Skip to content

Zdenka Marie Nováková | Harmony

9. 12. 2022 – 2. 4. 2023 Venue 2nd floor exhibition hall Temporary Exhibition Curator Johana Kabíčková


Zdenka Marie Nováková decided early in her career to go beyond the border of the figural and investigate other dimensions of existence and the mind, frequently inspired by music or nature. Music has played an important role in her life since childhood, when she actively dedicated herself to it. Music offers her a way to both express and experience emotions. In her oeuvre, music permeates nature and vice versa. She does her best to capture musical perceptions and sensations on canvas while creating compositions that are dreamlike. These direct interpretations of the indicated moods of the musical pieces represent the artist’s quite personal view. Nevertheless, the final works by Nováková capture conveyable, universal emotions.

Music, as an art form, works with time; it can only be pleasantly consumed diachronically, moment by moment in succession. Nováková, however, condenses music into a single moment and concentrates all her perception of it into a pulsating wash of colors that touches the depths of our own interiority.

By expressing the relationship between compositions that are musical and those of the visual arts, Nováková strives to achieve a certain kind of reconciliation. This means finding balance, concordance or harmony on more than one level. It is the harmony of music, nature and painting in one whole. It is the harmony between colors and composition. It is the harmony of experiences and feelings, both one’s own and those of others. That she achieves such balance successfully is apparent when viewing her paintings which, although they convey emotions that are strong, also evoke something quite calming and graceful, an energy that is quietly at work. The works in the exhibition “Harmony” (Souznění) balance on the borderline between abstraction and concreteness, creating a concept of nature that is all but mystical. Nováková’s work differentiates itself through its intuitive, relaxed treatment of color, its expressions of spontaneity, and its illusionistic space. It tends toward an abstraction, one that is lyrical and romantic, elaborated through a free gestural style and, like Kandinsky, Klee or other celebrated European painters, uses colors and rhythms to achieve a harmonious whole. Nováková approaches the free flow of paint and its layering in a unique way that allows her to imitate nature itse  


Zdenka Marie Nováková is a graduate of the Architecture Faculty at the Czech Technical University in Prague (1963, Professor František Cubr) and studied painting privately (with Professor Karel Souček). She has been working simultaneously in both fields since graduation. She has given almost 50 solo exhibitions of her paintings and has contributed to dozens of group exhibitions. She has won awards in international painting competitions. She has been teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts (AVU) in Prague, where she was appointed associate professor on the basis of her research entitled “The Artwork in the Contemporary Creative Environment” (1980). She was once a member of the Maloskalský Fine Artists’ circle and currently is a member of the Club of Fine Artists, SVU Mánes and the Fine Artists’ Union. Her paintings are now represented in the National Gallery in Prague, the Prague City Gallery, the Liberec Regional Gallery, and other prestigious galleries and collections, both at home and abroad. She has received the Masaryk Academy of Arts Award (2002) and the European Franz Kafka Medal (2002) awarded by the European Franz Kafka Circle in Prague.

Nováková has authored many important architectural designs that have also been realized, such as the complex of the Chemapol-Investa foreign trade enterprise in Prague 10 between 1964 and 1970; the transformation of the interior at the Rotunda of Saint George on Říp Mountain into a Czech State Memorial between 1974 and 1979, and the storyboard, project development and realization of the interior of the relocated Gothic cathedral in Most to display an exhibition of ancient art between 1983 and 1988, for which she received two international awards and a domestic prize from the Culture Ministry of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. She is listed in the International Archive of Women Architects (IAWA) in Virginia, USA, in the archives of the National Gallery in Prague, and in the Museum of Arts and Design in Prague. In 2018 she was awarded the Jože Plečnik Prize for architectural lifetime achievement. She lives and works in Prague.

This website uses cookies.
We use cookies to personalise content and ads, provide social media features and analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners, who may combine it with other information you have provided to them or that they have collected when you use their services.
Disable everything
Edit individually
Enable everything