20 Nov 2009 - 2 Jan 2010
KÁJA SAUDEK & 60’s
The multimedia exhibition of the best comics by Kája Saudek, the „Czech King of Comics. “ The exhibition was prepared by Arbor Vitae Societas in cooperation with the Czech Centre Prague.
Kája Saudek became familiar with the American comics in his early years. He was inspired mainly by the works of Walt Disney and later he was influenced also by Robert Crumb and Richard Corben. He became a technical writer and in 1950s worked as a scene-shifter at the Barrandov Film Studios. In 1966, the film director Miloš Macourek used some of his drawings in the film Kdo chce zabít Jessii? (Who Wants to Kill Jessie?) and Saudek's works gradually became more popular in the Czechoslovakia. In 1960s he created comics drawings for the magazine Popmusic Express (Underground Com-comix), as well as illustrations to the scripts by Jaroslav Foglar, Ondřej Neff and others.
In 1969 he published a part of the comic series Muriel a andělé (Muriel and Angels). The series depict the story of a young physician Muriel, who meets an angel Ro, coming from a distant future. Ro attempts to introduce her to a world without hate, evil people and death. The communist censorship considered the story potentially dangerous and banned its publishing.Saudek's style was considered as too "American", some of his critics labeled his work as an example of bourgeois kitsch. The complete cycle was published later, in 1991. The actress Olga Schoberová served as a model for Muriel and Saudek's brother Jan was depicted as the main negative character, general Xeron. In 1971 he contributed to the film Čtyři vraždy stačí, drahoušku (Four Murders is Enough, Honey) with his drawings.
At the beginning of the 1970s Saudek made his living as an illustrator for the Czechoslovak magazine Mladý svět. His series Lips Tullian, inspired by adventurous stories from 19th century, was banned by censorship. Saudek's collaboration with the popular magazine became more troublesome for the official communist critique; it was gradually restricted and in the middle of the 1970s it was completely banned.
Many of his works were republished at the beginning of 1990s, following the fall of communist regime in Czechoslovakia. He cooperated with the comics journal Kometa (The Comet) and also with the erotic magazine NEI Report.
In September 2009, three of his works appeared in the top five of the Czech comics in the poll organized by the newspaper Mladá fronta DNES.
110 00 Prague 1
From: 20 Nov 2009
To: 2 Jan 2010
Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event