• Clara Istlerová, A Life Among Letters
    Anežka Minaříková
    Clara Istlerová, Zuzana Lednická, and Jan Rous
    Inventory Press, 2024
    Anežka Minaříková

“Clara Istlerová drawing calligraphy,” 1967. Photograph. Courtesy Clara Istlerová. Photo: Rostislav Vaněk

Clara Istlerová, A Life Among Letters is the first publication in the United States to delve into the design landscape of the former Czechoslovakia through the lens of Czech designer Clara Istlerová (born 1944). A trailblazer in her field, Istlerová was one of the few women in the male-dominated field of Czech typography. This publication introduces readers to Istlerová’s renowned book designs, particularly highlighting the analog processes she utilized to create one of the most influential books on Czech architecture, Švácha, Rostislav. From Modernity to Functionalism (Odeon, 1985). The publication features an intimate interview with Istlerová conducted by Anežka Minaříková, accompanied by work from Istlerová’s personal archive alongside discussions detailing her creative process. Offering a vivid portrayal of an era where design was a tangible, labor-intensive endeavor carried out in close collaboration with typesetters and printers, the publication unveils the Czech design narrative of the twentieth century to English-speaking readers, highlighting Istlerová’s lasting impact and central role.

Anežka Minaříková is a Czech graphic designer and visual artist. She authored the Czech edition of Clara / Clara Istlerová, Her Work and Life (Academy of Art, Architecture and Design, 2020) and edited Mysterious Letters (Letter Books, 2023). Now based in New York, her work experiments with graphic design through cross-disciplinary collaborations. Minaříková holds a bachelor's degree from the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague and an MFA from Yale School of Art. She is a recipient of the Yale Center for Collaborative Arts and Media (CCAM) Studio Fellowship, Yale Prison Education Initiative, and Yale School of Art Teaching Fellowship. Minaříková has been nominated multiple times for the Czech Grand Design, placing second in the Graphic Design category in 2021 for her work on Clara Istlerová. Her research on Istlerová emphasizes her commitment to detailing the artist's life and work.