|Place||Husova 4, 110 Praha 1, CZECH REPUBLIC|
|Organizer||Ústav dějin umění, Akademie věd ČR / Institute of Art History Academy of Scienc|
The seventeen original texts assembled here as a tribute to the prominent Czech architectural historian and theorist Rostislav Švácha (* 1952) are linked by three themes that recur in his work. “Shapes” refers to his book Lomené, hranaté a obloukové tvary. Česká kubistická architektura 1911–1923 [Pointed, Square, and Arched Shapes. Czech Cubist Architecture 1911–1923] (2000), which reflects his interest in the classic figures of art history and in the psychology of shape. Rostislav Švácha’s reflections on space which is also a specific form and idea follows an intellectual line leading from a purely formal, stylistic interpretation to a deeper understanding of the ideas underlying works of art. The studies examine themes that he deals with in his work, and also his unmistakable method, consisting in the combination of formal interpretation with questions of the moral quality of architectural work. This interpretation of shapes and forms provides the background for the selection of texts by a number of prominent colleagues and pupils of Rostislav Švácha presented in this volume. Similar opinions to his can be found in Kenneth Frampton’s interpretation of the urbanistic megaform, Monika Platzer’s interest in the non-canonical use of the architectural forms of classical Modernism, Brutalism, and High-tech style in neighbouring Austria, or Henrieta Moravčíková’s contribution on Slovak Brutalism in the 1960s. The attraction and centrifugal force of Švácha’s themes are superbly represented by studies by Vojtěch Lahoda on the problem of architectural form in sculpture and by Jindřich Vybíral, whose methodological reflections on writing biographies of artists are a self-ironic reflection on the discipline. The contributions and themes chosen by Švácha’s youngest collaborators Richard Biegel, Hubert Guzik, Martin Horáček, Ludmila Hůlková, and Ivana Panochová show that powerful personalities are capable of training people who are like themselves.