Rostislav Vaněk


BB What is your relationship with the Brno Biennial?
RV In one word – long-standing. As early as 1977 I was selected in a competition to create the corporate design for the eighth edition. I also worked on the ninth and tenth – six years in close collaboration with people that I highly esteem to this day (although we have grown a little older). The Biennial has always had the privilege of professional exclusivity and guaranteed values. In its time it was the source of information and the prime mover in the community of graphic designers.

BB Presently you are acting as Chair of the Board whose task it is to formulate the future of the Brno Biennial. How do you envisage the development and in particular the future of the Biennial?
RV The last three years have had a clear concept; their curators did a lot of excellent work. The management of the Moravian Gallery is planning to announce a competition for a curatorial project for the 28th edition. It is daring, but with the benefit of hindsight – since 1963 the Brno Biennial has survived many things in different, even tragic times and has proven its viability. I continue to put my faith in it.

BB The Brno Biennial is a unique event of global significance with a long international tradition, to which people come every two years from the world over. What should be the ambitions of its organizers?
RV Ambitions? Get rid of local bonds, which clamp down on national showcases everywhere – be broad-minded and open – and search for everything with good prospects which is happening in the world.

BB You have been involved in graphic design as a practitioner and lecturer for many years. Has your perception of this discipline changed in any way? Which of its aspects can still fill you with enthusiasm?
RV The basic perspective is invariable – I only keep adding all that is new to the selection. I try to search for oxygen even where there is a lack of it. I feel an affinity with the fact that the Brno Biennial shows students’ works. Graphic design has been changing primarily in schools – and that applies to the whole world.

BB This edition of the Brno Biennial responds to the metamorphoses and the state of contemporary graphic design; its multitude, variety, vagueness and apparent superficiality. Can you identify some of the basic parameters, current themes or motivations of contemporary graphic design?
RV The answer is inherent in the question. The basic parameters have been set. I would be pleased if the Brno Biennial helped graphic artists in their professional orientation, either affirmative or dissenting. The selection jury searched for works which can pose questions and even provide answers to some. By doing this the Brno Biennial would fulfil its mission.

Rostislav Vaněk (CZ)

Rostislav Vaněk studied at the Graphic School Prague and at the Studio of Illustration and Graphics with prof. Karel Svolinský AAAD in Prague. Between 1971–1976 lecturer in the Studio of Applied Graphics and Poster with prof. Eugen Weidlich, AAAD in Prague, 1976–1985 head of the art editorial office of Československý spisovatel Publishers in Prague, and since 1985 he has worked as freelance graphic designer in his own studio. In 2001 he has been appointed professor in the Studio of Graphic Design and Visual Communication, the AAAD in Prague, and has been working there until 2014.
Rostislav Vaněk is the chair of the Board of the Brno Biennial.

Biennial News

Short interviews with collaborators of the 27th Brno Biennial, authors of its exhibitions, jury members and Biennial Talks speakers.


Interviews and graphic design: Radim Peško Radim Peško (1976) is a graphic designer based in London. He works in the field of type design, editorial and exhibition projects. In 2010 he has established his RP Digital Type Foundry that specializes on typefaces that are both formally and conceptually distinctive. His work includes identity for Secession Vienna, typefaces for identities of Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Aspen Art Museum, Fridericianum, Berlin Biennale 8, various work for the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Bedford Press London or a long-term collaboration with artist Kateřina Šedá. He has lectured at many schools including Gerrit Rietveld Academie Amsterdam, ÉCAL Lausanne, HFK Bremen, KISD Cologne, École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon, Sint-Lucas Ghent, University of Seoul. Since 2011 he is part of the curatorial board of the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno., Tomáš Celizna Tomáš Celizna (1977) is interested in graphic design in connection with new technologies. He is a founding partner of design studio dgú in Prague (2001 to 2005), recipient of J. W. Fulbright Scholarship (2006), and holds MFA in graphic design from Yale University School of Art (2008). He currently lives and works independently in Amsterdam. Collaborations include, among others, OASE Journal for Architecture, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Since 2011 he is a lecturer in graphic design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, and a member of the curatorial team of the International Biennial of Graphic Design Brno., Adam Macháček Adam Macháček (1980) is a graphic designer. Following studies at the AAAD in Prague, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and ÉCAL in Lausanne, he co-founded in 2004 studio in Lausanne and is a member of 201∞ Designers collective. His work includes publications, exhibition catalogues, illustrations and identities. Collaborations include, among others, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Théâtre de Vevey (seasons 2003–2012), Galerie Rudolfinum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Chronicle Books, Editions Pyramyd, Museum of Czech Literature, Brno House of Arts, California College of the Arts, Airbnb. For Brno Biennial he initiated and organized exhibitions Work from Switzerland (2004) and From Mars (2006, together with Radim Peško). Since 2011 he is a member of the curatorial team of the International Biennial of Graphic Design in Brno. He lives and works in Berkeley.
Translation and copy editing: Alena Benešová, Kateřina Tlachová
Production: Miroslava Pluháčková
Printed by: Tiskárna Helbich s. r. o.
Print run: 2000
1st edition
Published by the Moravian Gallery in Brno, 2016