At the age of 94, graphic designer, illustrator and teacher Květa Pacovská died on Monday. This was said by her son Štěpán Grygar. Květa Pacovská's work includes a number of different forms, from paintings, spatial sculptures and objects, drawings,
installations to experimental artist's books. Her books have often been published and appreciated abroad, and Pacovska's paintings and sculptures are exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. She has received many awards and recognitions for
Photo: Michal Krumphanzl, Czech News Agency
Květa Pacovská was born on July 28, 1928 in Prague. She graduated from the State Graphic School, after which she graduated from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design under Emil Filla. Although her field was monumental painting, her work blends a
number of disciplines.
Since the 50s, Pacovská has devoted herself to book illustration. She created and illustrated her first books for her sons. Then came book commissions, which she initially understood as a means of making a living, but over time she began to think of
them more comprehensively, as architecture and a complete object. Gradually, Pacovská came to a picture book, which ceased to be a mere carrier of information, but became an autonomous art object.
Since her early work, Pacovská has been creating spatial drawings, which she composed of elementary geometric elements. In addition to paper, she often created them with subtle lines of wires, sometimes connecting them with strings that gave them
playfulness and constant changeability. These then accompanied her entire experimental work to varying degrees. Design and art also play a significant role in the lives of other members of her family. Pacovská's life partner is the artist and graphic
designer Milan Grygar, while her sons Štěpán and Ondřej devote themselves to photography and graphic design.
"Kveta Pacovska was born in 1928 in Prague, where she still lives and
works. She began her career as an illustrator in the fifties,
specialising in object books, three-dimensional tactile works and
illustrations of children’s stories. A sense of playfulness is an
essential characteristic of her work. Her works include bizarre
collages, mirrors and superimpositions of different kinds of paper,
cut-outs capable of generating ever new characters and stories, as in
the miniature theatre of Midnight Play. Her illustrations are
immediately recognisable for the use of bold, saturated colours
without nuances, a dense style and almost childlike use of lines. Her
passion for geometric and abstract shapes is often based on the use of linguistic signs, as in Alphabet in which letters and numbers merge
with her creatures. One of her latest works is Unfold/Enfold, an
elegant fold-out object book that features unexpected pop-up pages and explosions of colour."
"A book is architecture for me. It is a given sealed space into which
I compose painted, written, cut and empty pages.
"A drawing is such as it is. It should not and cannot pretend. It
expresses our feelings and our thoughts. I love all materials. They
are tempting. I like to work with all. But that isn’t possible. When I
choose a material, I conform to its rules and I try not to violate
"White and black are not included in the colour spectrum but for me
they are colours and mean maximum contrast. And maximum contrast is
the maximum beauty. I am striving for maximum contrast. Red and green.
The placing of colours one over the other. It depends on the relation, proportion, rhythm, size, amount and how we placed colours together.
It is like music. Each individual tone is beautiful by itself and in
certain groupings we create new dimensions, harmony, disharmony,
symphonies, operas and books for children."