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Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Josef Bolf

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About artist

Josef Bolf's paintings have been settled with strange figures, being half and half animals and people, and bringing together cartoon compositions (frame, wording) with omnipresent sadness and vulnerability. These heroes integrate infantile appearance with nostalgia and unexplainable urge for self­‑destruction. While looking at a little pink dog with the eyes as if it came out of girl's diary, and barrel of a gun in its mouth, we can inevitably feel certain disequilibrium, reflecting not just personal obsession of the artist, but being indicative, to a certain extent, of a typical feature of the day. Bolf depicts a world in which melancholy and neurosis, walk hand in hand. His messages are always deeply personal, almost slightly abnormal, no matter if the question is painting, airbrush, drawing, or cartoon. He describes supernatural without being limited with the surrealist form. His so far latest series uses the technology everybody may remember from art­‑and­‑crafts lessons. He scrapes through an ink layer, covering colored layer of wax pastels. This process attended with corresponding associations intensify our anxiety. Being reminiscent of childhood, often idealized territory of projected dreams about easy­‑going life and safety, seems to be heretical in contrast with gloomy and depressive motifs. With Bolf's little animals, reminders of Pif and Čtyřlístek minor characters, the question is not just favorite cartoons, but the virtues identified with childhood, especially innocence. Bolf's paintings introduce destruction, anxiety and death into the world of trust and safety.

Author of the annotation
Zuzana Štefková



1990 – 1998 Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (studio of painting, Jiří Načeradský and studios of printmaking under Vladimír Kokolia and Vladimír Skrepl)

2007 ISCP – International Studio and Curatorial Program, NYC, artist residency stipend
2006 Europäische Künstlerhaus Oberbayern residency program, Freising, Ge
1996 Akademia der Bildende Kunst Stuttgart, Germany
1995 Kongsthogskolan Stockholm, Sweden

2005 - finalist of Jindřich Chalupecký Award
Member of art groups included in ARTLIST.
Bezhlavý jezdec


Solo exhibitions
Forlorn Martyrs Pull A Mirror From The Abyss, Galerie Dukan, Leipzig, Germany
Odložené případy, Galerie Uffo, Trutnov, Czech Republic

Unconsciousness, arcaute arte contemporaneo, Beijing, China
Places to Forget, Arthobler Gallery, Zürich, Switzerland
Inventory before disappearance, Egon Schiele Art Centrum, Český Krumlov

Forlorn Martys Pull A Mirror From The Abyss, galerie dukan hourdequin, Paris

Josef Bolf, Galerie Kaple
Josef Bolf, arthobler gallery, Porto
Don’t Look Now, Jiří Švestka Gallery, Berlin

Josef Bolf, Galerie Kaple
Josef Bolf, arthobler gallery, Porto
Don’t Look Now, Jiří Švestka Gallery, Berlin

Personal Disposition, h u n t k a s t n e r , Prague
The Wolf, Ana Cristea Gallery, New York, New York, USA

You Are Not You, You Are Me, curated by Edita Jeřabková, Prague City Gallery, Old Town Hall, Prague
Golden Days, Arcute Arte Contemporaneo, Bejing, China

Just Give Me a Little More Time, curated by Lenka Vítková, Pavilion E, Olomouc
You Look Like Me, Blansko City Gallery, Blansko
We all give in …, House of the Lords of Kunštát, Brno House of Arts, Brno
Great Expectations, ZAK Gallery, Berlin
Suspirium, Sokolská Exhibition Hall, Ostrava

What is you could go back in time and change all those hours of pain and darkness into something better, Gallery Ad astra, Kuřím castle
Pink Eyes, Gallery Na bidýlku, Brno

My Empire of Dirt, Galerie Slavie, Nachod
Soft and Pink, hunt kastner artworks, Prague
Josef Bolf, Czech Comics, Antikvariat Fiducia, Ostrava
Death Is Not The End? For Everyone, Moravia Gallery in Brno

Double Feature Picture Show (I’ve Promised Not To Tell Anybody What It Means) with J. Šerých -
Galerie České pojišťovny, Prague

Dogs, Faces, Manatee, Gallery of City Hranice na Moravě
Josef Bolf, Gallery AM 180, Prague

