To Dream, to Collect


Tomas Rajlich

1940 Prague, Czech Republic

1 Works exhibited

Represented by


  • About the Artist
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Bibliography
  • Awards

Tomas Rajlicjh (1940) enjoyed an arts education in Prague at the School of Decorative Arts and Academy of Fine Arts. He trained as a sculptor and soon opted for working in the geometric vein. In 1967 he co-founded the Klub Konkretistů – the Czech equivalent of Nul or ZERO –, which acquired him national fame. A couple of years later the international art world discovered his work at the Musée Rodin in the group show Sculpture Tchécoslovaque. In 1969 Rajlich decided to flee his homeland due to the Soviet Occupation and settled in the Netherlands. He was named professor at the Vrije Academie and found his vocation to become a painter. Represented by the galleries Art & Project, Amsterdam, and Yvon Lambert, Paris, before long his work was appreciated on an international scale. Rajlich was invited to participate in ground-breaking exhibitions like Elementaire Vormen (traveling exhibition, 1975), Fractures du Monochrome aujourd’hui en Europe (Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1978), Bilder ohne Bilder (Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, 1978) and, most importantly, Fundamental Painting (1975) at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. As this exhibition pointed out, Rajlich’s canvases show an ongoing concern with the “fundamental” in painting, not unlike contemporary work by the American Minimalist painters. His early works are characterized by an industrial outlook and a modular quality – their trademark is the grid –, while Rajlich’s mature works show a more complex treatment of the key idea that painting is a self-reflective entity. His recent monochromes explore the combination of the impersonal, the gestural and the creative force of light; they are variations on the intensity, luminosity and facture of the paint, all while clearly remaining a factual painting. The artist’s sensibility emanates from the subtle modulation of the paint on the canvas; yet, the emphasis is on color and the other elements of painting as well as on the creative force of light that eternally changes the painted surface – all the while emphasizing the two-dimensional quality of the object. The focus is entirely on the painting in and of itself. The plays of light merely imbue these canvases with a life of their own, which never ceases to tickle the sensibility of the viewer. These are paintings continuously reviewing painting. Rajlich’s first retrospective show was presented by the Palazzo Martinengo, Brescia, in 1993. His adoptive nation, the Netherlands, awarded Rajlich the prestigious Ouborg Award for his lifetime endeavors in 1994, at which occasion the Haags Gemeentemuseum showed a second retrospective exhibition; and a decade later in 2005, in honor of his 65th birthday, the museum hosted a retrospective of the artist’s works on paper. In his native Czech Republic, the Dům umění města Brna featured a retrospective in 1998, and the National Gallery in Prague showed a retrospective made out of 27 large-scale canvases a decade later. Rajlich’s works are part of numerous respected public collections worldwide, for example: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam; Museum of Modern Art, New York; MNAM/Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; SMAK, Ghent; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and the National Gallery in Prague. Likewise, he was commissioned to execute monumental canvases, as for example for the The Council of State in The Hague and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Accra, Ghana. From 1999 to 2002 Rajlich was an artist in residence at the MNAM/Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Since 2010 he lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic, again and near Verona, Italy.

Selected Solo Shows:

