Czech Republic, 1951 – 2003
After completing elementary school, Zbyněk Semerák was apprenticed as a textile machinery technician. Because of his fragile health, he could not continue this strenuous job. He then worked in the local theatre as a stageset builder and scene painter. He retired in 1977 and devoted his time to drawing. His diluted Indian-ink drawings are extremely delicate; some of them are enhanced by gouache in rich colours, which are sometimes removed and painted over again, leading to a resemblance to manuscripts filled with enigmatic writings like hieroglyphs. A closer look reveals historical and mythical themes articulated around one central figure, probably a self-portrait. Some drawings represent imaginary architecture and technical inventions, such as locomotives and planes. The sheet is completely filled with ornamental motifs similar to emblems from different cultures and religions.