Jiri Ladocha (1942)
Jiri Ladocha is a painter and sculptor who was born in Czechoslovakia. He emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1968 and became a Canadian citizen.
His mediums are oil, gouache, graphite, gold leaf, silver leaf, broken plaster casts, syringes, test tubes, found items and mixed mediums. His subjects include pure abstract, social commentary, allegory and figures. His styles are abstract expressionism, lyrical abstraction, constructivism, minimalism, surrealism, symbolism and conceptual art. His New Alchemy series (1995), for example, using test tubes and syringes, though much smaller, evoke Damien Hirst works like Lullaby Spring (2002) done with similar mediums, seven years later.
He studied at Karlova University, Prague (1961-1966) however, he is described as largely self-taught. He has also visited Italy several times in the late 1980’s.
Ladocha has been showing his art since 1965 in dozens of solo and group exhibitions. The venues include the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario (1977,1985, 1996), the University of Toronto (1971), the Peterborough Public Art Gallery, Ontario (1977) and New York University (1971). His works have also been shown in commercial galleries and art exhibitions in cities that include: Miami (Florida), Boca Raton (Florida), Prague, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Paris, Munich and Madrid. In 1976 he exhibited with the Ontario Society of Artists (traveling show).
His works are in many private, corporate and public collections. Some of the public collections are the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Ontario), the Guggenheim (NYC), the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (until 1999 the Art Gallery of North York, Toronto ) and the University of Toronto.
There are numerous magazine and newspaper articles that discuss his work (some are listed below). There is also the book Sculpture/Toronto, An Illustrated Guide to Toronto's Historic and Contemporary Sculpture (1994) by June Ardiel, published by Leidra Books (147 pgs, B&W).
Articles about Jiri Ladocha:
Bentley Mays, John, “Ladocha Abandons Ab-Ex for Chaste Plaster and Gilt”, The Globe & Mail, April 24, 1980.
Dault, Gary Michael, “Jiri Ladocha - Interventions”, Canadian Art Magazine, Winter, 1989.
Dault, Gary Michael, “Jiri Ladocha at Miriam Shiell Fine Art”, The Globe and Mail, March 30, 2002.
Genereux, Linda, “Linking History to Modernism”, Metropolis: Toronto's News, Arts and Entertainment Weekly, April 5, 1990.
Gordon, Daphne, “The Art of Something Big”, The Toronto Star, January 14, 2001.
Kardonne, Rick, “Jiri Ladocha: Return to Roots”, Artfocus, Winter, 1996.
Klimesova, Jana, “Jiri Ladocha at Factory 77”, Artmagazine, September/October, 1980.
Kritzwiser, Kay, “Ladocha's vibrant prints are outlets for emotions”, The Globe and Mail, December 21, 1971.
Nolan, Helen, “Sculpture in the City: Twelve Walks in Downtown Toronto”, Toronto, Canada, 2003.
Rochon, Lisa, “Ladocha's Tower Series Too Hot to Keep Secret”, The Globe and Mail, September 2, 1988.
Tiley, Jim, “Jiri Ladocha at Factory 77 ”, Artists Review, Vol. 3, No. 7, May 1980.
Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke