"In order for humankind to continue making art, they had to be learn how to formulate and understand it. You can't just do everything by instinct," admits the sculptor Vladimír Škoda in the tenth episode of the documentary series Art in Isolation.

While he never got into the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, he did happen to study directly at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He later became a professor and, in his own work, became inspired by the research activities of mathematician and astrologer Jan Kepler – the themes of his installations are, after all, the correlations of cosmic bodies, interactions, and energies.

"I got it into my head that I was going to go to Paris from here and that was that. I wasn't interested in anything else. I started learning French, but I was terrible at it. When I left, I could only say about three or four words. For a month, I lived in all kinds of places, even sleeping under a bridge at one point. At that time, I simply had no other reason than to follow my dreams of art,” recalls an artist who has lived in Paris since emigrating in 1968.

Why Art in Isolation?
The artistic activity took a strong hit. Exhibitions began to get canceled, various regulations affected direct interaction with colleagues, spectators, and the world stage. Questions about the meaning of art, an artist's mission, and boundaries of freedom emerged yet again. The testimonies of the artists who were creating their art during the communist regime in Czechoslovakia are an important memento of a time gone by and an inspiration for the search for meaningful answers in the present. With or without the crisis.

The stories of artists in the time of totality carry on. You can watch each episode on social media and web platforms of the two associated institutions, Kunsthalle Praha & Post Bellum–Memory of Nations.

Vladimír Škoda (*1942) established himself as a sculptor in France, where he has lived since emigrating there in 1968. While he never got into the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, he studied directly at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was inspired by the research activities of the mathematician and astrologer Jan Kepler. The correlation of cosmic bodies, interactions, and energies are the subject of Škoda’s installations, in which a sphere is the dominating shape. This sphere in its many forms, materials, and structures is the hallmark of this Czech artist. Vladimír Škoda later taught at art schools in Le Havre and Marseille in France. He was only able to exhibit his works in the Czech Republic after 1991; in 1995, a retrospective exhibition was organized by the Rudolfinum Gallery.