My Relationship with Zdeněk Sýkora Is Mirrored in Our Paintings

2 November 2021

My Relationship with Zdeněk Sýkora Is Mirrored in Our Paintings

Lenka Sýkorová is a delicate and dynamic woman usually dressed in black. “Like most women in the arts,” Lenka points out laughing. In the early 1980s, the artist and art historian connected her professional and personal life with Zdeněk Sýkora, a well-known Czech modern abstract painter and sculptor, 37 years her senior. The couple worked together in their studio in Louny with an amazing view on the Central Bohemian Highlands and mirrored their long-lasting relationship in their paintings.

“Every time we completed an artwork, we stood up saluting and Zdeněk whistled the fanfare from The Sinfonietta by Leoš Janáček. That´s how we sent the painting off to the world,” Lenka reminisces with a smile on her face. Lenka remembers the 90s as a period of enormously hard work. At that time, Sýkora had a lot of ideas in his head and found the greatest meaning of his work in exploring new approaches. “I believe I contributed to the fact he managed to fully materialise his artistic ambitions. We spent thirty glorious years together, although no one would have guessed it at first.”

Works by Zdeněk Sýkora, a pioneer of using computers in art, are represented in the most prestigious collections, including the one in the Centre Pompidou in Paris or in the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna. Sýkora is currently one of the most sought-after artists on the collectors´ market and his artworks reach millions of Czech crowns at auctions.

Zdeněk Sýkora passed away in 2011 and since then his wife Lenka has tirelessly taken care of preserving his legacy. “It is important to me, as it was crucial to Zdeněk, that people truly like our paintings. They deserve to be loved and become part of the right family. An artwork isn´t really the same thing as a car. It is called art when someone puts their energy into it," Lenka explains the reason why works of art shouldn´t be considered solely as an investment opportunity.

Lenka often discusses this topic with her students as well as the participants in the EduArt Start programme for new collectors.