Mirek Smíšek: 60 years / 60 pots
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1925, Mirek Smíšek (OBE) has forged a career as a remarkable New Zealand artist since arriving here in 1951. Smisek has built three studio potteries on the Kapiti Coast over the past 41 years, and Mahara Gallery, as Kapiti’s District Gallery, produced the first full survey exhibition to honour his life-times’ work. This survey is now touring nationally. Cultural commentator Hamish Keith has described the project as ‘a genuine revelation of Smisek’s achievement’. Curator Gary Freemantle has selected 60 pots spanning 60 years of Smíšek’s work from private and public collections around New Zealand. They represent Smíšek’s main forms of vases, bowls, crocks, jugs and Yunomi (Japanese tea-bowls) and the variations in glaze, shape and decoration as his work matured. Toured by Exhibition Services Ltd.
Mirek Smíšek: 60 Years / 60 Pots is accompanied by a handsome 78 page catalogue reproducing all the work in the show in full colour, plus a chronology, Smíšek’s potter’s marks, and biographical and critical essays by Janet Bayly and Justine Olsen.