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8. 9. 2009 11:25

Exhibition from 8. 9. 2009: Jindřich Křeček-Jituš - drawings and prints

Painter and graphic designer (1909 – 1979), participant in the II. foreign revolt.

Organizer: Office of the Government of the Czech Republic
Venue: Forum – lecture hall of the Information Centre of the Government.

It is not really easy to briefly describe the individuality of such as universal artist as Jindřich Křeček-Jituš was. If we are bearing in our minds his patriotic actions, we should point out that one of significant features of Jirtuš's character, which penetrated through his entire life, was the effort to do good and help his homeland, and to encourage it in the heaviest times by means of something what was fundamentally closest to him – by means of art.

In the first phase of his artistic flight, this native of Červený Kostelec and young friend of Sigmund Bouška and Otakar Pospíšil, drew natural and man-made beauties of his birthplace as he was fascinated by them.

"Time tore the curtain and changed is the world."

A man who was in full flight and who applied ideas of Tyrš in the practice was shook up by the establishment of the Protectorate in 1939. His pain and embitterment were embodied into allegorical and symbolic drawings, composition and apocalyptic visions. They are mute but they are so urgently meaningful that it is possible to say about them: cum tacent, clamant - although they keep silent, they cry aloud. Yes, they cry aloud, they accuse but they also rouse for the revolt. These drawings disseminated on postcards raised dangerous interest of the Gestapo. What remained? To escape, to save his life and to fight elsewhere not only with guns but also with inalienable weapon of spirit – with art. J.Křeček-Jituš managed to escape the Protectorate on 29 August 1939. Jindřich Křeček-Jituš - drawings and printsIn Krakow he entered the Czechoslovak foreign army unit and underwent with it anabasis through three continents, Europe, Asia and Africa. Thus a field of unsuspected opportunities opened to the sensitive painter who was full of energy and desire to do benefit to his enslaved mother country. As a war painter and later as a war reporter he depicted in his drawings places of fights, life of soldiers in arms and during their rest and also horrifying marks left behind by the war. All those masterful drawings, whether they were pencil drawings, drawings in Indian ink or pen-and-ink drawings, have not only artistic but also indisputable documentary value. Numerous illustrations published in Czech magazines, in the Middle East and later in Great Britain together with military posters, fervent appeals and blurbs thematically oriented to the important milestones and events of the Czech nation, strengthened hope and resurrected will of our soldiers to fight out final victory and freedom for the enslaved nation.

For the lack of space it is not unfortunately possible to mention in detail number of trenchant drawings of Jirtuš's comrade-in-arms (airmen, tank troopers and commanders) on small graphic creations - on successful postage stamp designs as well as on designs of the Czechoslovak Field Post stamps and on extraordinary publicity of the design of a post stamp and a medal that were made on the occasion of the anniversary of closing of Czech universities on 17 November 1939. One-man exhibitions of Jituš's works organized in the Middle East (Jerusalem, Palestine,) and later in England (London), with the most favourable response in the Czech and foreign press, highlighted that gifted painter – a Czech and his enslaved mother country there somewhere in the Central Europe.

Jindřich Křeček-Jituš - drawings and printsSix-year long peregrination was happily finished. Jindřich Křeček-Jituš returned on 18 May 1945 together with the western brigade to the liberated Czechoslovak Republic. However his further artistic development was intentionally dampened. The artistic activities of a former member of the Western army were not welcome then. His last one-man exhibition was arranged in January 1948 under the auspices of the Army General Ludvík Svoboda. However it would not an intention of this painter to finish with despair this modest hindsight written on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of his birth and 15th anniversary of his death. Jindřich Křeček-Jituš was surely a man thoroughly positive. He spread joy, he spread brightness. In a small drawing of his, he represented himself as a glow-warm carrying lighting lantern. Jindřich Křeček-Jituš - drawings and printsThus he perhaps intentionally, perhaps subconsciously said: "I wanted to shine well and constantly."

May the light of remembrance of his artistic work, his bravery and exemplary love of the nation never fade away!

Anna Karasová, 1994

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