Zdenek Košek worked as a typographer and drew caricatures and satirical cartoons for regional magazines and newspapers. A self-taught artist, he has also produced a number of more or less conventional paintings. In the 1980s a deep psychological trauma gradually changed his perception of the world; he was diagnosed as psychotic and had to retire in 1989. From then on he would produce a work radically different from his previous paintings.
Meteorology and weather are the main themes of his works on paper. Košek was convinced that he played a determining role at heart of the great ruling of the world. He saw himself as a kind of power station, continuously receiving and emitting multitudes of information. He thought that his duty was to master the meteorological phenomena.
"I mastered not only the time but also politics, I named Vaclav Havel president. [...] I thought I was immortal".
He spent his days in front of the window, convinced that he could provoke or control the weather, writing down everything that was happening around him : the direction of the wind, the flight of the birds, sounds, the changes on temperature, different combinations of numbers, letters and chemical elements, etc. He would draw on notebooks, maps, atlas or old magazines. His diagrams served him as a direct means to influence weather - an indispensable ritual dictated to him, to which he abandoned himself in order to avoid his biggest fear, the irreversible chaos. By sticking his schemes onto the window of his apartment, he communicated with birds, which he believed to be superior to man.
(source abcd, art brut collection, Montreuil)
For its reopening in 2012, the Palais de Tokyo (Paris) has devoted an exhibition to him.
photo | brut : collection bruno decharme et compagnie, les rencontres d’arles in collaboration with abcd and the american folk art museum (new york), les rencontres de la photographie, mécanique générale, arles, from july 1st to september 22nd, 2019.
au delà : aux confins du visible et de l'invisible, christian berst art brut, paris, from march 7th to april 13th, 2019.
l'envol ou le rêve de voler, la maison rouge, paris, from june 16th to october 28th, 2018.
do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut, paris, from april 26th to june 2nd, 2018.
the museum of everything, mona (museum of old and new art), berriedale, australia, from june 10th, 2017, to april 2nd, 2018.
in abstracto, christian berst art brut, new york, from june 8th to july 15th 2017.
brut now: l'art brut au temps des technologies, curator : christian berst, associated curators : brut pop, musées de belfort, belfort, from october 29th to january 16th, 2017.
the liège international biennial of photography, biennale de l'image possible, liege, belgium, 2016.
art brut : a story of individual mythologies, works from the treger/saint silvestre collection, curator : christian berst, oliva creative factory, são joão da madeira, portugal. from june 18th to february 28th.
du nombril au cosmos, autour de la collection abcd/ bruno decharme, art et marges musuem, brussels, belgium, from september 25th to january 24th, 2016.
soit 10 ans, états intérieurs, christian berst art brut, paris, from september 12th to october 21th, 2015.
art brut live, DOX center for contemporary art, prague, czech republic, from march 27th to august 17th, 2015.
galerists at work, eva hober gallery, paris, from april 23th to june 6th, 2015.
le bord des mondes, palais de tokyo, paris, from february 18th to may 17th, 2015.
do the write thing, read between the lines, christian berst art brut, new york, united states, from october 30th to december 21th, 2014.
art brut masterpieces et découvertes, carte blanche à bruno decharme, christian berst art brut, paris, from october 21st to november 29th, 2014.
module fondation pierre berger - yves saint laurent, palais de tokyo, paris, from april 20th to june 4th, 2012.
beyond the boundaries 2012, discoveries & new acquisitions, christian berst art brut, paris, from september 8th to october 13th, 2012.
janko domsic et zdenek kosek, créateurs du ciel et de la terre, institut français de prague, prague, czech republic, from june 15th to september 9th, 2006.
exhibition catalogue, photo|brut, collection bruno decharme & compagnie, abcd and the american folk art museum, flammarion ed., paris, 2019.
exhibition catalogue, au delà : aux confins du visible et de l'invisible, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2019.
l'art brut, martine lusardy, citadelles & mazenod, paris, 2018.
art brut : la pulsion creativa al desnudo, graciela garcia, sans soleil ed., vitoria-gasteiz, 2018.
exhibition catalogue, l'envol ou le rêve de voler, la maison rouge, flammarion ed., paris, 2018.
exhibition catalogue, do the write thing 2: read between the lines, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2018.
revue multitudes, n°69, winter, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, in abstracto, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, brut now: l'art brut au temps des technologies, musées de belfort, les presses du réel ed., paris, 2017.
exhibition catalogue, preTENse, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2015.
"zdenek kosek : i am a rainologist and a stormologist", in gagarin, the artists in their own words, n°30, published by gaga vzw, antwerp, 2015
exhibition catalogue, le bord des mondes, palais de tokyo, paris, 2015.
exhibition catalogue, do the write thing : read between the lines, christian berst art brut, new york, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, art brut collection abcd, texts by barbara safarova, christiane cuticchio, bruno decharme, antoine de galbert and paula aisemberg, la maison rouge, fage ed., lyon, 2014.
la folie de l’art brut, roxana azimi, séguier ed., 2014.
exhibition catalogue, art brut masterpieces & découvertes : carte blanche à bruno decharme, christian berst art brut ed., paris, 2014.
art brut, collection abcd/bruno decharme, texts written by étienne klein, béatrice steiner, claude abromont, jean-louis lanoux, vincent gille, nanette jacomijn-snoep, barbara safarova, jean-gael barbara, laurent derobert, philippe comar, michel thévoz, didier semin, émilie bouvard, manuel anceau, sandra adam-couralet, massimiliano gioni, flammarion ed., paris, 2014.
exhibition catalogue, biennale de l'image possible 2016, caïd ed., taviern 2016.
selective press review
- in abstracto authors bénédicte philippe in télérama sortir, july 5, 2017.
- de l'art brut art high-tech authors Stéphanie Lemoine in l'oeil, january, 2017.
- art brut la fête des fous authors Isabelle Martin-Anderson in Silver age, June 2016.
- L'art brut à contre courant authors Aurelie Romanacce, Pascaline Vallee et Patrick Le Fur in Arts Magazine, September 2014.