Karel Havlicek


Born into a family of artists, Karel Havlicek studied law and became a lawyer – a career he did not like. He spent most of his life in Kadan, in northwestern Bohemia. He married and had three children. After 1948, for political reasons, he was forced to leave his job and became a laborer.
He began drawing at the age of thirty-eight years. Working only at night, he followed a ritual reminiscent of the conditioning of the automatic practices. His drawings without premeditation recall, by their spontaneity, spiritualist production. He felt drawn to the monstrous, grotesque or the pathological. In 1948, the Czech art critic Karel Teige became interested in him and planned to organize an exhibition, a project crushed by the political authorities. This was a profound disappointment to Havlicek, he died before knowing the freedom that came about with the Velvet Revolution.

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