In Kulhánek’s The Little Window, a piece of parchment is made to appear as if it is torn away to reveal the eyes and mouth of figure staring intensely at the viewer. This piece is strongly infused with a tone of defiance. When considering the historical context of this work, in which Czechoslovakia was controlled by a strict communist regime that strived to censor and isolate its population from the world beyond the Iron Curtain,[1] the symbolic imagery of the piece makes a bold statement. It claims that despite attempts to repress and censor, there will always be a way to resist and break through. Both the emergence of such a socially charged work from an extremely oppressive cultural period, and the title of this piece itself, The Little Window, works to emphasize that point. [Emily Le, 'The Little Window' in "Suppression, Subversion, and the Surreal: The Art of Czechoslovakian Resistance," (Los Angeles: USC Fisher Museum of Art, 2019) 36.]

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  • Title: The Little Window
  • Creator: Oldřich Kulhánek (Czech, 1940 – 2013)
  • Date Created: 1987
  • Physical Location: USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles, The Dr. Eugene Rogolsky Collection, 2015.13
  • Location Created: Prague, Czech Republic
  • Physical Dimensions: 47 x 38.1 cm (26 ⅝ x 19 ¼ in)
  • Subject Keywords: Black and white
  • Rights: Oldřich Kulhánek © Estate of Oldřich Kulhánek | Photography by Kelly Barrie, Panic Studio LA
  • Medium: Offset lithograph