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  • Writer's pictureSteven Heller

Playtime In Sutnar’s Playground

Ladislav Sutnar tested the idea of the play principle with the toughest critics: Children. His toys, which today are mini-masterpieces of Modernism, had to work as both aesthetic and pragmatic wonders. The most elaborate of these toys was his factory block set painted in Sutnar blue and Sutnar orange. These have been used as the basis for a variety of sculptural interventions at The Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art of the University of West Bohemia. Recently, Josef Mištera, the esteemed director of the school, invited children to play with oversized blocks in an exhibition titled “Sutnar For Children.”

As Mistera told me, the socialist/communist government “practically made Sutnar invisible in Czech history. They can do it very well. I want everybody here know about him and his life and great work. Everybody. So I find found this way even to [show] people who are not interested about art. I want to keep it in Prague and Vienna, etc., to show Sutnar’s [work] is alive.”

As you will see from the photos below, these kids had a Sutnar-ized time of their lives.

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