018 Tomas Rajlich Fifty years of Painting, curated by Flaminio Gualdoni, ABCARTE, Genova, IT. Tomas Rajlich, Museum Boijamans Van Beuingen, Rotterdam, NL. 2017 Tomas Rajlich, Museum Kampa, Praha, CZ. 2016 - 2017 Tomas Rajlich - Structures in paint, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, NL. Tomas Rajlich: Ab Imis, MAC - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Lissone(MB), IT. 2015 Tomas Rajlich, Galerie Závodný, Mikulov, CZ. 2014 Around Zero, Padiglione delle Arti, Marcon (Venezia), IT. 2010 Fabbri CA, Milan, IT. Museo Michetti, Francavilla al Mare(CH), IT. Museo Cascina Roma, San Donato / Milan, IT. 2009 Kunstruimte 09, Groningen, NL. Le superfici opache della pittura analitica, Fondazione Zappettini, Chiavari, IT. 2008 Heden, Den Haag, NL. Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag, NL. Národní Galerie, Praha (retrospective)- 27 paintings from 1968 to 2008, CZ. 2007 Fondazione Zappettini, Milan, IT. 2006 Galerie Der Spiegel, Köln, D. 2005 Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag, NL. Dům umění, České Budějovice, CZ. Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag (retrospective of drawings), NL. Kunstruimte 09, Groningen, NL. 2003 Jiri Svestka Gallery, Praha, CZ. 2000 Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag, NL. 1998 Dům umění, Brno (retrospective), CZ. 1997 Galerie Zámek, Klenová (retrospective of drawings), CZ. 1996 Galerie Minnen, Antwerpen, B. Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, GER. 1995 Link, Contemporary Art Company, Den Haag, NL. 1994 Centro d'Arte Santelmo, Salo, IT. Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag (retrospective), NL. 1993 Palazzo Martinengo, Brescia (retrospective), IT. 1991 Artline, Den Haag, NL. 1990 Galerie Im Winter, Bremen, D. 1988 Studio La Citta, Verona, IT. HCAK, Den Haag, NL. 1987 Aele, Madrid, E. Shinseido Hatanaka Gallery, Tokyo, Jap. 1986 Galerie Im Winter, Bremen, D. 1985 Artline, Den Haag, NL. 1983 Art & Project, Amsterdam, NL. 1982 Artline, Den Haag, NL. 1980 Artline, Den Haag, NL. 1979 Galleria Peccolo, Livorno, IT. Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL. Art & Project, Amsterdam, NL. 1978 Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL. Centraal Museum, Utrecht, NL. 1977 Art & Project, Amsterdam, NL. 1976 Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, NL. Yvon Lambert, Paris, Fr. 1975 Westfalischer Kunstverein, Münster, D. Groninger Museum, Groningen, D. Art & Project, Amsterdam, NL. 1974 Yvon Lambert, Paris, FR. Seriaal, Amsterdam, NL. Art & Project, Amsterdam, NL. Françoise Lambert, Milan, IT. 1973 Museum Bochum, Bochum, D. 1972 Collection d'Art, Amsterdam, NL. 1971 Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, NL. Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL.

Selected Group Exhibitions:

