2. 9. 1948 in Poděbrady, CZ
1963 - 1967 The High School of Applied Arts for Glassmaking in Železný Brod, CZ
1967 - 1973 Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Praha (atelier of glass profesor Stanislav Libenský), CZ
1974 - 1976 a 1996 - 1997 - Primary schools - external, experimantal teaching, Prague, CZ
1997 - 2000 - Primary art school - external, experimantal teaching, Prague 4, CZ
2000 - 2004 - SUPŠS Kamenický Šenov - The High School of Applied Arts for Glass making in Kamenický Šenov, CZ
2004 - 2008 Professor in Toyama City Institute of Glass Art, JPN
2008 - Workshop
Profesorado: Pavel Trnka (Rep. Checa)
Real Fábrica de Cristales se La Granja
Fundación Centro Nacional del Vidrio
San Ildefonso - La Granja (Segovia), ESP
1976 – third prize in the competition organized on the occasion of the International Year of women, CZ
1983 – first prize in the competition connected with the "National" Station on the B line of the underground railway in the Prague – a glass fountain (fl at glass), CZ
1986 – Diplom-Erfurt, 4. Quadrionnale, DEU
2007 – Gold Prize – "The International Exhibition of Glass Kanazawa 2007", JPN
Pavel Trnka is a painter, sculptor and glass artist, but what is most important for his art is his complex worldview, based on his thinking
on affinities – not only in art, but in the broadest, most general sense. A distinctive philosophy, expressed using the most economical
means, is projected into his objects, drawings and paintings. Yet in its austerity his work is very striking, as it possesses an inner logic.
It is of course open to new stimuli, and a thorough knowledge of different settings operates on it. Various layers of meaning intersect in an extremely simplified composition, corresponding to the relations that are formed in the universe, nature and society. They are
based on the gradual development of our civilisation and its traditions stretching back over the millennia.
During a stay in Japan the artist was inspired by the Eastern way of life and the principles of yoga, which have been projected
mainly into his paintings. Each colour has its own meaning and the overall composition is based on the balancing or overlapping of
tones, on subtle transitions and sharp contrasts. Some parts stay the same while others change, producing series or groups. They can
be viewed as an expression of meditation linked with Eastern philosophy, or as an indication of the significance of Christian symbols.
In that way the influences of European and Japanese culture are combined in Pavel Trnka’s art, despite their substantial differences.
A strange harmony is created, and there is also a slight tension. Of course the artist respects the laws of nature above all, on the basis
of which cultures from various parts of the world that have resulted from different lines of development can approximate one another,
even identify themselves with one another, in their basic emotions. This is not of course anything new: different cultures have influenced
one another since time immemorial; different approaches have clarified and enriched one another.
Certain relations in the universe are captured in Trnka’s work. It is based on the idea that everything is related to everything
else, that analogous laws govern the infinite cosmos, almost imperceptible microworlds, nature as a whole and all parts thereof, and
also the way we think. The artist tries to capture what is permanent and what represents change. In painting he achieves absolutely
pure surfaces where all traces of the movement of the hand are suppressed. He favours the form of the square, which unlike the closed
and confined circle can expand outwards in all directions.
His paintings radiate tranquillity and joy, and everyone can choose the colour combination they like, the one they find most
pleasing. Every composition has its symbolism, whether more concealed or more apparent: it expresses various layers of ideas and
evokes moods through the relations between the colours. His art is intended to evoke optimism and joy, and bring harmony and positive
energy to mundane, often “rainy” and grey, life.
All of the paintings described above were produced during Trnka’s time in Japan, and many of them were exhibited there.
They operate on viewers by means of their concentration and intensity, and each shade of colour or their combination has a different
meaning. In addition to the influence of a new environment and the Central European tradition, they incorporate experiences from his
childhood, when the future artist liked to observe nature. Moreover he had a unique opportunity to discover the paintings of František
Kupka: a retrospective exhibition was organised by his widow at the local council in Dobruška in 1963, with paintings that ranged from
his realistic early works to his abstract paintings from the 1920s. Pavel Trnka was fascinated by their technical perfection and the vast
energy they radiated.
That early experience undoubtedly contributed to the way his paintings prompt or evoke particular moods. They express
harmony and energy, and relate to the human body and spiritual values. Each colour works completely differently when complemented
by a different tone. His paintings can be combined in various arrangements and can also be rotated, which greatly changes
the interaction between them. Trnka uses a system akin to musical composition, producing practically infinite variations from the
individual elements. The composition is not, however, random: its construction is precise. Before his paintings viewers can imagine
whatever occurs to them. Often it is not a matter of achieving harmony but rather of capturing dramatic events. Pavel Trnka thought
long about the possibility of a universal type of composition to capture various ideas and express different narratives, before arriving
at an extremely simplified form that has become an exact mirror of the content.
Paintings are the essence of this exhibition, yet we should mention at least in passing Trnka’s minimalist drawings and glass
objects, which are naturally related to his paintings. They express the infinitude of experiences and their metamorphoses. In them
the artist tackles refined spatial relations and achieves a perfect balance between all the parts and the whole. They reveal that the
boundaries between fine art and applied art are becoming increasingly blurred.
Jiří Machalický
curator Museum Kampa, Prague
text for exhibition Fenomén barva / Phenomenon Colour
obrazy, sklo/ paintings, glass
in gallery Havelka