Topic: Arts

Pilsen-born artists recognised

By Dean Nathan

The stage is set for the works of painter Gottfried Lindauer on New Zealand Māori, which will have their first ever display to the people of Lindauer's hometown.

Pilsen has the distinction of being given the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture for 2015 and today Te Kāea were amazed at one particular exhibition of yet another native of Pilsen who, like Gottfried Lindauer, is yet to receive full recognition for his contribution to art and culture.

Storytelling is but one talent the multi-skilled genius Jiri Trnka possessed that has inspired generations of Czech children.

Eva Reitspiesova says, “Of course when we were 6 years old we had no idea that they were done by Trnka, however a few years later we very well knew that this distinct style is by Jiri Trnka and that he was born in Pilsen and he was a major movie innovator.”

Over 600 separate events are set down for the European Capital of Culture this year with the Lindauer exhibition one to receive a top billing.

Jiri Sulzenko says, “We really have put a lot of emphasis on eight flagship projects and Lindauer is one of them.  So there is really special care and special pride to have the exhibition here in Pilsen.”

Deputy Mayor of Pilsen, Martin Baxa says, “It's a very prestigious title. We are the cultural centre of Europe and as the opening night of Gottfried Lindauers' exhibition is approaching, one of the highlights of the entire year is approaching with it.”

Due to his genius, Jiri Trnka was known as the Walt Disney of Eastern Europe as a puppet-maker, illustrator, motion-picture animator, movie innovator, film director, cinematographer and acclaimed painter in addition to his extensive career as an illustrator especially of children's books.

Eva Reitspiesova says, “Well that is something that Jiri Trnka has similar with Gottfried Lindauer. Both these artists were born in Pilsen.  It took many decades before the home town started to pay proper credit and gratitude to them so right now is the time when we can fully recognise what is due to them.”

Tomorrow is another big occasion here with the start of a week-long festival to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Pilsen from Germany by the Americans and Te Kāea will bring you highlights of this important event.