Václav Fiala completed his studies at the Secondary School of Applied Art in Prague. He held a number of solo exhibitions (the Prague Castle, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Museum Moderner Kunst in Passau, Mánes Gallery, Maerz Gallery in Linz, Cordonhaus Gallery in Cham, St. Anne’s Church in Passau, Granitzentrum in Hauzenberg, etc.), and also participated in many collective expositions (the
Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Spain, France, the U.S.). In 1997, he obtained a grant from the American Pollock-Krasner Foundation and exhibited in Socrates Sculpture Park in New York. Participation in more than sixty sculpture symposia allowed him to make large format works using stone, wood and iron. In 2004 and 2005, he exhibited within the framework of Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney, where he won the main Sydney Sculpture Prize twice. Fiala’s sculptural approach is based on minimization of shapes and is often inspired by architecture. He lectures on the subject of fine art works in public space.
Tower for Jan Palach
Right next to the medieval castle tower we placed the "Tower for Jan Palach" from 2019, made of painted steel. It measures 2.00 x 2.00 x 7.20 metres and weighs 2.5 tonnes. On its way through Prague, Sydney and Regensburg, this tower found itself in Hohenberg. It is dedicated to a young Czech who publicly burned himself to death in Wenceslas Square in January 1969, in response to the 1968 invasion by Soviet troops to end the Czech democratic movement, the "Prague Spring", which led to the reversal of the Dubček government's reforms. At that time, he sent out a shocking signal that received worldwide attention and which, in the current era of Putin's war, cannot be surpassed in terms of timeliness and explosiveness, given the warning effect it provoked. The secret of the object's impact lies in its simplicity. Like a burning torch, a burning Palach, like a cry directed to the sky, the steel parts rise upwards. Will that cry die down without reaction, or will it leave a lasting impact? Even before the Prague Spring, Havel was an active member of the underground democratic movement as a writer, playwright and essayist. He was one of the initiators of Charter 77. In 1968, during the "spring", he stood by the side of Alexander Dubček. The student Jan Palach wanted to draw attention against the incipient dismantling of democratic efforts. Later (1991), Havel, as President of the Republic, posthumously awarded him the Order of Masaryk First Class. Václav Fiala pays tribute to Jan Palach in his artistic way.