Marie Tefrová , born on January 28, 1940 in Prague, is a Czech painter and poet (Wikipedie).
Marie Tefrová was born in Prague at the beginning of World War II. In the 1960´s and 1980´s, at the end of siècle and at the beginning of the new millennium, the theme of human being has completely vanished from art. Despite this, the pictures of Marie Tefrová always do depict a human being with his or her individual conceptual framework. And so, even in her landscapes she depicts a human being and his or her lot in life, captured with the most subtle and expressive gestures, facial expressions, fleeting instants of life, a view of life touched with the poetry of beauty. Her works were first exhibited in 1972 as “Portraits” in Mánes, a small gallery in Prague. The scope of her artistic concern includes groups of various thematic cycles, many of the topics emerging again years later under different circumstances and with an innovative approach, which reflects her contemplative and meditative mind. Marie Tefrová does not need to seek captions for her pictures – they are quite natural: Roads, Memories, Brides, A Mask, A Company of People, Playing Children, Conversation, etc.
Beginning from the nineteen seventies, she exhibits her paintings and drawings in galleries both at home and abroad. Her art is exhibited in the National Gallery in Prague, in regional galleries in our country and abroad, and in private collections worldwide. In 1982 she competed in a UNESCO contest on the topic “Woman in Visual Art” and was awarded the extraordinary prize of the Ministry of Culture for the picture “The Bride”. Recently, her particular concern has been aroused by drawing, photography, and poetry. In 1997, the Arca JiMfa Publishers presented her book of poetry entitled “Steep Roads” with her own watered drawings. Between 1968 and 1989, the critical period of the totalitarian regime, Marie Tefrová took part in unofficial, banned, yet very popular joint exhibitions with sculptors called “Malostranské dvorky“ (Backyards of the Lesser Town). She had intimate knowledge of this part of the city where she had her home and studio. Forty years later she was deprived of her attic studio and later even of her apartment a floor below of the house in this quarter of old Prague, where she lived with her three daughters, and transferred her studio to the countryside 50 km south of Prague.
The painter´s preoccupation has mostly been figural painting and the portrait, yet landscape painting has always been close to her heart. The all-embracing beauty of the landscape, the countryside, the lighting and sky setting the mood of the picture are reflected not only in her oil paintings, but in her poetry as well. Her paintings emanate tranquillity, utter absorption, or the suspense of the moment. Her poetry is much more dynamic. She unveils not only the heart of hearts of the human creature with all the weaknesses and even compromises made in real life, but also deep faith having consequently the power to recast a weak human being into a personality endowed with vision and mercy, into a person both gracious and strict.
Marie Tefrová does not have much interest in the artistic trends of the third millennium, a time assessing human activity only by financial success and popularity. On the contrary, her art shows deep and warm feelings and authenticity. Ensuring a continuation of the Czech tradition of painting, she uses classical materials and techniques of glazed painting, thus contributing to the profile of contemporary Czech art as a whole.
Thanks to her emotional, imaginative, and visionary mind we can see that our lives do not fully reflect the complex reality and that our existence lacks coherence and sense. Marie Tefrová has fully committed herself to painting, pictures, and poetry. She also expended considerable efforts to preserve the home and loving family for her children. This is why in 1968 she refused to join her husband Stanislav and emigrate to the United States. Unfortunately, he passed away 4 years later. If there does exist any other but “masculine art”, Marie Tefrová´s art cannot be identified with such unambiguous label. Her art adopts a radically different perspective than the masculine one but does not display even any signs of “feminine art”. With her, femininity is not a matter of expression but a dilemma of possibility. In the early years of the new millennium, the composition of her paintings turns to biblical motives as a means of moving to more abstract forms extending beyond the time horizon and of passing to more vivid colours.
“I think that my pictures are no more than mere silent poems”, says Marie Tefrová, the paintings embodying the very essence of her visual art through colour and composition. In her paintings, she often works with the figure placed with the back turned towards the viewer, with the mirror motive, or even with the “picture in picture” idea. And, eventually, this mode of multiplying the figure or somebody´s face within the picture´s space offers the viewer – by the power of suggestion – another possibility of encountering one´s self. Her power of viewing the world and her creative art are convincing, and she refuses to adapt to the style of the established postmodern form. Therefore, the scope of her art guarantees the overall world profile of painting.
The paintings of MarieTefrová can be found in private collections, in regional picture galleries and museums both in this country and abroad. The Vatican Museum houses her oil painting “The Holy Sepulchre” (Boží hrob), the Archibishop Palace in Prague the “First Monstrance” (První monstrance). She illustrated the collection of own poems entitled “Steep Roads” (Strmé cesty) published by ArcaJimfa Publishers; the cover reproduces the picture “Roads” (Cesty) and the coloured flyleaf the picture “Places far away” (Dálky). The painter is represented in the monograph “Young Czech Painters” (1978) by PhDr. Dušan Konečný, reproducing two oil paintings, namely the “Bride” (Nevěsta) and “Roads” (Cesty).
- 1969 – Young Czech painters and graphic artists – Bratislava, Slovakia
- 1971 – Travelling painters – Prague
- 1972 – PORTRÉT, Czech Fine Arts Fund, Mánes – Prague
- 1973 – Paintings – Drawings, MF – Prague
- 1974 – Marie Tefrová: Figural pictures – Prague
- 1975 – Marie Tefrová – Jan Reich – Pictures and photographs: joint exhibition – Prague
- 1976 – The outskirts – disappearing Prague – Prague
- 1977 – Mining motives – Příbram
- 1980 – Selected paintings, Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, ASCR – Prague 6
- 1983 – Oil paintings and illustrations of Marie Tefrová, Cultural Centre – Dobříš
- 1984 – Painters of the underground movement, Institute of Microbiology, ASCR – Prague 4
- 1990 – Paintings 1971 – 1986, Gallery U Řečických – Prague 1
- 1991 – Canvases of Marie Tefrová, Nusle Gallery – Prague
- 1994 – Pictures and verses of Marie Tefrová, Gallery u Jednorožce – Prague 1
- 1997 – As if I were dreaming M.T. – Prague
- 1997 – Figural art of the Union members – Prague
- 2005 – The song of the Bohemian Forest – Museum in Sušice
- 2007 – Looking into the sketchbook – Úvaly
- 2007 – Meetings in the Lesser Quarter, Gallery of J. Kalousek – Prague
- 2008 – Landscapes of Marie Tefrová, Gallery of Vojtěch Preissig – Prague
- 2009 – Pictures and iliustrations of Marie Tefrová – Prague
- 2014 – Encounters of two generations, joint exhibition with Jana Váchová – Pilsen conservatory