Zdeněk Sýkora

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Zdeněk Sýkora (3 February 1920, Louny - 12 July 2011, Louny) was a Czech painter.

Before he began acting upon his passion for geometric forms, Zdeněk Sýkora was known for his landscape paintings, which gradually became more and more abstract. In his paintings of the 1960s, he created subtle optical illusions in black-and-white, which were inscribed into the Op Art current. In that period, he was also interested in the possibilities that computer programs offered with regard to the process of image-making, exploring the area of “incidental geometry.” In his geometric forms, he reflected the data generated by machines, coding the final size, shape and composition of the image on the canvas. The visualization of relations between accident and mechanical necessity became an obsession. He believed that these relations don’t only characterize the space of his paintings, but they’re the very rules that govern human life within the Cosmos. This is why Sýkora’s paintings appear to be framed in an entirely arbitrary way, which gives the impression that they are escaping beyond the two-dimensional space provided to them. In his later period, geometric figures were replaced by an analysis of the relations between computer-generated lines. Catalogs and exhibitions presenting his works are often bereft of any words of explanation. Sýkora wanted his audience not to look for anything deeper in his works beyond the pure physical manifestation of the mathematical system. Nonetheless, he was known to admit, in a tongue-in-cheek manner, that in painting, he was telling the story of the universe. The completed his studies in Architecture at Charles University in Prague and later lectured there. In the 1960s, he was part of the Křižovatka [Intersection] group. In this period, he also produced his first architectural projects, such as the Letná residential complexes in Prague. From 1989 onwards, he collaborated on paintings with his wife Lenka Sýkora. He died in 2011. (Source)


  • 1938-1939 studies at the Mining University in Příbram
  • 1939-1945 after the schools were closed down he worked at the railroads.
  • 1940 the first painting attempts.
  • 1945-1947 studies at the České vysoké učení technické in Prague, and at the Faculty of Pedagogy of Charles University in Prague
  • 1959 sees the Ermitage collection of Matisse which influences him deeply.
  • 1960 geometric paintings.
  • 1961-1962 hard-edge painting.
  • 1962-1963 the first structures.
  • 1963 joins Křižovatka art group.
  • In 1964 in collaboration with the mathematician Jaroslav Blažek he starts to create the visual computer-aided structures.
  • 1966-1980 professor at the Charles University in Prague.
  • 1967-1969 architectural works.
  • 1972-1973 the last structural works, begins to develop randomly generated computer-aided line paintings.
  • 1985 begins cooperation with his wife Lenka.

Selected works[edit]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

  • Zdeněk Sýkora: Computer-schilderijen, Galerie Kunstcentrum Badhuis, Gorinchem, 1979, [1].
  • Konstruktive Tendenzen aus der Tschechoslowakei, Studio Galerie der Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main, 1967, [2].
  • Computer Art in ČSSR and in the World [Počítačové umění v ČSSR a ve světě], Palác kultury, Prague, 1989
  • Computer Graphics (Prague, 1996) [Počítačová grafika], Hollar Gallery
  • Práce na počítačích, Geofyzikální ústav, přednáškový sál, Prague, 2008, [3].
  • Orbis Fictus, Prague, 1995.


  • Zdeněk Sýkora, Jaroslav Blažek, "Computer-Aided Multi-element, Geometrical Abstract Paintings", Leonardo 3 (1970) p. 409


See also[edit]

Czech Republic#Computer_and_computer-aided_art