Oldřich Smutný

Oldřich  Smutný

Born June 17, 1925 in Debř. Originally, he wanted to be a violinist, but since fourteen years of age, he devoted himself wholly to painting. After graduating from grammar school in Mladá Boleslav, where he was introduced to art by Bedřich Mudroch, he studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague under the leadership of Jan Bauch (1945–1950), and additionally at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles’ University (1951–1954) and at the Academy of Musical Theatre Arts under František Tröster. He then became his assistant and thought painting, later on as an associate professor, at the Department of Stage Design for thirty five years. He was an author of several theatre scenes, namely for the National Theatre in Prague and the South Bohemian Theatre in České Budějovice. For years he devoted himself to photography and in 1988 he received 1st prize for visual art of an animated film S úsměvem (With a Smile) at the Huesca International Film Festival. He wrote and illustrated a book called Labutě, labutě… (Swans, swans…) published in 1982 and again in 1986. In the 1960’s, he became a member of UB 12 and since 1992, he was a member of the Umělecká beseda art group. Oldřich Smutný lived and worked in Prague and in Putim, where he passed away September 1, 2013.


1925 Debř u Mladé Boleslavi ✚2013 Putim



Mother is dying.


Studies at the Real Gymnasium in Mladá Boleslav. Drawing is taught by Pravoslav Kotík and Bedřich Mudroch.


Studies drawing at the Technical University in Prague. Passes the exams for the School of Applied Arts in Prague.


Studies in the studios of Professor Jan Bauch at the School of Applied Arts (since 1946 at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design). Alois Klíma and Václav Kiml are his classmates. Meets Stanislav Kolíbal.


Father is dying.


Graduates from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague.


Studies stage design at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the studio of prof. František Tröster.


Designs the stage setting for The Bartered Bride. During his work he discovers the landscape of South Bohemia, which has become his permanent inspirational source. Becomes an assistant professor in Tröster’s studio at DAMU.


Marries pianist Žofie Kresáková. Builds a house and studio in Putim, South Bohemia, where he regularly lives and works.


Trip to Greece and the GDR.


Trip to Brussels.


Trip to Italy and the Soviet Union.


Trip to Italy.


Stanislav Kolíbal introduces Oldřich Smutný to the artists of the UB12 Group. Invited to participate in his first exhibition in the Gallery of the Czechoslovak Writer.


Appointed associate professor at the Academy of Performing Arts. Visits France for the first time and subsequently goes every year. Designs and creates stucco for the interior of the Czechoslovak Embassy in London.


At the World Exhibition in Osaka collaborates on the interior design of the Canadian Pavilion.
With the advent of Normalization, the group UB 12 began to dissolve and was officially banned in 1970.

Based on biographical data of the members of UB12 up to 1970 in: SLAVICKÁ Milena. UB 12 - Studies, interviews, documents. Prague: Gallery in cooperation with Gema Art a o.s. OSVU, 2006, pp. 306-311



Selected artworks



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