Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Czech Republic 2015
Works of Art on Postage Stamps: Bohumir Matal

COUNTRY: Czech Republic
ISSUE DATE: 16 December 2015
THEME: Bohumir Matal
STAMP SIZE: 40 x 50 mm
 STAMP DESIGN: Bohumír Matal / Václav Fajt

The stamp shows Matal’s paintings Sitting and Bicycle, respectively.

Bohumír Matal was a Czech painter, one of the youngest members of Group 42. He was a significant representative of post-war painting in Brno. He was born on 13 January 1922 in Brno and died on 7 July 1988 in Prudká u Doubravníku. Bohumír Matal was first introduced to painting by a distant relative. In 1937-1941, he studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Brno. In 1941, he was arrested for anti-fascist activities and was taken to the camp in Lohbruck near Breslau, where he worked in a chain-making factory. Although he couldn’t paint anymore, he sent letters to his family accompanied with illustrations. Altogether he wrote more than 200 letters with pencil illustrations. In 1945, he returned from Germany in poor health. After recovery he started to paint again. He had an exhibition in Paris in 1946 with other young painters. The next year, the Club of Visual Artists Aleš organised an independent exhibition of Matal’s works. His most common themes were people and the city, civilisation and industrialisation (e.g. cement plants, paper mills). His first paintings contained themes such as airships, ports and streets in the rain. Gradually his work became closely associated with the programme of Group 42. After the political changes of 1948, Bohumír Matal locked himself away in his studio and continued using the Group 42 style. In the mid-1950s, the situation slightly relaxed and Bohumír Matal together with Vladislav Vaculka and Vladimír Vašíček set up a group named“Brno 57”. In the 1960s, experiment and abstraction appeared in Matal’s work. He was also involved in stage design. After 1968, he left Brno and moved to Prudká u Doubravníku. He bought a flour mill and converted it into a studio where he lived until his death.

Stamp image and description thanks to Česká pošta