Pavel Brázda Is Here

The Library of Birmingham is welcoming the first UK exhibition by leading contemporary Czech artist Pavel Brázda. 

The exhibition is organised by the Embassy of the Czech Republic, Birmingham City Council and the Ikon Gallery and will be open to the public from Friday, 2 June, and will run until 1 July 2017.

The exhibition presents a selection of works from the artist’s colourful Human Comedy cycle, in celebration of a career which spans more than seven decades.

The Human Comedy cycle is a parable in images – a testament to the world we live in, to human joys and predicaments – and in the series, good and evil get equal treatment. The primary theme is the age-old discord between masculinity and femininity. Although autobiographical, the parables are universal. The artist deals with intimate themes from his own life, yet with a detached perspective.

Pavel said: “This series is structured into individual chapters, each with a beginning and end. It all begins with birth and youth. Then it spans across a range of erotic themes to more dramatic and existential topics – such as old age or death.”

In the 1940s, the artist invented his own art movement called “Hominism”, which he defined as ‘art about people and for people’.

Further details can be found on the Library of Birmingham website.

This got us thinking here at The Iron Room about how many references we had in our collections to Czechoslovakia and there are a few!

In the records of Birmingham City Council, we find the minute book for the General Purposes Committee for 1968 (BCC/1/AG/1/1/55) includes details of departmental visits to other parts of the country and abroad, including a proposed visit by members of the House Building Committee to Czechoslovakia.

The Bayes Family records include a ‘Diary, entitled “From the Baltic to the Aegean Sea”, of the Bayes family travels in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Greece and Bulgaria’. (MS 857/29) Also in the collection are manuscript notes describing a visit to Czechoslovakia by Alfred H. Bayes. (MS 857/49)

The Clarion Singers made visits abroad which included Czechoslovakia in 1957. (MS 705)

We also have a letter from Milos Stepanek of the Embassy of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, to Jagmohan Joshi, making contacts for cultural exchanges between Czechoslovakia and India, 17 June 1964. (MS 2141/A/4/1)

The above are available to view in the Wolfson Centre by appointment at


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