Alex Sadlo

Czech-born Alexander Sádlo (b. 1927) started as a set designer at Plzen theatre, and continued to Prague School of Graphic Art.

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Czech-born Alexander Sádlo (b. 1927) started as a set designer at Plzen theatre, and continued to Prague School of Graphic Art. In 1950, he emigrated to Australia after being expelled from art school following the communist take-over.

Alex admired early aboriginal art, fostering early experiments in stripes. 3-D effects became a focus and his paintings became highly crafted, large semi-abstracts, brightly coloured, and fully informed by deep thought and design. His solo exhibition in 1966 was followed by purchases by national and state galleries. He became a master in working with vitreous enamel on copper, and pioneered hand-crafted gold and sliver jewellery as art-to-wear. A hallmark of his output is mastery of diverse materials – oil, pastel, collage, vitreous enamel on copper, carved stones and opals, gold and silver, and ceramics with paintings.

He returned to Europe in 1972, settling in England. Always experimenting, Alex used 3-D lenticular photographic prints to create a collection of stereoscopic works, and then worked on a series of abstracted images in oil giving illusions of 3-D. He has exhibited in London, Bairritz, Limoges, St Gallen Austria, Plzen, Tokyo. The 1980-90’s brought large colourful figuratives, often with musical themes; these formed part of a retrospective at Life The Gallery in Farnham in 2012. 2017 brought an exhibition at The Curve, Berkshire, opened by the UK Czech Ambassador, who later awarded him a Czech Honorary Medal. Alex celebrated the great diversity of his work and media via a ‘pop-up’ at the University of Brighton, to mark his 90th birthday.