Jan Smetana


The third volume in the edition m is dedicated to the painter and university professor Jan Smetana (1918–1998), who is known primarily in connection with Group 42. The artist’s other, considerably more extensive output has yet to be comprehensively evaluated. After Smetana’s “group” period, in which his works focused on the peripheral attributes of technological civilization and suburban landscapes, he devoted his painting practice to an exploration of the hidden forces controlling natural events. From the early 1960s onward, his main inspiration was nature in all its permutations of shape and light, and he developed and varied these natural motifs like a musical composer. This monograph draws on Smetana’s extensive body of work, which is held by various galleries and the artist’s family, and it is also informed by his journals stored in the archives of the National Gallery Prague and the recollections of his former students. The several thousand pages of journals reveal much about Smetana’s personality and expose the background of his painterly oeuvre, which does not remain locked away in its own time but instead—as the artist himself wished—speaks to subsequent generations. An important part of the publication consists in a selective inventory of this body of work, comprising nearly six hundred items.


Author: Eva Neumannová 
Graphic design: Studio Najbrt 

Number of pages: 342 
Dimensions: 240 × 280 mm 
Binding: hardcover 
Language: Czech 
ISBN: 978-80-908875-4-1  

Publishers: Kunsthalle Praha, Academia, Galerie KODL 
Date of publication:
February 2024