Chronology

1923

24 March

Běla Helclová is born in Terezín, Czechoslovakia, into the family of an army musician.

 

1929

Attends grammar school in the Orlické Mountains in East Bohemia.

 

1933

Her family moves to Újezd nad Lesy where they buy a house.

 

Attends the Grammar School for Girls in Vodičkova Street in Prague.

 

1934

Her father dies.

 

1935

Falls ill with tuberculosis and undergoes long-term medical treatment.

 

1938

Leaves grammar school and attends private business school in Prague.

 

Nazi Germany occupies the Sudetenland (northern and western border regions of Czechoslovakia).

 

1939

16 March

Wehrmacht troops occupy the remainder of Czechoslovakia as Hitler proclaims the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

 

1 September

German invasion of Poland starts the Second World War.

 

1941

Graduates from business school and begins working for the publishing house Mladé proudy, later renamed Dílo.

 

1942

Czech artist collective Skupina 42 [Group 42] is officially founded. Jiří Kolář is a member.

 

1943

After Mladé proudy is shut down by the authorities, leaves for Zlín to work in the Baťa shoe factory and avoid forced labour in Germany.

 

1944

Meets Jiří Kolář in Zlín for the first time.

 

1945

January

Leaves heavily bombed Zlín and returns to Prague.

 

April

Third Republic comes into being with a National Coalition government headed by Edvard Beneš.

 

May

Works in the reopened publishing house Dílo.

 

1947

Announcement of Marshall Plan by the USA ignites the Cold War.

 

1948

Skupina 42 ceases to exist.

 

25 February

Under pressure from Moscow, Beneš appoints Communist Klement Gottwald as Prime Minister.

 

2 June

Beneš resigns from presidency and is succeeded by Gottwald.

 

1949

Marries Jiří Kolář.

Czechoslovakia becomes a member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon).

 

1952

December

Jiří Kolář is arrested and imprisoned for nine months after the manuscript of his collection of poems Prométheova játra [Prometheus's Liver] is found during a police raid on the flat of literary critic Václav Černý.

 

1955

Starts working with a Flexaret camera purchased by Jiří Kolář.

 

14 May

Czechoslovakia signs the Warsaw Pact.

 

1956

Falls ill again with tuberculosis. Leaves work and focuses on photography.

 

1957

Produces her first photographic series, 'Dětské hry' [Children's Games].

 

1959

Moves to Prague's Vinohrady district where she has her own darkroom.

 

1960

11 July

Czechoslovakia becomes the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (until 1989).

 

1961

Creates her first 'artificial negatives' by pressing microscopic organic matter or small everyday objects onto paraffin-coated sheets of celluloid or inserting them between sheets of cellophane, which then serve as photographic negatives.

 

1962

Creates her first 'light drawings' by projecting light directly onto the photographic paper.

 

Participates in her first group exhibition, Nová jména ve fotografii [New Names in Photography] at Klub výtvarných umělců Mánes, Prague.

 

1963

Creates her first 'arranged photographs' of everyday objects.

 

Artist collective Křižovatka [Crossroads] is founded in Prague by Jiří Kolář and Jiří Padrta.

 

1964

Starts photographing hair and creates her first assemblages.

 

Joins Křižovatka as one of two women artists.

 

March–April

Participates in the first exhibition of Křižovatka at Galerie Václava Špály, Prague.

 

1965

Participates in the group exhibition Současná fotografie [Contemporary Photography] at Klub výtvarných umělců Mánes, Prague.

 

27 August–26 September

Participates in the group exhibition Objekt [Object] curated by Eva Petrová at Galerie Václava Špály, Prague.

 

1966

14 January–6 February

Participates in the group exhibition Obraz a písmo [Image and Writing] curated by Jiří Padrta at Galerie Václava Špály, Prague, travelling to Oblastní galerie Vysočiny v Jihlavě, Jihlava, and Regionální muzeum Kolín, Kolín.