 2018 Pocta Zlatè – Bernard Aubertin, Jan Henderikse, Tomas Rajlich, Galerie Petr Zaloudek,Praha, CZ. Uit de collectie van Flip Bool en Veronica Hekking, Stichting, NL. Ruimtevaart, Den Haag, NL. 2017 Lucio Fontana e l’annulamento della pittura dal gruppo zero all’arte analitica, Palazzo Salmatoris, Cherasco (CN), IT. White Art, Galerie Petr Žaloudek, Praha, CZ. 2016 Stilte is als ademhalen, Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen (Netherlands), De Iceuze Van Soost Zwagerman. 2015 Atmosfera ZERO - Great Expectations, Cortesi Gallery, London, GB. 2014 SKY! - in Dutch Art since 1850, De Hallen / Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, NL. Around Zero, Padiglione delle Arti, Marcon (Ve), IT. Pittura come pittura, l'Arte Analitica degli anni '70, Padiglione delle Arti, Marcon (Ve), IT. 2013 Visioni, Arte programmata e cinetica, Galleria Nuovo Spazio, Udine, IT. 2012 Minimal Myth. Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL. 2009 Pensare Pittura: Una Linea Internazionale di Ricerca negli Anni Settanta. Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce, Genoa, IT. Le superfici opache della Pittura Analitica, Fondazione Zappettini, Chiavari (Ge), IT. 2008 Analytica, Annotazioni d’Arte, Milan,IT. 2007 Playground, Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag, NL. Doors to thought, Galleria delle Battaglie, Brescia, IT. 2006 3m unter Null, Städtische Galerie im Buntentor, Bremen, D. De Schwitters a Toguo, MNAM / Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, F. 2005 Abstracte Salon, Kunstruimte, Groningen, D. 2004 Pittura 70: Pittura Pittura e Astrazione Analitica, Fondazione Zappettini, Chiavari, IT. Wege zur Abstraktion III: Farbfilm, Kunstverein Schloss Plön, Schloss Plön, D. 2002 Recent Acquisitions, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, NL. Een anatomische droom, Stroom, Den Haag, NL. 2000 Pleidooi voor intuitie, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL. Suoni della superficie, Galleria comunale d’arte contemporanea Ai Molini, Portogruaro; Fondaco delle Biade, Feltre, IT. 1999 Bleistiftzeichnungen II, Galerie der Spiegel, Köln, D. Nineteen-ninety-nine, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL. Rasters, Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag, NL. 1998 Schaakmat, Galerie Nouvelles Images, Den Haag, NL. Chiaro e oltre, Centro d’arte Santelmo, Salo, IT. 1997 In gesprek met Vermeer, Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft, NL. Konkrete Kunst & Cinétisme & Op Art, Galerie der Spiegel, Köln, D. Arte a Contatto e Borderer, Galleria Peccolo, Livorno, IT. 1996 Aspekte Niederländischer Kunst heute, Städtische Galerie, Lüdenscheid, D. 1995 Indizi terresti, Palazzo Ducale, Mantova, IT. 1993 Abstrakt, Der Deutsche Künstlerbund, Dresden, D. 1992 22 jaar verzamelen, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, D. En Suite, HCAK, Den Haag, NL. 1991 Art Works, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL. 1989 Verzameling aan zee II, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL. Fundamentale Malerei, Kunstverein, Arnsberg, D. 1988 Verzameling aan zee, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL. Op het eerste gezicht, Noordbrabants Museum, 's-Hertogenbosch; Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft, NL. 1987 Fundamental Painting, Galerie Schuppenhauer, Koln, D. Fundamental Painting, ArtLine, Den Haag, NL. Fundamental Painting, Galleria Piccolo, Livorno, IT. Kunst van de 20ste eeuw, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, D. Spiel der Überraschungen, Städtische Galerie, Bocholt, D. Zesmaal schilderen, Culturele Raad, Vlissingen, NL. 1986 Het oog op Den Haag, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL. L'art dans l'usine, Institut Néerlandais, Paris, F. Aspecten van het Tekenen, Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, NL. 1985 Signalen van Buiten, Museum De Beyerd, Breda, NL. 1984 Het Beschrijven van Kwaliteit, HCAK, Den Haag, NL. 1983 Von der Ungleichheit des Ähnlichen in der Kunst, Städtisches Museum, Gelsenkirchen; Städtische Galerie, Lüdenscheid; Kunstverein, Unna, D. 1981 Peter Stuyvesant Collectie, Provinciaal Museum, Hasselt, B. 1980 Haagse Ateliers, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL. 1979 Kollektie Degroot, Groeningen Museum, Groeninger, D. Unga Hollandare, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm, S. Elementaire Vormen, St. Pietersabdij, Gent, NL. 1978 Fracture du Monochrome aujourd'hui en Europe, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, F. Bilder ohne Bilder, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn, D. 1977 Trois Villes - Trois Collections, Musée d'Art et d'lndustrie, SaintÉtienne; Musée Cantini, Marseille; Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, F. Elementaire Vormen, Midland Group Gallery, Nottingham, GB. Kunst van na 1945, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL. 1976 Betreffende het Schilderen, Museum Bommel-Van Dam, Venlo; Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam; Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Utrecht, NL. Elementaire Vormen, Musée d'Art et d'lndustrie, Saint-Étienne; Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek; Niels Onstads Stiftelser, Oslo; Groninger Museum, Groningen, D. Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz; Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona, IT I colori della pittura, Istituto Italo-Latino Americano, Roma, IT. 1975 Fundamentele Schilderkunst, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL. Tekenwerk van 10 Nederlandse Kunstenaars, CIC, Gent, NL. Elementaire Vormen, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn; Saarlandmuseum, Saarbücken; Kunsthalle, Nürnberg, D. 1973 VIII. Biennale de Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, F. Lof der Tekenkunst, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL. 1971 Werken van Tsjechoslowaakse Grafici, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, NL. 1970 Artisti contemporanei di Praga, Palazzo dei Principi, Bologna, IT. 1969 Junge Künstler aus der Tschechoslowakei, Berlin, D. 1968 Klub konkretistů, Stuttgart, Jihlava, Olomouc, Karlovy Vary, NL. Sculpture tchécoslovaque, Musée Rodin, Paris, F. 1967 Nová jména, Špálova galerie, Praha, NL.

Selected Bibliography:

