essay about authorbibliographyartist's influences
24. March 1923 - 12. April 2010
Ex Czechoslovakia

Běla Kolářová (1923, Terezín – 2010, Prague) was a Czech photographer and visual artist, one of the pioneers of Czech neoconstructive and minimal art.

She finished business school in 1941 and started working at Mladé proudy, bookshop and printing. After its closure, she went to Zlín, where she met Jiří Kolář, whom she married in 1949.

She started to devote herself to photography after she contracted tuberculosis in 1956, as she stayed in sanatoriums and left her job. In the early 1960s, she began creating collages and assemblages. She made photographic experiments created without a camera directly in the black chamber, circle X-rays (Roentgenograms) and drawings with light. Kolářová produced so-called artificial negatives, small paraffin-covered plates, into which she imprinted the fragments of everyday life that surrounded her (organic material, razors, thread etc.). Since the second half of the 1970s, Kolářová's work also includes many large-scale drawings.

She co-founded the Křižovatka group in 1963, whose other members included Vladimír Burda, Richard Fremund, Josef Hlaváček, Jiří Kolář, Karel Malich, Pavla Mautnerová, Vladislav Mirvald, Jiří Padrta, Otakar Slavík, Zdeněk Sýkora.

In 1979, the Kolářs went on a one-year study visit to West Berlin but were not allowed to return. This led them to settle in Paris. Jiří Kolář was sentenced to one year's imprisonment and loss of property for illegally leaving Czechoslovakia. Běla Kolářová returned to Prague in 1981 to deal with matters related to the confiscation of his property, but the authorities did not allow her to go to see her husband until 1985. The couple returned to Prague and in 1999.