 

6 May–5 June

Participates in the group exhibition Surrealismus a fotografie [Surrealism and Photography] curated by Václav Zykmund at Dům pánů z Kunštátu – Dům umění města Brna, Brno, travelling to Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany.

 

Participates in the group exhibition Arlington-une. Summer '66 at Arlington Mill, Bibury, UK.

 

3 November–27 November

First solo exhibition at Galerie na Karlově náměstí, Prague.

 

1967

Becomes a candidate member of the Union of Czechoslovak Visual Artists (until 1970).

 

Participates in the group exhibition Umění písma/Poesie písma [The Art of Writing/The Poetry of Writing] at Moravské zemské muzeum, Brno.

 

Participates in the group exhibition 11 Künstler aus der Tschechoslowakei [11 Artists from Czechoslovakia] at Studio Willmeroth, Augsburg, Germany.

 

1968

Divorces from Jiří Kolář.

 

Contributes an artist statement to Soudobá fotografie v Československu [Contemporary Photography in Czechoslovakia], an anthology compiled by art historian Anna Fárová.

 

5 January

Reformist Alexander Dubček becomes First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia [KSČ] and initiates a period of liberalisation known as the Prague Spring.

 

10 March–17 April

Participates in the group exhibition Nová citlivost. Křižovatka a hosté [New Sensitivity. Křižovatka and Guests] at Dům umění města Brna, Brno, travelling to Galerie umění Karlovy Vary, Karlovy Vary, and Výstavní síň Mánes, Prague.

 

27 March–12 May

Participates in the group exhibition Klub konkrétistů [Club of Concrete Artists] at Oblastní galerie Vysočiny v Jihlavě, Jihlava, travelling to Kulturní středisko města Ústí nad Labem, Ústí nad Labem.

 

20–21 August

Warsaw Pact armies invade Czechoslovakia.

 

The exhibition Nová citlivost at Výstavní síň Mánes in Prague is closed prematurely due to the occupation of the building by Soviet troops.

 

1969

16 January

During nonviolent mass protests against Soviet occupation, student Jan Palach immolates himself in Wenceslas Square, Prague.

 

17 April

Gustáv Husák becomes First Secretary of the KSČ and launches counter-reformist policies known as 'Normalisation'.

 

14 August–31 August

Shows arrangements of perishable foodstuffs in the exhibition Někde něco [Somewhere Something] alongside work by Jiří Kolář and the artists' couple Zorka and Jan Ságl at Galerie Václava Špály, Prague.

 

23 September–28 October

Participates in the II. Pražský salon [Second Prague Salon] at U Hybernů, Prague.

 

Exhibits with Jiří Kolář in the framework of the literary festival neue literatur in hof, Hof, Germany.

 

1970

Jiří Kolář suffers a stroke.

 

1971

Marries Jiří Kolář for the second time.

 

1972

The anthology Soudobá fotografie v Československu is seized by censors and destroyed upon its publication.

 

1975

Creates her first make-up drawings.

 

Accompanies Jiří Kolář to New York for his exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum.

 

11 July–8 August

Participates in the group exhibition Internationale visuele poëzie [International Visual Poetry] at the 't Hoogt, Utrecht, travelling to Galerie de Doelen, Rotterdam, and Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

 

August

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová: Fotografie at Minigalerie Výzkumného ústavu veterinárního lékařství [Minigallery at Veterinary Research Institute], Brno.

 

1977

1 January

Jiří Kolář signs the Charter 77 against 'Normalisation'.

 

1978

27 April

Signatories of the Charter 77 found the dissident Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Persecuted (Výbor na obranu nespravedlivě stíhaných).

 

1979

Moves to West Berlin with Jiří Kolář who has been offered a one-year residency by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD.

 

1980

Moves to Paris with Jiří Kolář.

 

1981

After the couple fail to get their visas extended, returns to Prague to sort out their personal affairs and is forbidden to leave the country until 1985. Her husband decides to stay in Paris to attend to his exhibition at Galerie Lelong and will later be condemned in absentia.

 

1982

Becomes a member of the Czech Visual Artists' Fund (until 1984).

