Pravoslav Sovák (b. in Vysoké Mýto in 1926) has lived in Switzerland – first in Lucerne and then in Hergiswil – since 1969, when he emigrated from the former Czechoslovakia. From 1975 to 2001 he was a professor of graphic arts in Cologne.
Sovak has held an autonomous artistic position since the 1950s. His prolific oeuvre interweaves threads of Cubism, Pop and Concept Art while also seeking dialogue with the Old Masters. Adolf Loos, František Kupka and Franz Kafka all had a formative influence on him in his early years. After his emigration to the West, he sought expanse and freedom in the Nevada desert, concerned himself repeatedly with the theme of the city and travelled to the landscapes of China, ultimately to return to his roots in the forests of Bohemia with his digital camera. Contrary paths meander through an oeuvre as subtle as it is concentrated: his recent collages, for example, bring together widely varied traces of a long artistic life.
Over the decades, Pravoslav Sovak’s art has been shown in exhibitions mounted by prominent museums and galleries in Europe and the U.S.His work is represented in major museum collections including the Albertina in Vienna, the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, the Guggenheim Museum or the MoMA in New York.