Hommage a Rousseau. Original color lithograph and collage, 1974.
Jirí Kolář was a Czech poet, writer and painter whose artworks are a combination of both literary and visual art. His writing was the reason he ended up in arrest, due to it being proclaimed subversive under the Stalinist rule, but he continued to write, despite there being a publication ban. At first he continually combined painting and poetry, but later he abandoned his poetic work completely and focused solely to experiments in visual arts. He developed many new techniques in collages one of them being the “Rollage” technique of making collages. This technique is when two images are cut into thin pieces and then glued back together. He also included everyday life in his artwork e.g. items such as zippers, cords, razorblades, etc. Kolar was a very versatile artist and a master of collage and his collages manifest both ironic wit as well as his dismay of the cultural and political disintegration. This is a collage where there is a bust of Jean-Jacques Rousseau presented, as one of the biggest philosophers during the France revolution, but instead of his face, there is a classical nude of a woman in nature, maybe Rousseau’s muse.