Otakar Švec, Jaromír Krejcar, Monument to the Victims of Nazism in Domažlice, 1948

GAVU - Opus Magnum

1. 7. – 26. 9. 2021

Curated by Marcel Fišer

Otakar Švec (1892–1955) left his trace in art history by the famed sculpture Sunbeam, presenting a motorcyclist cutting corners. But also by the unfortunate J. V. Stalin monument in Prague, which eventually ranked among the reasons for his suicide. He is moreover the author of two Domažlice monuments dedicated to the victims of the two world wars. The first one resulted from winning a 1924 competition along with architect Bedřich Feuerstein, and it was his first extensive realization. The present exhibition revolves around the circumstances of the origination of the second work. Its inspiration was the artist’s correspondence discovered in the inheritance of the painter František Michl, which provided new information about the history of the work. In addition, it helped attribute the author of its architectonic solution, Jaromír Krejcar (1895–1950).

The monument initially meant for the executed resistance fighter, Zdeněk Bořek Dohalský, was after the 1948 February communist putsch devoted to all victims of Nazism. Bořek Dohalský, a member of an old aristocratic family and the national-socialist party, was close to President Masaryk and Church, which the new regime found unacceptable. Otakar Švec enlarged his earlier sculpture of 1938, Ardor, for the work. It thus retained its original purpose. Memorials to the victims of war in the country usually employed motifs of martyred people or mourning women. However, here, the sculpture symbolically departs from the traditional allegory of Freedom, hence reminding the individual heroism of an individual. 

 

Otakar Švec, Jaromír Krejcar, Monument to the Victims of Nazism in Domažlice, 1948 -
 
Otakar Švec, Jaromír Krejcar, Monument to the Victims of Nazism in Domažlice, 1948 -

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