San Francisco

Franta Skala

Southern Exposure

Franta Skala, a young artist from Prague, fashioned the objects in his “Headlands Seahead” show almost entirely out of flotsam and jetsam that had washed up on the beach while he was in residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts outside of San Francisco, but the guiding sensibility—in its mixture of gnomic whimsy and golemic dread—was unmistakably Eastern European. In fact, some of these same objects have been chosen to represent the Czech Republic at the Venice Biennale later this year.

Skala was a member of the secret organization known by the initials B.K.S. (the anagram translates to “The End of the World Is Near”) since it formed in 1974, and since 1986 he has been associated with the Tvrdohlavi (“The Stubborn”) group. His overriding concern has always been with the subtle transformation of natural materials, at which he has an uncommon talent. In this, his first U.S. solo exhibition,

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