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Artlist — Center for Contemporary Arts Prague

Otto Placht

First Name
Birth place
Place of work
Pucallpa, Peru, Praha
installation art
CSU Library
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About artist

Otto Placht is a member of the significant generation, which brought attention to itself while studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague during the 1980s. He participated in the first four exhibitions from the series of unofficial shows called Confrontation. At that time he belonged to the supporters of neo-expressive tendencies. For young artists, elemental expression represented one of the possibilities of independent creative expression as a protest against established art. Otto Placht preferred figural expression from which he soon deflected and started to look for a new way of expression.

After the year 1989 he stopped painting for a while because he considered the possibilities of painting exhausted at that time. He was still interested in the motive of a figure, however, which he treated in a different way and with different resources. He liked the idea of creating an artificial person – Golem. He made a kinetic object from the remains of used things, in which he tried to bring together  the physical movement of the human body with cosmological principles. He used the knowledge of old anatomic atlases, as well as the newest scientific findings, he was inspired by the theory of chaos, which he perceived as an interconnection of rational science and artistic imagination, mathematics and fine art. It projected into his interpretation of a figure, which transformed, through gradual abstraction, to a geometric diagram resembling an artificially created construction of the human body. On the topic of chaos, he created an extensive cycle of art work, which he successfully introduced in 1992 at an exhibition with the same title in the Gallery U Řečických.

There was a turning point following the exhibition in Miami in 1993, where he was introduced to the work and figure of the Peruvian shaman and painter Pablo Amaringo. He was impressed by Amaringo’s visions, made up of a number of surreal scenes, in which he saw an interconnection of mythology, astral sphere, as well as detailed knowledge of the ecosystem of a rainforest. Following this meeting, Otto Placht decided to go to Peru. Living in this environment fundamentally changed his view of the world and gave him a new direction for his work. Great inspiration for him was the Peruvian original culture, specifically the art of the Shipibo tribe, South American jungle and Ayahusca. The jungle alone had a magical influence on him, which was even enhanced by his use of the psychedelic drugs traditionally used by local shamans. His personal experience with Ayahuasca mediated stimulations incomparable with his existing experiences. It provided intensive visual and spiritual experiences and evoked a change in his way of perceiving and depicting. His painting gained a powerful emotional charge, his imagination was released, spectrum of colours was expanded and colour became an important carrier of emotions. The narrative part of his work gained prominence, the story developed associatively and spontaneously. His composition consists of many fragments, which are layered and intermeshed. Several levels of perception are interconnected in one painting making it possible to completely grasp the theme. This peculiar way of depiction reflects the exterior form of reality, it provides entry under the surface of the visible part and makes it possible to reach all the way to its spiritual essence. The key theme is represented by the jungle, which the painter perceives as a symbol – “permanent transformation – impermanence, life cycle, birth as well as extinction, mutation as an adaption to survival.” He perceives his own paintings in a similar way which are “constantly overlapping, transforming in time, and reflecting the experience of living and being”.

After the year 1993 he realized a number of original projects, including painting cycles, wall as well as spatial installations, drawings, sketches and studies testifying great invention and wide expressional span. Multicoloured magical visions keep alternating (e.g. Ayahuasca Vision, Azure Vision, Purgatory, Ritual Elise, Mirroring, Gates to Perception, Psychotropy, Tunnel, Alternatura), paintings modest in colour ( bark paintings – Rainforest, Spheres, Barks, installations – Cosmodivision, Zásvětí), concentrated ornamental artwork (e.g. Tinajas, Universo Shipibo), spontaneous dynamic calligraphies (e.g. Calligraphy of the Jungle), apparitional views of city life (e.g. Cruzados, Motokaristas, Pucallpa), mystic paintings of landscape (e.g. Mystic Landscape), but also realistic recordings of landscape and daily motives (sketches, studies, travel journals, sketch pads). Production from this period makes up a fundamental part of Placht’s work, it is an authentic and original reflection of his experiences from Peruvian reality, which he continues to go back to even during his life in Prague. 

