Grey gold. Czech and Slovak female artists over 65

The present monograph Grey Gold. Czech and Slovak Female Artists over 65 follows an eponymous exhibition project conceived by curators Vendula Fremlová, Terezie Petišková and Anna Vartecká, which was presented at the Brno House of Arts from May to August 2014.

The publication has its central, catalogue part, presenting the photographic documentation of the exhibition and following its specific architectonic designs and individual exhibits. It is preceded by expert texts dwelling on a host of topics explored by the project, as well as by authorised interviews with the female artists.

The introductory text Project Genesis by Terezie Petišková, director of the Brno House of Arts, describes the whole story of the project – from the initiation and inspirational experience of meeting the German artist Gisela Weimann to the final realisation of the exhibition. Anna Vartecká’s text Czech and Slovak Female Artists over 65 through the Prism of Gender dwells on the topic of creating the gender experience of the woman – artist in the Czechoslovak context in the second half of the 20th century, and the issue of oral history, which is a key concept for the whole project.

The text also consists of an analysis of the interviews with the artists, preserving the gender prism of looking at the developments in their own work and lives. In her text entitled Production (in spite) of Age, Vendula Fremlová describes the current state of art management with regard to the degree of presentation and presence of the previous generations. It provides a detailed analysis of three artists born in the 1920s – D. Mrázková, A. Šimotová and D. Vinopalová-Vodáková – and identifies commonalities not only in their work, but also in the way they experience old age.

Mária Orišková’s text entitled Marginalised and/or Powerful and Experienced?: Age, Artistic Production and the Institutionalisation of Women Artists tries to use the example of two prominent Slovak female artists M. Bartuszová and J. Želibská in order to problematicise and illustrate the shift in feminist theories, as well as the role of institutions in art management. In her text Female Encounters, Adéla Matasová recalls her student years and the position of women in the then art society, as well as her own transformation into an active instigator of encounters of female artists at the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s. In the text Old Age and Creativity: A Sociological Outlook, Lucie Vidovićová not only defines the basic sociological terms, but also dwells on the interpretation of the interviews with the artists. She sees old age as the space for layering experience and learning, as a source of freedom.