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BOOKS IN THE MEDIA

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/13/2014

Libuse NiklovŠ

What a joy to preview the first monograph in English on mid-century Czech toy designer Libuse NiklovŠ. The woman was unstoppable, designing many dozens of inflatable, accordion-pleated and hollow, static figures of only the most adorable and compelling kind. The book, by the interesting Czech publisher Arbor Vitae, is as playful as its subject, with puffy hardbound cover, three different colored ribbons and a complete inventory of works by this modest modernist printed on special, smaller matte paper and bound inside. Wonderful archival images are interspersed with a wealth of new photographs, and set among both personal and scholarly texts.

Libuse NiklovŠ
Buffalo and calf, 1971.

"Development cannot be held back. In the future, products from plastic matter will surround man just like the air, and they will become commonplace. Increasingly, natural materials will be a luxury and the object of admiration. The future, however, belongs to plastic." - Libuse NiklovŠ, 1971

Libuse NiklovŠ
Fox, 1964.

"When designing individual animals I was mainly focusing on the fact that the child should have the opportunity to play with the toy in the most creative way. Since these are flexible and elastic animals, the child can imitate creeping, stretching and meowing, just as he or she learns by watching nature. It is as if the child is playing with a puppet theatre; and it is unlike other toys set in motion by a flywheel or a key where the child is only a passive observer." - L.N., 1964

Libuse NiklovŠ
Red Riding Hood, 1969.

Libuse NiklovŠ
Motorcyclist, 1964.

"We made up themes for the toys on our own and, in some cases, after a particular request from businessmen and Pragoexport. We were absolutely free in deciding what toys to make. We insisted on regular visits to exhibitions in Prague and Brno, and we also drew animals in the zoo." - Anna Vystydova, December 2009

Libuse NiklovŠ
Dutch Girl, 1970.

Libuse NiklovŠ
Elephant, 1972.

Libuse NiklovŠ
Plastic playthings, 1954-1964.

Libuse NiklovŠ
Giraffe, 1971.

"The continual creative process, moving from an idea through the manufacturing process and all the way to the resulting design, is exactly what attracts my attention to plastic material." - L.N., 1972