Ladislav Čepelák (1924-2000) was a Czech painter, illustrator, curator and pedagogue. However, he was deeply rooted in the craft of fine art graphics. His work is well known from several dozen exhibitions at home and abroad and forms an integral part of the collections of the National Gallery in Prague and the Gallery of the Capital City of Prague. In 1990, he returned the title of Merited Artist, which was awarded to him in 1980, and in 1995 he was the first who receive the now well-known Vladimír Boudník Award.

Ladislav Čepelák first trained as a locksmith (1939-1942). Then he studied at the evening Painting School of the Association of Fine Artists Mánes (1944-1945) with Jan Bauch and Vladimír Sychra. Finally, he continued his studies at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts (1945-1950), where he later worked as an assistant in the studio of prof. Vojtěch Tittelbach, he led a graphic workshop here from 1964, in 1967 he was appointed associate professor for the field of graphics and in 1970-1990 also a professor.

In his freelance work, he worked almost exclusively in black and white. He used traditional drawing techniques - pencil, charcoal and ink drawing. From graphic techniques he used line etching, aquatint, mezzotint and lithography.

Significant themes of his work were natural motifs and especially the landscape - long horizons, high sky, contrast of lines, areas and structures. Between 1948 and 1956 he created a number of etchings from the landscape of Central Bohemia, often arranged in cycles. It captures the landscape of autumn or early spring, a landscape of trees without leaves, where color contrasts stand out well. During the 1960s, it went from relatively descriptive studies to an almost abstract expression through the gradation of contrast. These are the cycles Pole (1961-1964), Sky I., II. (1964-1966), Melting (1964-1965), Cobwebs (1963-1966), Nests (1963-1965), Snow furrows (1966-1968). In the cycle Sky (1964-1966) he examines atmospheric phenomena and changes in nature.

In addition to the landscape, he also processed various natural products in the cycles Listy (1969-1972), Stromy I. (1962-1966) and Stromy II. (1983). He also created the figural cycle Pubs (1954-1960).

He does not avoid illustrations either, he accompanies literary works only freely, he does not illustrate the plot, the content (Ch. Bronteová - Jana Eyrová, 1967, V. Holan - Dokumenty, 1972). His monumental realizations are also well known. During his tenure, he educated a number of young graphic artists, who after years reported to him as a person who acquainted them perfectly with the basics of graphic craft. Represented in the collections of NG Prague, GHMP, in private collections at home and abroad.

Source: Dictionary of Czech and Slovak Fine Artists, Ostrava, 1999