Stanislav Hanzík

a contemporary Czech sculptor

Without choosing them, we are confronted with situations in history and life. It only depends on how we deal with them. In this respect, the sculpture of Stanislav Hanzik ist admirable, always telling about its dramas while keeping its own character. Maybe, it's because life, a destiny of man, understands history in its entity as a monumental, endless myth; despite of its primeval roots, its themes, thoughts, images, and forms make of human fate a fascinating whole.

 

This became already noticeable during the sculptor's unforgettable exhibition in Prague's New Hall in 1967. Large Plates, Torso, Rhapsodist, Kuros, Simeon, Old Man with Child, with the opposing Motherhood, Heracles fighting the Snake, Danae, Pilgrim, and inbetween themes of human labor like the monumentalizing Welder or the Miner with Tool next to the symbolic Cycle of Dialogues all express the urge to connect with the visitor.

 

The following timeless years did not succeed in diverting the sculptor's way, who, under the symbols of lions - the Pierced Lion, a symbol of the post-August era, or the Lion Fountain, as if permanently reminding us of Palach's living flame in front of the Carolinum - again a resurrection of an old myth, was filled with contemporary dramas. The inspiration by antique mythology is reflected in Caryatid Mother, Diomedon, the hero of Marathon, in the Judgement of Paris, the Orant, passing the thirteenth chamber, and in the Fall of Icarus.

 

The work of Stanislav Hanzik eerily characterizes the theme of the theatrum mundi, of life as a game, which is reflected on one hand in the Chess Game, and in his fascination for theater on the other, where the drama is hidden in the facial expressions of the portrayed actors and is the secret of the thought and art in his portraits of artists. Traces of drama are also characteristic for the sculptor's inimitable style.

 

Dr. Vladimír Karfík, at the occasion of the exhibition organized by the Pilsen Gallery in Mariánská Týnice, June 2014