František Hudeček (1909 Němčice u Holešova – 1990 Prague)
A Night Walker, 1945
pencil, paper; 306×213 mm, acquired 1959, Olomouc Museum of Art, inv. no. K 4046
The theme of the night walker regularly appeared in the work of František Hudeček throughout the 1940s. He returned to it in different forms, techniques and with different ideas. Strong existential overtones in the images of lonely men walking the streets at night corresponded completely with the programme of the Skupina 42 group, formulated by Jindřich Chalupecký in his essay titled Svět, v němž žijeme / The World We Live In (1940). This provided Hudeček with sufficient variety for using the night walker theme, as evidenced by the collection in the Olomouc Museum of Art in several items (graphic sheets, drawings and a painting of the same title). This iconographic breadth also provides a number of possible interpretations when studying the work. We can perceive it as the twin to Kráčivec / A Walker (1937) by František Janoušek, Hudečeks friend, and which Hudeček owned, and it may lead to Hudečeks picture titled Z vysoka / From Above (1940). Alternatively, the figures of the walkers may be seen as introverted self-contained personalities peripatetically measuring the questions of human existence through their stride...