Author of the annotation
Vilma Hubáčková




Academy of Fine Arts in Prague

Educational activity:

Assistant Professor of Fine Arts in Prague, studio of monumental art

1993 (spring)
Escuela de Pintura amazonica USKO-AYAR, Pucallpa, Peru

1994, 1995
Miami Dade Comunity College, Miami, Florida, USA

Visiting Professor, UNIA (Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Intercultural), Yarinacocha, Peru


Solo exhibitions

Rao, Galerie Vltavín, Praha
Otto Placht, Galerie Magna, Ostrava
Otto Placht, Galerie Otevřená zahrada, Brno
Barvy kosmovize, Latin art galerie, Praha

Metaformy pralesa, Galerie Václava Špály, Praha

Otto Placht: Vypravěč, Galerie Montmartre, Praha
Plantas maestras , galerie Belária, Praha

Motogonie, Wannieck Gallery, Brno

Obrazy z džungle, Barokní areál Skalka, Mníšek pod Brdy
Otto Placht – Obrazy, Divadlo Husa na provázku, Brno

Za zraky džungle, Galerie VZP, Praha
Alternatura, Dům Pánů z Kunštátu, Brno

Cosmodivision, UNIA, Yarinacocha, Peru
Šimanbej, Společenský dům, Neratovice
Tep Těl, Galerie Aspekt, Brno
Šimanbej, Nová Síň, Praha

Obrazy, Galerie Felixe Jeneweina, Kutná Hora

Mai Wai, Galerie Behémót, Praha

Obrazy z Peru, Galerie města Trutnova
Pět stupňů pod rovníkem, Galerie kritiků, Praha
Yoshin Niro, České centrum,Varšava, Polsko

Amazeon, Galerie Klatovy – Klenová

Galerie Behémot, Praha
Galerie Školská, Linhartova nadace, Praha

Praga/Pucallpa, Galeria Belisano Suarez, Lima, Peru

Idioma, Galerie Václava Špály, Praha
Ino Joni, Galerie Behémot, Praha

Art Centre, Esp, Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Europe in Transition, Gallery North, Miami Beach, USA

Chaos, Galerie U Řečických, Praha

KC Blatiny, Praha

Inferno, Rubín, Praha

Galerie pod Podloubím, Olomouc
Group exhibitions not included in ARTLIST.

Selva metafisica, s Dimas Paredes, Miguel Vilca Vargas
Galeria Inca Garcilazo dela Vega,Lima, Peru
Aliance Francais, Arequipa
Galeria Municipal, Cusco

Exotismy ve výtvarném umění 20. století v Čechách a na Moravě, České muzeum výtvarných
umění Praha

Generace 80. let ze sbírek Galerie Klatovy-Klenová, Galerie města Plzně, nadzemí, Plzeň; Galerie U Bílého jednorožce, Klatovy

Exprese, České muzeum výtvarných umění, Praha
Stopy zápasu – gesto a exprese, Galerie moderního umění, Hradec Králové
Imprese – Původ krásy, síla vize, Galerie Rudolfinum, Praha

Agua Art, Galerie kritiků – Palác Adria, Praha
Generační výsek, Galerie Tvrdohlaví, Praha
Ejhle světlo, Moravská galerie v Brně, Brno

5 stupňů pod rovníkem, Galerie kritiků – Palác Adria, Praha
Divočina, Galerie Klatovy-Klenová

Maestros del Arte Checo, Centro Cultural de le Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, Lima, Peru
Konec světa, Palác Kinských, Praha
Jenewein - Kutná Hora, 1.sympozium současného výtvarného umění, GFJ Kutná Hora

Touha stát se indiánem, Galerie Caesar, Olomouc

Supay, Státní galerie Most (s Petrem Vaněčkem)

Nueva pintura del este, Galeria de Arte Detursa, Madrid

Česká alternativa, výstavní síň ÚLUV, Praha
Výstava pro Polsko, Galerie U Řečických, Praha
Totalitní zóna, Stalinův pomník, Praha
Valdice, Nápravné zařízení Valdice
Eight Artists from Czechoslovakia, International Monetary Fund, Washington D.C. USA

Plasy, Klášter Plasy

Konfrontace, Praha



Otto Placht. Text Otto Placht, Ostrava 2015.

Otto Placht: El Libro Mágico. Texty Otto Placht, Václav Dejčmar, Gato, Mnislav Zelený – Atapa, Vanda Skálová, Apríl Dolkar, Otto Flores Sáenz, Jan Pravda, Praha 2014.

Metaformy pralesa. Text Otto Placht, Praha 2014.

Otto Placht: Tkvění. Text Otto Placht, Praha 2007.

Otto Placht. Texty Jan Placht, Otto Placht, Simona Vladíková, Klatovy 2001.

Otto Placht: Praga – Pucallpa. Text Russell Georgie, Pucallpa 1999.

Otto Placht: Ino Joni. Text Otto Placht, Praha 1997.

Otto Placht. Texty Lenka Lindaurová, Otto Placht, Praha 1997.

Otto Placht: Obrazy. Text Ivo Janoušek, Praha 1986.


Center for Contemporary Arts Prague www.fcca.cz 2006–2018
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