Internationally-acclaimed artist Josef Bolf will present this year’s Firestone Lecture in Contemporary Art at Mary Baldwin University. The lecture — free and open to the public — will be at 7:30 p.m. March 17, 2015, in the James D. Francis Auditorium, which is on the Mary Baldwin campus at the corner of Coalter and Frederick Streets.
One of the most highly respected contemporary artists in the Czech Republic and central and eastern Europe, Bolf lives and works in Prague. A figurative painter, he often uses his psychologically and emotionally compelling paintings to explore his experiences growing up in Prague during the Cold War when then Czechoslovakia was under communist rule by the Soviet Union.
Born in 1971 in Prague, Bolf studied drawing and painting at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the studios of J. Naceradský, V. Kokolia, and V. Skrepl from 1990–98, as well as at the Kongsthögskolan in Stockholm (1995) and Akademie der bildende Künst in Stuttgart (1996). During his studies, he was an active member of the artist group BJ (Bezhlavý jezdec/Headless Horseman), which was active between 1996 and 2004, with fellow academy students Jan Šerých, Ján Mančuška, and Tomáš Vaněk.
A prolific painter and draughtsman, Bolf has exhibited extensively in Europe, as well as in China and the United States. He has been nominated for and is the recipient of numerous grants, stipends, and awards over the years, and has work in the Czech National Gallery and Prague City Gallery collections, as well as in regional museums and prominent public and private collections throughout the Czech Republic and abroad. He was voted 2010 Artist of the Year in the Czech Republic for his exhibitions Personal Disposition at Hunt Kastner Artworks in Prague and I Won’t See You Anymore at a former funeral chapel in Volyne, and for the realization of his designed mosaic for the facade of the historic Jurkovic Villa in Brno that was commissioned by the Moravian National Gallery. Bolf is represented in Europe by Hunt Kastner Artworks (Prague), Galerie Dukan (Paris and Leipzig), and Arthobler Gallery (Zurich).
The Susan Paul Firestone Lecture Series in Contemporary Art is made possible by the generosity of donors in honor of the creative work and professional accomplishments of Susan Paul Firestone ’68.