Narapoia, Gallery Ouky Douky, Prague

Un Gatto nel Cervello, Gallery Na bidýlku, Brno
Leticia, Galerie Holec, internet exhibition

Delusa a Bingara, Galerie Die Aktualitat des Schonen, Liberec and Gallery Titanic, Olomouc
Eldorado, BJ window box Gallery, Komunardů street, Prague
I would like to collect pieces of your heart when it once burst apart for someone, Gallery Černý
pavouk, Ostrava

Plastic Boy, Gallery Starter and Sorter, Detail art, Prague
Novos Bichos, Gallery of City České Budějovice, České Budějovice
Group exhibitions not included in ARTLIST.
Partie 2 : Le corps, Galerie Dukan, Paris, France

Open: Work from the Marek Contemporary Art Collection, Moravska Krumlov Castle, Czech Republic
Switch, Galerie Van De Weghe, Antwerp, Belgium
The beginning of the century, Curated by Pavlina Morganova, Pilsen Regional Museum, Pilsen, Czech Republic
Between the first and second modernity, Curated by Jiri Sevcik, Edith Jerabkova and Jana Sevcikova, National Gallery in Prague at the Veletrzni, Prague, Czech Republic

Exhibition with Boris Sirka, Nàrodné osvetové centrum (National Culture Center), Bratislava, Slovakia
INTER-VIEW 2, Nitrianska Galeria, Nitra, Slovakia
Paralelni linie, Prinz Prager Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously, galerie dukan hourdequin, Paris, France
Les amis de mes amis sont mes amis, hommage à Jan Mancuska, Jocelyn Wolff Gallery, Paris, France
Ein Tanz, Curated by Lioba Reddeker and Daniel Pitin, HangART-7, Salzburg, Austria
VI New Zlin Salon, Zlin Regional Art Gallery, Czech Republic

Josef Bolf and Ivan Pinkava, curated by Petr Vanouš, Regional Gallery of West Bohemia, Pilsen, Czech Republic
And Don’t Forget the Flowers, curated by Yvona Ferencová, Moravian Galerie, Brno, Czech Republic
Decadence Now! Visions of Excess, curated by Otto Urban, Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic
After the Fall, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York, USA
Josef Bolf, Marcel Hueppauff, Jiří Petrbok, Vladimír Skrepl, Wannieck Gallery, Brno, Czech Republic
Absurdita? Groteska? Ironie?, curated by Jiří Machalicky, Galerie NOD, Prague, Czech Republic
Planet of Eden, The World of Tomorrow in Czechoslovakia Socialism, curated by Tomáš Pospišzyl, DUMB” Brno, Czech Republic
House of Arts & Dox, Prague, Czech Republic
After Velvet, curated by Sandra Baborovská, Prague City Gallery, House of the Golden Ring, Prague, Czech Republic
Umheimlich, curated by Zuzana Štefková, Galerie Cypriana Majernika, Zichy Palace, Bratislava, Slovakia
Tales of the Unexpected, curated by Radek Vana & Marie Rus Bojan, Project Foundation, Dek22, Rotterdam, Czech Republic

A Good Eye and a Good Heart: Work from the Jiri Staha Collection, Galerie Sternberk, Sternberk, Czech Republic
Fourteen S, curated by Milena Slavicková, DOX Center for Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic
Share Your Dreams, Young Art from the EU, Galerie Suppan Contemporary, Vienna, Austria
White Paper, Black Bride, curated by Jirí Kovanda and Edit Jerabková, & SHORTLIST: 12 Painters from the CzechRepublic, curated by Daniel Pitín, Prague Biennale 4, Karlin Hall, Prague, Czech Republic
Undercurrents, curated by Petr Nedoma, Rudolfinum Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic
Transfer, House of the Lords of Kunštát, Brno House of Arts, Brno, Czech Republic

Resetting/ Jiné cesty k věcnosti. Alternative Ways To Objectivity, Praha, GHMP- Městská knihovna, kurátor Petr Vaňous

