1907 . berlin . germany

1988 . kadan . czech republic

Coming from a family of artists, Karel Havlicek attended law school and  established himself as a lawyer — a career he disliked. Married with three children, he spent much of his life in Kadan, in Bohemia. After 1948, for political reasons, he was forced to give up his job to become a worker. He began drawing at the age of thirty-eight, representing semi-abstract motifs, with an emphasis on the monstrous and the grotesque. He worked only in the evening following a ritual protocol reminiscent of the conditioning of automatic drawing. In 1948, while he was still in his artistic beginnings, the art critic Karel Teige planned to organize an exhibition, which was however banned by the political authorities. This censorship affected him deeply.