Bohuslav Reynek – The Graphic Work
Engraver, poet, Czech translator of French poetry and literature, Bohuslav Reynek (1892-1971) accomplished an immense body of work briefly revealed during the Prague Spring and then masked by the communist regime. Today, he has become a cult artist in his native land, where several shows have been held in 2011 on the 40th anniversary of his death: exhibitions in Prague and several other cities in the country, monographs, publication of his correspondence.
It is less known that his paintings and etchings were discovered in France in the thirties, in Grenoble where he lived from 1926 to 1936 after his marriage to the poetess Suzanne Renaud (1889-1964). After the Reyneks returned definitively to the artist’s native village of Petrkov in 1936, the Grenoble friends of the time and their descendants never forgot them. It was during a stay in Petrkov in September 1963, shortly before Suzanne Renaud’s death, that I tied steadfast relations with Bohuslav Reynek and his two sons.
From this happy meeting that enlightened my life came the feeling of a need to reveal and safeguard the crossbred work of Suzanne Renaud and Bohuslav Reynek, and to promote knowledge and recognition of it in France. Begun in 1985 with an exhibition and a first biography in French, this activity continued with the founding of the Romarin – Les Amis de Suzanne Renaud et Bohuslav Reynek Association in Grenoble in 1993, whose main creations are the publication of documents unknown in France and holding exhibitions, in particular in the Dauphiné region, but also in Paris and Nîmes.
Today, Romarin enters a new phase with the publication of the catalogue raisonné of Bohuslav Reynek’s graphic work. Fruit of a lengthy, methodical work that has gone on for thirty years, and of a personal commitment, this catalogue stands among the first repertoires created, which is the manuscript inventory of Jiří Šerých established during the artist’s life and then with his sons (1966-1985), continued by Renata Bernardi with the 1992 publication of her thesis, Bohuslav Reynek (1892-1971) Katalog díla.
The work of this great artist – paintings, drawings and engravings – is presented with a renewed vision, an enhanced wealth of materials and information, and perspectives made possible with modern technologies, along with documentation available to curators, researchers, authors, collectors and art lovers.
I pay homage to my predecessors and thank Jiří and Daniel Reynek for the confidence and faithful support they have unfailingly given me. My acknowledgement goes to the many French and Czech friends who make it possible for this duty of memory to continue.
President of the Association Romarin
Grenoble, May 31, 2011