Helena Konstantinova Biography

Helena Konstantinova




Painter, printmaker, and illustrator Helena Konstantinova was born in Czechoslovakia in 1946. She attended the Vaclav Hollar Art School from 1961 to 1965 and the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague from 1965 to 1972. There she focused on illustration and graphic arts, studying under Karel Svolinsky and Zdenek Sklenar. Her first solo exhibition took place at the Tower Gallery in Melnik in 1975, the same year of her first published literary collaboration, illustrating "Stories" by Gudrun Pausewangova.

Many contemporary Czech artists used book illustration for their output, as it was difficult to work solely as a fine artist in the Czech Republic at the time, and strict rules were implemented for the government-funded artist grants. This led to a thriving art book community in which Czech artists were more free to express their artistic sensibilities, without, as some did, leaving the country. Konstantinova did eventually travel internationally, and from 1981 to 1983 she lived with her husband and infant daughter in Mexico, and then Finland from 1987 to 1991, working and exhibiting as she went. 

Konstantinova is known for her collaborative projects with Czech writers and poets, illustrating works by Jan Tomes, Bohuslav Reynek, Jaroslv Seifert, Vladimir Holan, Jakub Demi, Panton Aulos, Albatros, and many others. In 1990 she earned an honorable mention in the "Most Beautiful Book" category of Czechoslovak Publishing House's annual competition for her illustrations in Jakub Deml's "My Friends." She continues to work and exhibit in the Czech Republic. 

Selected solo exhibitions:
1975: Melnik, Gallery in the Tower
1977: Prague Art Gallery
1983: Mexico, Monterrey, Collage Gallery
1984: Prague, Czechoslovak Writer Gallery
1986: Kirchhundem bei Frankfurt, SNR/Studienhaus Ruspe
1986, 1987: Basel, Switzerland, Hofer Gallery
1987: Zurich, Switzerland, Tonstudio Z
1988: Prague, Art Gallery
1991: Pribram, Galerie Zamek

Selected Group Exhibitions:
1973: Prague, Youth Gallery - Manes
1978: Dornach, Switzerland, Waldorfhaus Gallery
1978: Praguw, Geoindustria
1978: Vienna, Austria, Zentral Buchhandlung
1979: Munich, SNR, Biennial Children's Illustration
1982: Prague, Pamatnik narod, literature, Vladimir Holan
1990: Parague, Manes, Contemporary Czech Book / Contemproary Czech Graphics
1991: Paris, France, Grand Palais Salon of Graphics
1996: Dublin, Ireland, International Print Show

A complete list of shows, collaborations, and CV can be found on the artist's website.