 

1984

Participates in the group exhibition Aspects of Czechoslovak Photography at Thackery & Robertson, San Francisco.

 

1985

Obtains permission to leave Czechoslovakia and reunites with her husband in exile in Paris.

 

Participates in the group exhibition Sensibilités contemporaines: 70 artistes d'origine tchèque et slovaque hors Tchécoslavaquie 1970-1984 [Contemporary Sensibilities: Seventy Artists of Czech and Slovak Origin Outside Czechoslovakia] at Librairie La Dérive, Grenoble.

 

1987

Participates in the group exhibition Deuxième exposition annuelle internationale d'art miniature [Second Annual International Exhibition of Miniature Art] at Galerie Del Bello, Toronto.

 

1988

Participates in the group exhibitions Spring '68: Exhibition of Seven Czech Artists, Summer Show and Homage to the Square: Josef Albers and 99 Invited Artists at Flaxman Gallery, London.

 

Participates in the group exhibition Autour de la Revue K [Around Revue K] at Librairie La Lune et les Feux, Paris.

 

Participates in the group exhibition 45 artistes tchèques exposent à Paris au bénéfice du Forum civique [45 Czech Artists Exhibit in Paris for the Benefit of the Civic Forum] at Galerie l'Usine, Paris.

 

1989

15 June–27 August

Participates in the group exhibition Stopadesát fotografíí [One Hundred and Fifty Photographs] at Moravská galerie v Brně, Brno, travelling to Galerie výtvarného umění v Hodoníně, Hodonín.

 

9 November

Fall of the Berlin Wall.

 

17 November

Suppression of peaceful student demonstration in Prague by riot police marks the beginning of the Velvet Revolution.

 

10 December

Husák resigns from Presidency.

 

29 December

Playwright and human rights activist Václav Havel is elected President.

 

1990

31 March–27 May

Participates in the group exhibition Anwesenheit bei Abwesenheit – Fotogramme und die Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts [Presence of Absence: Photograms and the Art of the Twentieth Century], Schweizerische Stiftung für die Photographie at Kunsthaus Zürich.

 

24 October–24 November

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová: Photographies 1956-1964 at Galerie J. & J. Donguy, Paris.

 

1991

4 February–3 March

Participates in the group exhibition Český informel: Průkopníci abstrakce z let 1957–1964 [Czech Informal Art: Pioneers of Abstraction] at Galerie hlavního města Prahy and Galerie Václava Špály, Prague, travelling to Severočeská galerie výtvarného umění v Litoměřicích, Litoměřice.

 

29 September–24 November

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová at Galerie U Bílého jednorožce, Klatovy.

 

1992

9 January–3 February

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová: Fotografie 1961–1966 at Pražský dům fotografie, Prague.

 

25 February–29 March

Participates in the group exhibition Československá fotografie v exilu (1939–1989) [Czechoslovakian Photography in Exile], Výstavní síň Mánes, Prague.

 

7 April–3 May

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová: Fotografie z počátku šedesátých let ze sbírek Moravské galerie v Brně [Photographs from the Early Sixties from the Collections of the Moravian Gallery] at Moravská galerie v Brně, Brno.

 

1993

1 January

Czechoslovakia dissolves into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

 

27 October–2 January 1994

Participates in the group exhibition Poesie racionality: Konstruktivní tendence v českém výtvarném umění šedesátých let [Poetry of Rationality: Constructivist Tendencies in the Czech Visual Arts from the Sixties] at České muzeum výtvarných umění, Prague.

 

1994

Participates in the group exhibition Quatorze artistes autour de la Revue K [Fourteen Artists Around Revue K] at Galerie Le Pont Neuf, Paris.

 

27 May–16 October

Participates in the group exhibition Europa, Europa – Das Jahrhundert der Avantgarde in Mittel- und Osteuropa [The Century of the Avant-Garde in Central and Eastern Europe] at Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn.

