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Josef Jochman
 Artist and Scenic Designer


The Art Gallery section contains work of my father Josef Jochman - Academic painter and Scenic Designer over his life time.

Josef Jochman, born in Ladna in Southern Moravia was apprenticed at an early age to an established Czech artist Joza Uprka and  after the 2nd world war during which he joined the resistance, he studied at the Zlin School of art.

Following completion of his studies he moved to Prague to start work as a Scenic Designer for the State Theatre in Karlin and during this period joined the Prague based art group 'Manes'.
Whilst working at the theatre he painted and exhibited with the group. In 1956 Josef was given a task to lead the Stage and Costume Design in a Theatre in Zlin ( then called Gottwaldov), where he remained designing successful productions until 1963, when he moved to a theatre in Mlada Boleslav, near Prague. During all this time, in between the productions Josef continuously painted, mainly portraits and landscapes of southern Moravia.
This was the period of the 'Socialist realism' and this was reflected in his subject of work, however his love of the post impressionists, especially Cezanne, Matisse and Gauguin can clearly be seen in his work.

During his time in Zlin, in  1961  Josef visited the St Petersburg  Hermitage museum in Russia and was allowed, as a representative of the Czech Artists Union, to view in its vaults the works of Chagall, then inaccessible to the public. This experience left a great impression and was a major  inspiration to his subsequent work.
In 1967 Josef secured a position as the Chief designer for the Karlsbad State Theatre, but following an argument with his leaders he resigned from the CP and as aresult was not allowed to work in his field from that moment

He still painted despite working as a boiler room stoker and later nightwatchman. This night work however allowed him to continue painting during the day, which he did until his death in 2007.

Josef Jochman in his studio with a portrait of Krystina in 2006
in 1992, after the political change in Czechoslovakia, Josef visited his son in Bristol, United Kingdom and during his visit produced large amount of paintings and watercolours of the local scenery, mainly around the Bristol docks area and the outskirts.

Josef painted and exhibited passionately until his death and many of his paintings hang in private homes and collections around Czech republic. This is only a small fraction of his life's work, and represent mainly his later work between 1970 and 2007 and the short one month visit to Bristol. It is our intension to find a permanent home for this collection of about 150 paintings and sketches of his scenic and costume designs.
It is interesting to see how artists such as Hockney, who was very much in the forefront of the 'Pop Art' movement during the 60s, have returned to figurative paintings, especially landscapes, in their latter years. As in Hockney's current work, there is in Josef's paintings  a love of nature and familiar places, returning and painting the same views of nature during different seasons. 

Martin Jochman 2014

         Pictures stacked  in Josef's studio in Prague