Vladimír Kokolia was born on 27 November 1956 in Brno. After graduating from the School of Applied Arts in Uherské Hradiště, where he specialised in Promotional Graphics, he entered the painting studio headed by Professor Jan Smetana at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Since 1992 he has headed his own studio, Graphics II, at AVU, at which a host of leading Czech artists have studied. In 1990 he was the first winner of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award, in 2006 was made professor, and in 2012 won the prestigious Dalibor Chatrný Prize. The range of his activities is unusually wide. Between 1984 and 1997 he worked as a singer and lyricist with the Brno underground group E. He practices ancient Chinese martial arts. But above all he devotes himself to painting, drawing and graphics.
In the second half of the 1970s, when Kokolia was studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, the Czech art scene was dominated by non-painterly tendencies. However, Kokolia focused on classical painting. His first pictures include the landscape around Brno (Knínice, 1979), though at the start of the 1998s he moved onto urban themes (e.g. the cycle Public Transport), which in a certain way brought him closer to painters of the Czech grotesque (e.g. Boarding a Tram, 1979). Around the mid-80s painting gives way to drawing, of which there are hundreds of examples, and graphics. In his drawings he returns to man, and finds in this vacuum a feeling of futility and absurdity.
Toward the end of the 80s he returns to painting, drawing on his previous non-painterly period and evaluating the ornamentalism of his drawings. He paints with weakly diluted paints on a surface that he frequently divides into certain ornamental rhythms whose elements are always based on the world around. He keeps returning to man, though whatever the subject of his pictures is, it is often illegible at first sight, since he depicts it in time from many angles. In this respect he was clearly influenced by Eastern philosophy.
Vladimír Kokolia is undoubtedly one of the most individual representatives of the painterly generation of the 1980s. Not only during the periods of upheavals in painting during the 1990s but right up to the present day he maintains this medium on the highest level.
Naďa Řeháková, Vladimír Kokolia, Výběr z nejnovější tvorby (A Selection of the Latest Work) (exhibition catalogue), Museum of European Art in Liberec, West Bohemian Gallery in Pilsen, 1995.
Marcela Chmelařová, Nový zlínský salon 2011, Recyklace, nebo Inovace? A pro koho přesně?, Prostor Zlín, 2011, 5.3., s. 3-5.
Radek Horáček, Tři věty, Vladimír Kokolia ve Špálovce, Art & Antiques, 2011, 12+1, 12.12., s. 106-107.
Jana Ševčíková, Jiří Ševčík, Druhý východ, in: Jana Ševčíková, Jiří Ševčík, Texty, 2010, s. 246-253.
Jana Ševčíková, Jiří Ševčík, Malba 80. let v Čechách, in: Jana Ševčíková, Jiří Ševčík, Texty, 2010, s. 208-213.
Radan Wagner, Vladimír Kokolia, Já jsem zoufalec, Revue Art, 2/2008, s.10-17.
Jiří Machalický, Vladimír Kokolia se od počátku osmdesátých let…, České ateliéry, 2005, s. 273.
Linda Kholová, 300 vyšťavených obrazů se slevou, Vladimír Kokolia (47) o životě se třiceti korunami a nedostatkem úleťáků, Pátek Lidových novin, 2004, 20.2., s. 16-17.
Radek Horáček, O strukturách vizuálního myšlení, Ateliér, 2003, 12.6., s. 16.
Marek Pokorný, Doplňkový průvodce výstavami, Mladá fronta Dnes, 1997, 7.11., s. 19.
Milena Slavická, Vysoká hra, Ateliér, 1997, 6.2., s. 4.
Jiří Tomáš Kotalík, Na tělo, Ateliér, 1996, 19.12., s. 1.
Ivona Raimanová, Vladimír Kokolia, Výtvarné umění, 02/1991, s. 51-57.
Ludvík Ladislav Ševeček, Proměny V. Kokolii, Ateliér, 1988, 22.11., s. 4.
Levné obrazy, A2 kulturní týdeník, 40/2008