 

23 June–12 September

Participates in the group exhibition Nová citlivost [New Sensitivity] at Severočeská galerie výtvarného umění v Litoměřicích, Litoměřice, travelling to Východočeská galerie, Pardubice, Oblastní galerie Vysočiny v Jihlavě, Jihlava, Moravská galerie v Brně, Brno, Muzeum umění Olomouc, Olomouc, Dům umění v Opavě, Opava, Pražákův palác, Brno.

 

1995

15 November–9 December

Participates in the group exhibition Revue K at Galerie J. & J. Donguy, Paris.

 

27 November–12 January 1996

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová: Malá retrospektiva [Small Retrospective] at Galerie '60/'70, Prague.

 

1996

13 October–30 November

Participates in the group exhibition Zpřítomnění: Přírůstky galerie z let 1987–1994 [Revitalisation: New Acquisitions], Galerie Klatovy/Klenová, Janovice nad Úhlavou.

 

1997

6 March–13 April

Solo exhibition, Běla Kolářová: práce z let 1956–1996 [Work from 1956 to 1996] at Severočeská galerie výtvarného umění v Litoměřicích, Litoměřice, travelling to Dům umění města Brna, Brno, and Východočeská Galerie v Pardubicích, Pardubice.

 

7 February–31 December

Participates in the group exhibition Mezi tradicí a experimentem: práce na papíře a s papírem v českém výtvarném umění 1939–1989 [Between Tradition and Experiment: Works on Paper and with Paper in Czech Visual Art] at Muzeum umění Olomouc, Olomouc.

 

4 September–16 November

Participates in the group exhibition Česká koláž [Czech Collage] at Palác Kinských, Prague.

 

1998

11–30 March

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová: Neznámé písmo (Fotogramy, derealisace, asambláže 1956–1996) [Unknown Writing (Photograms, Derealisations, Assemblages)] at Galerie U prstenu, Prague.

 

1999

The Kolářs leave Paris and return to Prague for good.

 

27 April–13 June

Exhibits with her husband in Jiří Kolář, Běla Kolářová: Výběr z tvorby [Selected Works] at Výstavní síň '13', Pilsen.

 

21 October–28 November

Participates in the group exhibition Umění zrychleného času: Česká výtvarná scéna 1958–1968 [Art When Time Accelerated: The Czech Art Scene from 1958 to 1968] at České muzeum výtvarných umění v Praze, Prague, travelling to Státní galerie výtvarného umění v Chebu, Cheb.

 

24 November–26 March 2000

Participates in the group exhibition Akce, slovo, pohyb, prostor: Experimenty v umění šedesátých let [Action, Word, Movement, Space: Experiments in the Art of the Sixties], Galerie hlavního města Prahy, Prague.

 

2001

14 February–18 March

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová at Galerie Jiřího a Běly Kolářových, Prague.

 

31 May–26 August

Participates in the group exhibition Objekt–objekt: Metamorfózy v čase [Object–Object: Metamorphoses in Time], České muzeum výtvarných umění v Praze, Prague, travelling to Moravská galerie v Brně, Brno.

 

14 June–30 September

Participates in the group exhibition Fotografie jako umění v Československu let 1959–1968 [Photography as Art in Czechoslovakia], Moravská galerie v Brně, Brno.

 

2002

15 July–30 September

Participates in the group exhibition Anima Animus (Manželské páry v generaci 60. let) [Married Couples from the Generation of the Sixties], Galerie Zlatá husa, Prague, travelling to Dům umění města Brna, Brno.

 

11 August

Jiří Kolář dies in Prague.

 

Donates Jiří Kolářs's personal collection to Museum Kampa, Prague.

 

2003

27 February–25 May

Participates in the group exhibition Umění je abstrakce: Česká vizuální kultura 60. let [Art is an Abstraction: Czech Visual Culture of the Sixties] at Jízdárna Pražského hradu, Prague, travelling to Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum, Brno, and Muzeum umění Olomouc, Olomouc.

 

16 May–10 August

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová at Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki.

 

20 September–2 May 2004

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová at Egon Schiele Art Centrum, Český Krumlov.

