Dusan Kadlec (1942-2018)
Dusan Kadlec is a well-known Maritime and Marine artist who had lived and painted in Nova Scotia for the past four decades. Kadlec was born and educated in Czechoslovakia. His early artistic career consisted mostly of commercial work, as well as private and state commissions. Following graduation with a Master of Fine Art from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, he immediately received critical acclaim and attention for his work, and contributed to a number of exhibitions, including an invitation to participate in the design of Man and his World exhibit at the Czech Pavillion for the 1967 World Expo in Montreal. Soon after, he immigrated to Canada during the Soviet Invasion, known as the “Prague Spring” of 1969. On his arrival in Canada, Dusan was painting in the abstract-style, for which there was little market in Halifax, and as a consequence, he switched to painting historical subject-matter in and around Halifax, and more recently, the United States. He work embodies the Romantic Classicism that was prevalent in the tradition of the European Masters, and is reflected in his academic training.
Kadlec’s work is in countless public, private, and corporate collections worldwide, including the Burrichter/Kierlin Marine Art Collection, one of America’s largest and finest private Marine Art collections.
In 2008 Dusan Kadlec received the Rudolph J. Schaefer Maritime Heritage Award; an honor given to the artist whose work best documents and preserves America's maritime heritage.
Following a lengthy illness, Mary Pratt died this week in St. John’s. She was a major Canadian artist who was married for many years to another renowned artist, Christopher Pratt.
In many ways Mary’s artistic career mirrored the rise of feminism in the past half century. Mary had a remarkable gift of turning ordinary objects into works of art of genuine beauty that were charged with a feminine energy. Glass jars of jelly or bowls of fruit, became beautiful objects. Fillets of fish or eviscerated chickens waiting to be cooked and served at table, do not appear to be promising subject-matter for powerful paintings, but they became so, in Mary’s hands. She had a way of making everyday objects glow with an inner luminosity. Mary observed that “I wouldn’t have even bothered to paint the thing, if I didn’t fall in love with it.”
She did not confine herself to painting jars of jelly. Mary was a good figurative painter, and painted a number of nudes. She felt that as a woman artist painting nudes, she was less interested in the erotic aspects of the painting (“the male gaze”). Instead she saw it more as a way to “peel away pretence” in the treatment of the subject. She was also a good portrait painter, and painted the official portrait of Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.
Mary said many times that she loved life and felt deeply that her life had been blessed. She made a significant contribution to contemporary Canadian art.