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The Colini

(1924 - 2010)

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The last major exhibition of Colini's work was presented by the Czech Embassy in D.C. during June of 2015.

The invitation appearing above was hosted by the Embassy of the Czech Republic and was Titled "In Celebration of a Czech Master, featuring the work of Vojen Wilhelm Cech, better known as Colini".

It continued through the weeks following the opening on Friday June 5th.

Vojen Wilhelm Cech - Colini (1927-2010) was drawn to the unique and imaginative qualities of surrealists. As a young man, Colini made monthly visits to Prague and dreamed of becoming a master painter. He became fascinated with Italian art of the Renaissance period and made his decision to paint only in egg tempera. He began to find ways to expand on the ideas of surrealists by incorporating techniques, iconic places, and characters of the Renaissance into his modern works. Inspired by Renaissance artists who adopted the names of their home towns, Colini chose to follow this tradition. A native of Kolin, he signed his paintings as "Colini," the name by which he eventually became internationally known.

"His images are from another time, another place.  His is a magical world, its landscape strange, haunting and always enigmatic."   — Malcolm Preston, art critic, Newsday.
See full review by Mr. Preston.

You can experience a Virtual Exhibition of Colini's work by clicking [and bookmarking?] this link.

Brief Biography of Vojen Wilhelm Cech -- Colini (1924 - 2010)

by PhDr. J. Dvorak (Mrs.) [translated from the Czech]

Colini, born in 1924 in Kolin, Bohemia, first studied art with professor Kutil, then an exponent of German Expressionism.  In 1943, Colini moved to Prague, where he was exposed to the work of the leading Czech surrealist, Karel Maly, a disciple of de Chirico.

Leaving Prague in 1947, Colini began a 12 year journey of self discovery, living in Switzerland, France, West Indies, South America, and Canada.  In 1959 this sojourn came to an end in New York, where he took up his greatest challenge, that of distilling his rich and haunting life experiences into graphic images.  Since then however, he is returning frequently to Germany and Italy where he feels equally "at home."

In 1972 Colini was invited to join the Gallery Schreiner in Basel -- which in those times was affiliated to the famous Gallery Peithner-Lichtenfels from Wien -- and thus was the focus of Ars Fantastica movement in Switzerland.  Since his acceptance into this group, Colini's work has travelled to the major cities of Switzerland, West Germany and France.

Finally in the year 1975 Colini was accepted as a member in the prestigious "Kunstlergilde e.V" in West Germany.  This important success opened the doors to the German art scene and Colini began to exhibit in the Gallery Koelner Kunst Kabinett, Gallery Scholler, and Gallery Blankenborgh.  His work was accepted in the prominent "Inter Art Galerie - Cologne" and he joined "Phainesthai" a group of Koeln artists.  He took active part in the evolution of the organization into the "Gruppe 82 Koeln".

He feels comfortable among his colleagues, enjoys the company of his He feels comfortable among his colleagues, enjoys the company of his friends, and participates every year in the "Salon D'Automne" in Cologne.  Thus the transplant from "Koeln uff der Elbe" to "Koeln am Rhein" successfully took place and everything turned out fine...

Words by Colini on the occasion of
his one-man tribute at the Kolin Museum

At the end, when one comes through the full circle, one should arrive where one started.  That is why I am so grateful for the chance to have the retrospective exhibition of my works in this august location, because it gives me the opportunity to finish my career where it began, on the shores of our river, within the sight of our cathedral.  This is a rare privilege. 

At this point, we should pause perhaps for a while and remember the faces of the comrades who started with us on the road many years ago, but who finished much too early or ended on distant shores...  I was going to say how nice it would be if they would be here now, with us -- implying they are not here with us -- however, I wonder, can anybody really leave Kolin?

A Video Perspective of Colini

        Click to view full-screen

This video contains excerpts from a documentary tribute to the life of Colini, currently in progress.   Used by permission.

Prizes and Awards

2004   Catalog Selectee    PBS-TV Art Auction        Pittson, PA
2002   1st Prize           Summer Solstice Art Walk  Scranton, PA
1999   Honorable Mention   Visual Art Exhibit        Moscow, PA
1989   Honorable Mention   Regional Art Exhibition   Hazleton, PA
1989   Honorable Mention   Regional Art Exhibition   Hazleton, PA
1988   1st Place           Regional Art Exhibition   Hazleton, PA
1987   2nd Place           Regional Art Exhibition   Hazleton, PA
1985   1st Place           Juried Art Exhibit        East Islip, NY
1968   1st Place           Berkshire Museum          Pittsfield, MA
1968   Honorable Mention   Long Beach Art Assoc.     Long Beach, NY
1965   3rd Place           Malverne Art Assoc.       Malverne, NY 

A Preview of Colini's Commitment to Detail

The above is one of Colini's earliest drawings as
the inscription by the artist's Mother dates it to
1930.  Click on the graphic to view a larger version.


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This page, all images, and all other content of this website, are Copyright 1972-2020 by Vojen Wilhelm Cech and Margaret Cech, Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA.

This Page Last Modified: Friday, December 18, 2020