, a result, perhaps, of his own experiences involving arrest and suppression by the Czech Communist regime when earlier etchings were deemed too provocative in their bold erotic and political expression. Oldrich Kulhanek’s work is featured in August at Euro Art Gallery, Victoria, 250-381-8115.