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
I like to dedicate my sculptures to someone. They are often my favourite architects, writers, philosophers, or poets. Sometimes I dedicate them to places, events or feelings, and moods.
From the very beginning, I made this sculpture with the thoughts of Jan Palach. I started working on it on 19 January 2019, at the time of the fiftieth anniversary of his self-sacrifice (11 August 1948 – 19 January 1969). The event was reminded from all points of view on the radio. It was not possible to do anything else...
The invitation to the exhibition “Celebrating 30 Years of Freedom”, the intent of which was to remind Sydney, Australia, that our country has already been free for thirty years, came at a time when I was working on the Tower for Jan Palach. The organizers accepted the offered statue and used it as a motif of the whole exhibition. My conception of the statue standing on the very edge of a cliff above the ocean with only the blue surface and the endless sky behind was fulfilled. Therefore, it happened that the ocean and the sky were part of the statue and enhanced its mission.
After the exhibition, the organizers decided to move the Tower for Jan Palach 4,000 km to Western Australia to the amazing Cottesloe Beach near Perth. The intention of the installation was brought to even greater perfection there as the statue was placed on a narrow stone cape stretched out deeply to the sea. The accompanying text clarified everywhere who Jan Palach was.
However, I was attracted by the idea of placing the statue in Klatovy as well.
By the time the Tower for Jan Palach sets out to another pilgrimage, it was standing on the site of the statue of the communist president Antonín Zápotocký, with the towers of our city in the background.