The life and work of a significant Pilsen native, versatile industrial designer, graphic designer, educator and painter Ladislav Sutnar is mapped in an extensive project, The Return of Ladislav Sutnar, which is one of the flagship initiatives within the Pilsen - European Capital of Culture 2015 project. The goal of this initiative is both the return of this famous Pilsen native son to Pilseners and the return of Pilsen as his native town and the Czech Republic as his native country to Ladislav Sutnar, this brilliant designer, deliberately neglected and virtually wiped out from the cultural history by the country’s former regimes.
The Return of Ladislav Sutnar project was conceived and is headed by the Dean of the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art Josef Mištera. It is implemented by the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art in co-operation with the West Bohemian Museum, the Gallery of the City of Pilsen and the Pilsen 2015 association.
While the artist’s name is known especially in professional circles and to design students in the Czech Republic, in the United States of America, where Sutnarbecame famous after his immigration there, he is, to this day, considered one of the most distinguished postwar designers in America. He substantially modernized toy, glass, porcelain, metal, textile, graphic, and exhibition designs, founded information design as a branch, and is considered a forerunner of Internet information solutions.
The Return of Ladislav Sutnar project comprises a number of activities, in which Sutnar’s work will gradually, during the course of 2015, be presented to the public in the center of Pilsen. The exhibition of Sutnar’s book design opened at Ladislav Sutnar Gallery in mid-March, followed by the presentation of his applied art in the West Bohemian Museum, and later on, of his paintings at the Gallery of the City of Pilsen. In addition to the series of concurrent exhibitions, a permanent exposition of Ladislav Sutnar’s work will open in the West Bohemian Museum in Pilsen in June. The project also includes an international art and design competition for university students called Hommage à Sutnar – Europe - Culture, an exhibition of student artwork inspired by Sutnar called Inspiration Sutnar, publication of five books and a documentary devoted to the work of this versatile artist.
Build the Town - the Ladislav Sutnar memorial will transform his famous building block set into a large sculpture.
These activities can only be managed with the support of the City of Pilsen, the Pilsen - European Capital of Culture 2015 project and Radoslav Sutnar. Mr. Sutnar backed the foundation of the Ladislav Sutnar Gallery, the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art, and the prestigious Ladislav Sutnar Prize, which has already been awarded three times to prominent personalities and institutions from Europe and the USA.
Ladislav Sutnar‘s return to his hometown has not only a symbolic but also a real level – in November 2014, seventy-five years since his departure to the US, his and his wife Františka’s remains were buried in the Pilsen Central Cemetery. The designer of the tombstone is Doc. Petr Vogel from the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art.