Cup of Tea I, II (from the cycle From the Diary of My Grandpa the Legionnaire, 1988 and 1991

20. 1.– 27. 3. 2022

Curated by Marcel Fišerl

This cycle by Císařovský, inspired by the diary of his legionary grandfather, ranks among the cornerstones of Czech Postmodernism. The painting Cup of Tea is perhaps the most famous one from the cycle. In 1991, the artist was approached by Giovanni Tiboni, a gallery owner from Rimini. Tiboni cooperated with many Italian and foreign artists of the postmodern generation and after 1989, also with some Czechs, such as Milan Knížák, Milan Kunc, Jan Knap, Jiří David, Antonín Střížek, and Vladimír Kokolia. He purchased about ten paintings from Císařovský and presented them at several exhibitions throughout Italy. Within this collection, Císařovský produced a new variant of the Cup of Tea. It differs from the first version by smaller dimensions and the horizontal placement of the soldier’s silhouette – but above all, the background bears an inscription admitting that it is an author’s variant and replacing the earlier quote from the grandfather’s letter. Tiboni’s interest in Czech art waned over time, and the works by the mentioned artists gradually returned to their home country, sometimes in a rather complicated way. The first version of the Cup of Tea is today in the collection owned by the crucial theoreticians of Czech postmodernism, the Ševčíks couple, while GAVU Cheb purchased the second last year. The joint exhibition of the two pieces is an opportunity to commemorate the small episode, which demonstrates the rise of international interest in Czech art after 1989. 

Cup of Tea I, II (from the cycle From the Diary of My Grandpa the Legionnaire, 1988 and 1991 -
 

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