H&W Brochure - page 4-5

[DESIGN]. Lithographic art calendar.
Czechoslovakia: 1977 or 1983. Spiral-bound
wall calendar, measuring 15 x 9.5 inches. Pictorial cover lithograph printed in metallic
gold and silver inks on black paper; twelve pictorial lithographs in color and metallic inks,
printed on rectos only, with printed calendar for each month below. $850.
Color lithographed Czechoslovak art calendar, a wordless work of science fiction,
featuring themes of robots, circuitry, rockets, and computers. The futuristic
themes explored in these lithographs have a rich history in Czech modernism.
The word “robot” was invented in Prague, when Karel Capek’s science fiction play
, subtitled “Rossum’s Universal Robots,” premiered at the National Theater
in 1921. Zdenek Sýkora, who taught in Prague from the 1960s through the 1980s,
was a global pioneer in the use of computers in art, and fellow members of the
Krizovatka group of artists rebelled against the socialist realism endorsed by the
state to explore the “new nature” of technical civilization. In 1978, Czechoslovak
cosmonaut Vladimír Remek became the first from a country other than the United
States and the Soviet Union to explore space. From stark saturated diagrams of
circuitry, probably copied from actual devices, to geometric machines floating in
the dark, these lithographs have a dream logic all their own. The calendar
corresponds to a common year beginning on Saturday, January 1, and ending on
Saturday, December 31. The dates, combined with the images of analog circuit
boards dating from the 1970s, narrow the likely year to 1977 or 1983. A compelling
unrecorded artifact of the early days of modern computing.
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