RKESTEIJN Roel. Tomas Rajlich: A Retrospective in six paintings. Heden, Den Haag 2008. BLOK Cor (ed.). Nederlandse kunst: vanaf 1900. TELEAC, Utrecht 1994. BLOTKAMP Carel. “Tomas Rajlich” in Bulletin. Galerie Collection d'Art, Amsterdam 1972. BLOTKAMP Carel. Lof der Tekenkunst. Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven 1973. BLOTKAMP Carel & HAKS Frans et al. Kunst van nu: Encyclopedisch overzicht vanaf 1960. Elsevier, Amsterdam 1995. BONOMI Giorgio. Tomas Rajlich: La monocromia anche. Fondazione Zappettini, Milano 2007. BOOL Flip. “Tussen tekenen en schilderen” in Het oog op Den Haag: actuele Haagse beeldende kunst. Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag 1986. BOOL Flip. Tomas Rajlich. Galleria Peccolo, Livorno 1987. BOOL Flip. En Suite. HCAK, Den Haag 1992. BROOS Kees. Tomas Rajlich. Groninger Museum, Groningen 1975. BROOS Kees. “Tomas Rajlich” in Elementary Forms. Ministerie van CRM, Den Haag 1975. BROOS Kees. Tomas Rajlich. Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag 1978. BROŽEK Libuše. “Tomas Rajlich” in Bulletin. Centraal Museum, Utrecht 1978. COLLOVINI Diego. Suoni della superficie. Villotta & Bergamo, Portogruaro 2001. DE BOER Cees. Aspekte Niederländischer Kunst heute. Städtische Galerie, Lüdenscheid 1996. DIPPEL Rini. Fundamentele Schilderkunst. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 1975. DOSTAL, Martin. An Entirely Abstract Perspective. Museum Kampa, Praha, 2017. GUALDONI Flaminio & PETERS Philip. Tomas Rajlich: opere 1969 -1993. Palazzo Martinengo, Brescia 1993. HONNEF Klaus. Jaap Berghius, Tomas Rajlich & Martin Rous. Westfalischer Kunstverein, Münster 1975. IMANSE Geurt (ed.). De Nederlandse Identiteit in de Kunst na 1945. Meulenhoff, Amsterdam 1984. LAGEIRA Jacinto. Tomas Rajlich: Nacre et Paillette. Dům umění, České Budějovice 2005. LAMARCHE-VADEL Bernard & MENNA Filliberto. Fracture du Monochrome aujourd'hui en Europe. ARC Paris / Musée d'Art Moderne de la?Ville de Paris, Paris 1978. LOCHER Hans. Tomas Rajlich. Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag 1971. LOCHER Hans. Tomas Rajlich. Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag 1979. MUSSA Italo. / colori della pittura: una situazione europea. Istituto Italo-Latino Americano, Roma 1976. OLIVA Achille Bonito. Europe-America: The Different Avant-Gardes. Deco Press, Milano 1976. PAALMAN Hans. Tomas Rajlich. Schiedams Museum, Schiedam 1971. PEGORARO Silvia. Toccare con gli occhi e con la mente: la pittura di Tomas Rajlich. Fabbri CA, Milano 2010. PEGORARO Silvia & ZANCHETTA Alberto. Toccare la Luce: la pittura di Tomas Rajlich. Museo Michetti, Francavilla al Mare (CH) 2010. PETERS Philip. “Kunst van Tomas Rajlich: tasten en zoeken, tobben en afzien”in De Tijd (15/10/1982). PETERS Philip. “De eeuwige ruimte: het goud van Tomas Rajlich” in Museumjournaal 6 (1986). PETERS Philip. “The Metaphysical Monochrome or the Perfect Painting?” in Kunst en Museumjournaal 4/5 (1993). PETERS Philip et al. Tomas Rajlich: Kresby 1965-1976. Galerie Zámek Klenová, Klatovy 1997. REISING Gert. Farbe, Felder, Philosophie: Ein ästhetischer Dialog. Chorus, Mainz 2000. REISING Gert. Tomas Rajlich: Recent Paintings. Jiri Svestka Gallery, Praha 2003. RUYTERS Domenik. Tomas Rajlich: Ouborg Prijs 1994. Stroom HCBK, Den Haag 1994. RUYTERS Domenik. “Sensibele Strukturen” in NIKE, New Art in Europe 54. SOLIMANO Sandra et al. Pensare Pittura: Una Linea Internazionale di Ricerca negli Anni Settanta. Silvana Editoriale, Milano 2009. Tomas Rajlich, "Toccare la luce" incl. an interview with the artist on ArteTV, 25 September 2011. VALOCH Jiří. Tomas Rajlich. Dům umění, Brno 1998. VISSER Ad de. De Tweede Helft (Kunst na 1945). SUN, Nijmegen 1998. ZANCHETTA Alberto. Tomas Rajlich: L’inesorabile divenire. Massetti Rodella Editori, Brescia 2008.

Selected Public Collections

entraal Museum, Utrecht Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem Haags Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Saint Étienne Musée Cantini, Marseille Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen, Rotterdam Museum of Modern Art, New York Národní Galerie, Praha National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa Peter Stuyvesant Foundation, Amsterdam S.M.A.K., Gent Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam Stedelijk Museum De Lakhal, Leiden Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft

Works by Tomas Rajlich

Order by


I read the Privacy Policy and I consent to the processing of my personal data