 

2004

1 September–10 October

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová: Fotografie a asambláže [Photographs and Assemblages] at Galerie Montanelli – výstavní prostor, Prague.

 

10 September–17 October

Participates in the group exhibition Šedesátá: Ze sbírky Galerie Zlatá husa [The Sixties: From the Collection of Zlatá Husa Gallery] at Dům umění města Brna, Brno, travelling to Galerie umění Karlovy Vary, Karlovy Vary.

 

21 October–28 November

Participates in the exhibition Jeden život, dvě díla: Běla Kolářová, Jiří Kolář [One Life, Two Works], Galerie Františka Drtikola, Příbram.

 

2005

4–24 April

Participates in the group exhibition Emigration out/in 1: Běla Kolářová, Jiří Kolář, Radek Kratina, Hugo Demartini at Saarländische Galerie – Europäisches Kunstforum e.V., Berlin.

 

23 June–9 October

Participates in the group exhibition Česká fotografie 20. století [Czech Photography of the Twentieth Century] at Galerie hlavního města Prahy, Prague.

 

19 October–4 November

Participates in the exhibition Pokušení a pokoušení: Běla Kolářová, Jiří Kolář [Temptation and Tempting], Studio Paměť, Prague.

 

2006

27 January–9 April

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová at Národní galerie v Praze (Sbírka moderního a současného umění, Veletržní palác), Prague.

 

27 September–31 December

Solo exhibition Experiment, řád, důvěrnost: Ženské rastry Běly Kolářové [Experiment, Order, Intimacy: The Feminine Patterns of Běla Kolářová] at Muzeum umění Olomouc, Olomouc.

 

2007

16 June–23 September

Participates in documenta 12 in Kassel.

 

2008

26 April–4 June

Participates in the group exhibition Běla Kolářová/Falke Pisano/Janice Kerbel/Sofie Thorsen at Galerie Krobath Wimmer, Vienna.

 

15 July–24 August

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová at Museum Kampa, Prague.

 

23 September–29 November

Participates in the group exhibition Cutting Realities: Gender Strategies in Art at Austrian Cultural Forum, New York.

 

2009

27 May–21 February 2011

Participates in the group exhibition elles@ centrepompidou, artistes femmes dans les collections du Centre Pompidou [Women Artists in the Collection of Centre Pompidou] at Centre Pompidou – Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris.

 

29 September–31 January 2010

Participates in the group exhibition MuMo Opening at Muzeum Montanelli, Prague.

 

23 October–5 December

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich.

 

13 November–14 February 2010

Participates in the group exhibition Gender Check – Rollenbilder in der Kunst Osteuropas [Femininity and Masculinity in the Art of Eastern Europe] at mumok, Vienna.

 

2010

5 March–2 May

Solo exhibition Běla Kolářová at Galerie Fotografie Louvre, Prague.

 

12 April

Běla Kolářová dies in Prague.

 

20 May–25 July

Her work is shown in the group exhibition Unto This Last at Raven Row, London.

 

2011

12 February–26 March

Her work is shown in the exhibition Běla Kolářová & Lucie Stahl at Galerie der Stadt Schwaz, Austria, travelling to Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne.

 

13 May–18 June

Her work is shown in the exhibition Curated by_Marie Klimešová at Galerie Krobath, Vienna.

 

15 July–1 October

Her work is shown in the group exhibition Live Your Questions Now, Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow.

 

2012

25 October–31 March 2013

Her work is shown in the exhibition Od Tiziana po Warhola: Muzeum umění Olomouc 1951–2011 [From Titian to Warhol: Olomouc Museum of Art 1951–2011], Muzeum umění Olomouc, Olomouc.

 

6 December–3 March 2013

Her work is shown in the group exhibition Element F: Fotografie a umění ve druhé polovině 20. století [The Ph Factor: Photography and Fine Art in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century] at Moravská galerie v Brně, Brno.

 

2013

31 January–7 April

Retrospective exhibition at Raven Row, London.