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About the artist

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Kvĕta Pacovská, whose vibrant work illustrates this report, has long been one of Eastern Europe’s leading artists. At least 100 national and international exhibitions have been devoted to Pacovská’s paintings and collages.

Born in 1928 in Prague, she studied at the Prague Academy of Applied Arts. It was there that she became imbued with the spirit of the European Avant Garde, with artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Joan Miró and the Bauhaus movement exerting particular influence.

That heritage is immediately identifiable in her distinctively graphic use of colour. Pacovská says: "White and black are included in the colour spectrum but for me they are colours and mean maximum contrast. And maximum contrast is maximum beauty." The two other colours usually present in her work are a raw, fiery red and vivid green, along with pink, yellow and blue.

The result is a bracing connection with the senses. "It is like music," she has said. "Each individual tone is beautiful by itself and in certain groupings we create new dimensions, harmony, disharmony, symphonies, operas and books."

It is in the last that Pacovská has perhaps achieved her greatest recognition, as well as being widely imitated. She refuses to be constrained by the two-dimensional nature of print. "A book is architecture for me," she has said. "It is a given sealed space into which I compose painted, written, cut and empty pages."

She says she started producing books for her own children and over the past four decades she has written and illustrated more than 60 titles, winning the Hans Christian Andersen prize for literature for young people in 1992. Her works have been translated into many languages including English, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Danish, Japanese and Chinese.

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I In recent years, WPP’s Annual Reports have drawn visual inspiration from individual markets important to our clients and our companies. Since 2005, we have looked respectively to India, China, Africa, Brazil and, last year, the US. This year we take our visual cue from Eastern Europe (one of the faster-growing regions of the world), featuring the vibrant work of acclaimed Czech artist, Kvĕta Pacovská.

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