Ivan Sobotka / Faces and Eyes
The monograph of Ivan Sobotka (1927–2008), one of the most remarkable Czech artists of the second half of the twentieth century, came about from the cooperation of the Argo publishing house with the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region on the occasion of an exhibition of the artist’s work in Kutná Hora.
The book presents nearly the entire oeuvre of Ivan Sobotka, from his early oil paintings from the 1950s to his gouache works from the beginning of the second millennium. A significant part of the anthology belongs to faces – gouache portraits of unusual power, almost monochrome images that speak with the simplest lines of face and eyes.
Sobotka was a distinctive spiritual artist who did not attract attention because he was not interested in it. His painting is entirely free, and he always supported himself by something else. He sought no exhibitions, for the most part did not participate in art openings, he and resisted publicity. He was friends with Věra Nováková and Pavel Brázda. He was inspired primarily by the production of the Ultramontanist publishing house of Josef Florian and was a radical continuer of Roman portraiture. Later he practically rejected traditional painting and became partial to modernism.