Czech Surrealist Jindřich Štyrský and His Sensuous Collage Poetry
2 min

Czech Surrealist Jindřich Štyrský and His Sensuous Collage Poetry

2 min

As all devotees of Švankmajer and Saudek know, Czech avant-garde is not less amusing than French. One of its’ pillars was Jindřich Štyrský (1899-1942), a Czech poet, painter, editor, and art theorist, whom we mentioned in our previous article on Toyen. Now we focus on his collages that may remind you of those by Max Ernst and Max Svanberg.

Jindřich Štyrský

Fig. 1. Štyrsky in 1930 (

Between Prague and Paris

Štyrsky was born in Dolni Čermna (the town in the eastern part of Bohemia). At six years, he survived the death of his sister, which affected his views and works. Štyrsky received his primary education at the school in Hradec Králové, then enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. From the early 1920s, he was a member of the avant-garde group Devetsil which concentrated on magical realism and proletarian art. At the same period, he met Maria Čerminova, with whom he would collaborate until his death in 1942. After artists’ three-year stay in Paris, where they invented artificialism, they returned to Prague, and Štyrsky became the head of The Liberated Theater, the drama section of Devetsil. The artist began working with poet Vitezslav Nezval, the reformer of Devetsil in the Czech surrealist group. As they started to cooperate with French surrealists in the 1930s, Štyrsky moved to Paris again. There he suffered from a heart illness. Probably it was the same disease that caused the early death of his sister.

Jindřich Štyrský photograph

Fig. 2. Untitled (

Jindřich Štyrský horse butterfly

Fig. 3.

Jindřich Štyrský Deux belles jambs

Fig. 4. Deux belles jambs (

Jindřich Štyrský Statue of Liberty

Fig. 5. Statue of Liberty, 1934 (

Jindřich Štyrský surrealism

Fig. 6.

Jindřich Štyrský legs

Fig. 7.