Czech Painting, Castello di Rivara, Centro d'Arte Contemporanea, curated by Viktor Cech, Turino, IT
STILL: Another Exhibition of Painting, FUTURA, Prague
The Most Curatorial Biennial of the Universe, APEXART, New York, N.Y., USA
LISTE: The Young Art Fair, (with Tomas Vanek), presented by hunt kastner artworks, Basel, CH
Gross Domestic Product, Prague City Gallery at the Municipal Library, curated by Krystof Kintera,
Skull Hunters / lovci lebek, curated by Edith Jeřabková and Lenka Vítková, Gallery U Bileho
jednorožce, Klatovy CZ, Galerie Sternberk, Sternberk CZ, Vychodoceska galerie, Pardubice CZ,
Kunst- und Gewerbeverein Regensburg DE
VITIMAN PAINTING, Bast'art Contemporary, Bratislava, SK
Spleen and Ideal, curated by Beata Jablonská, galerie Brno, Brno
Sovereign Art Foundation Award, Club Row at Rochelle School, the London base of the A Foundation,
London, UK
Ekonomie smyslů / Economy of Purpose, curated by Galerie Display at Galerie Eskort, Brno

Acne, Contemporary Czech Painting from the Collection of Richard Adam, Rudolfinum Gallery, Prague
Czech Painting 1985-2005, collection of Richard Adam, Wannieck Gallery, Brno
Hot Stuff, (A.M.180+ Full Screen), Stanica Žilina, SK
Fear in the city, Adria, Prague
Blind Men Measure an Elephant (Slepí muži přeměřují slona), curated by Rafani, Gallery C2C, Prague

1811197604122005, Plan B, Cluj, Romania
IV. New Zlin Salon, The House of Arts, Zlín
The 5th Biennial of Young Artists, curated by Karel Císař, Prague Gallery at the House of the Stone
Bell, Prague

Eastern Lights, Neutral, organized by Galerie Display, Motorenhalle Dresden, DE
Private mania, House of the Lords of Kumštát, Brno
Contemporary painting – from collection of Richard Adam, Jihlava City Gallery, Jihlava

Československo, Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, SK
Compression, Kolonie wedding, Berlin, DE

Encuentros intimos de la tercera specie, Gallery No.D, Prague
Exhibition of Art Group BJ, Gallery Štemberk, Štemberk

Story, Gallery, No.D. Gallery, Prague
Glued Intimacy, curated by Vít Havranek, Gallery Jelení at the Foundation and Center for
Contemporary Arts-Prague
Art Moskva, Dom Chudožnikov, (with the BJ artist group), organized by Umělec art journal, Moscow
Magnetic Fields, Gallery Jelení, Foundation and Center for Contemporary Arts-Prague
Le Jeaux de Francofonie, National Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
The 1st Festival of Comics – Grrr! Žbuch!, Gallery Jelení, Foundation and Center for Contemporary
Criss/Cross: Praha - Stuttgart- Wroclaw, exhibition organized by the Foundation and Center of
Contemporary Arts-Prague at the Broumov Brewery, Broumov
Exhibition of Comics, Gallery Burizone, Bratislava, SK

Nests of Games, project of the artist Petr Nikl, Gallery Rudolfinum, Prague
Bezhlavý jezdec, Jeleni Gallery of the Foundation and Center for Contemporary Arts-Prague and
galerie NoD, Prague
The End of the World, Prague National Gallery, Kinský palác, Prague
Klasika 2000, City Gallery of Olomouc
2nd Salon of Young Artists in Zlín, City Gallery of Zlín
Women Come and Go, Only We, Writers of Sci-Fi, Remain, (with the group BJ), Galerie 761, Ostrava

Art for A Hospital, the Collection of the Foundation and Center for Contemporary Arts-Prague, Gallery
Václava Špály, Prague
Unplanned Connections, Mánes, Prague
Perplex, Gallery Václava Špály, Prague
Maxisklad, Mánes, Prague
About Love, Richter Villa, Prague
Visions, Gallery No.D., Prague
Three spots, Gallery No.D., Prague

Metro, Gallery Černý pavouk, Ostrava
Gifts and Purchases, Prague National Gallery at the Veletržní Palace, Prague

