Doc. Petr Pavlík

* 1945  

  • “In autumn I somehow said to myself I could fly over to London to think over if, in fact, I should stay abroad or not. There I found out what I had known before anyway, but needed to be sure about - that I am practically unable to be transplanted. Firstly, I was already in the first year of my studies at the Academy and then I realized that I was such a Prague and Central Europe patriot that I would die abroad. Simply that I wouldn´t manage without Vinohrady, my part of Prague. Also among others. So, I came back and naturally took part in different activities in which we tried to oppose in some way the existing situation here.“

  • (Míša Čaňková: It was autumn of 1968 when you came back.) “Yes, I came back and, so to say, plunged into painting. Finally in 1973 I finished my studies - and that was another thing: in those days The Union of Czechoslovak Artists governed over everything here and I and my friends and colleagues were not accepted as members. We could only be registered, meaning that as artists we had to show some income. And because at that time I actually had no income, I didn´t earn anything, to be honest I was supported by my parents, then I had to pay a made up tax on the made up profit. Otherwise I´d be a sponger, a parasite, in short it´d be a punishable act. However, then I started teaching art courses at different schools and also sold a thing or two.“

  • “Scientists, better said scientific institutes, did a good job. For example The Micromolecular Institute in Prague Petřiny or The Microbiological Institute in Prague Krč. The exhibitions took place in their corridors, yet not without conflicts. For example when we were installing the exhibition of our generation in The Microbiological Institute in Krč, there happened to be some dilligent informer who noticed Michael Rittstein´s painting Don´t Want to Be in a Cage. He telephoned to announce this to the Union. During the installation works an official Skoda 613 from the Union arrived, from the committee of the Union, and a second one with Müller, the infamous boss of the Cultural Section of the Central Committee of the Party. After they walked through the installation, they locked us in one room (we were about 15 artists exhibiting). Luckily, we managed to call Kotalík who jumped into the third Skoda 613, arrived in an hour and saved us. I believe they would have arrested us. The exhibition was closed after two or three days, but at least it materialized.“

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 4

    Praha, Vinohrady, 24.08.2018

    (audio)
    délka: 01:16:17
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of the Nation: stories from Praha 2
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

My life is half lived and half performed or played. I do not even know if I perform it more for myself or for others

Petr Pavlík portrait, Prague 1980
Petr Pavlík portrait, Prague 1980
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Petr Pavlík, academic painter, was born on 31st January 1945 in Prague. His parents came from rural regions of the Czech-Moravian Highlands, and after the wedding they moved to Prague Vinohrady. In the 1950s Petr´s father was sentenced to a five-year imprisonment for political reasons. After completing his secondary education, Petr was not allowed to continue studying, but had several manual jobs and at the end of the 1960s was accepted at the Arts Academy in Prague. In the period of the so called normalization (after the 1968 occupation) he co-organized independent art exhibitions and other events. Together with his fictitious twin brother, Dr. Pavel Petřík, he wrote a number of articles critical of the Czech post Revolution art scene. They were even published. He had several individual and group exhibitions in prestigious galleries at home and abroad. He has been awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Prague 2. Today he teaches at the Prague DAMU, department of scenography and writes critical articles on art and the state of the society.