S…S… Bunkr, Prague
AVU´97, Mánes, Prague
Artwork in Public Space, organized by the Foundation and Center of Contemporary Arts, (with the
group BJ), Prague National Gallery at the Veletržní Palace, Prague
Fruits from Prague, Czech Centrum, Berlin, DE
National Gallery, Collection of Contemporary Art at the Veletřžní Palace, Prague
Wannieck Gallery, Brno
Foundation for Contemporary Arts - Prague



Tomáš Pospishyl, Josef Bolf, Divus, Praha 2009, 120s

P. Vaňous, Resetting/ Jiné cesty k věcnosti/ Alternative Ways To Objektivity (katalog výstavy), GHMP - Městská knihovna, 21. 12. 2007 - 23. 3. 2008, nestr., Praha 2008

P. Vaňous, Nutné návraty/ Čelem k vlastní minulosti, in: Inverzní romantika (katalog výstavy), Bastart Contemporary, Bratislava 2008


Fronczak Rogers, Mimi. Art Review. Adriena Šimotová and Josef Bolf. Parallel Lines at The Prinz Prager Gallery, The Prague Post, January 11, 2012

Ateliér, čtrnáctideník současného výtvarného umění, vol. 24,3/2011, p. 3

Černá, Kateřina. Bolf je osobností roku, Art+Antiques, 2/2011, p. 6

Hlaváčková, Jitka. Ty nejsi ty, ty jsi já, Ateliér, 4/2010, p. 4

Jan H. Vitvar: Výtvarné umění - Josef Bolf, Martin Gerboc, Jiří Petrbok: Inverzní romantika, Respekt, 2008, roč. 43

Naďa Klevisová: Provokovat a trýznit, IN Magazín - magazín Hospodářských novin, 22. 10. 2008

Mikolášek, Martin: Něha i zrada, A2 kulturní týdeník, 17/2008, s. 8

Vaňous, Petr: Galerie, A2 kulturní týdeník, 14/ 2008, s. 26-27

Vaňous, Petr: Nutné návraty Josefa Bolfa, Revolver Revue 69/ 2007, s. 21 - 34

Jeřabková, Edith a Vitková, Lenka: Lovci Lebek, katalog výstavy, březen 2007

Vaňous, Petr: Spleen & Ideal, A2 kulturní týdeník, 13/ 2007

Pospiszyl, Tomáš: Mláďata v ohrožení: přitažlivá krása zranitelnosti, A2 kulturní týdeník, 18/ 2007, s. 10

Pospiszyl, Tomáš : Mláďata v obtížích, Přitažliva krása zranitelnosti, A2 kulturní týdenik 27-2007, s. I

Josef Bolf, Death Is Not The End? For Everyone, exhibition catalog, Moravian Gallery, Brno, 2006, Yvona Ferencová

Jan Šerých and Josef Bolf, exhibition booklet (text by Jiří Ptáček), Česká pojišťovna, Prague 2005

Chalupecky Award Finalists, exhibition catalog, Prague, 2005

Chtěl bych sbírat..., magazine Divus, Prague 2002

BJ (text by Vít Havránek), magazine Divus, Prague 1999

Lindaurová, Lenka, BJ, nové tváře, Umělec 2/98, pp.16-17

BJ exhibition booklet, Galerie AVU, 1996




Je to daleko lepší, než to bejvalo, interview with Terezie Nekvindová. In Stavba 3/2010, pp. 8–13

Interview with Ivan Pinkava a Josef Bolf, Petr Vaňous. In Revolver revue 80/2010, pp. 45–59

Utrpení Josefa B., interview with Petr Volf. In Hospodářské noviny – Víkend 15/2010, pp. 8–15

Předpokládám, že v tom nejedu sám, interview with Jana Beránková. In A2 15/2009, pp. 12–13

Ateliéry / Josef Bolf. In Revolver revue 74/2009, pp. 185–193

Krev na sídlišti, rozhovor s Ondřejem Štindlem. In Týden 35/2008, pp. 40–44

With Karel Císař. In Labyrint revue 19–20/2006, pp. 87–95


videos about Josef Bolf








Other critical texts

- Josef Bolf (1971), anketa Malující umělci, A2 kulturní týdeník 30/ 2007, s. 10





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