2018/19 exhibitions

2018/19 exhibitions

National Gallery Prague

From left: exhibition views of The first Czechoslovak republic. Introducing Valentýna Janů: I’m sry. Moving Image Department #9: Damir Očko, Roman Štětina and Miroslav Burianek. Bonjour, Monsieur Gauguin: Czech Artists in Brittany 1850–1950. Poetry Passage #7: Egill Sæbjörnsson, The Stairs. František Kupka 1871–1957. 

November 2, 2018
2018/19 exhibitions
National Gallery Prague
Kinský Palace
Staroměstské náměstí 12
110 15 Prague
Czech Republic
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm,
Wednesday 10am–8pm

T +420 224 301 122

For this autumn/winter season, the National Gallery Prague has prepared outstanding short-term exhibitions and a newly designed permanent exhibition featuring iconic artists and art works of the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, both Czech and international, while not forgetting about the young art either. The exhibition showing the entire oeuvre of Frantisek Kupka takes place in the Waldstein Riding School, part of the early Baroque palace located in the very heart of historical Prague. Exhibition Bonjour, Monsieur Gauguin is held in the Rococo style Kinsky Palace at the Old Town Square. The rich and cosmopolitan art scene of the young independent Czechoslovakia between 1918 and 1938 is presented on the premises of the functionalist Trade Fair Palace. It is there too, where you can see new chapters of the exhibition series Moving Image Department, Poetry Passage and Introducing, presenting young artists in the National Gallery Prague on the regular basis since several years ago.

František Kupka 1871–1957
September 7, 2018–January 20, 2019, Waldstein Riding School

The exhibition shows Kupka’s entire oeuvre, from his early works of the 1890s to his abstract artworks of the 1950s. Owing to cooperation with the French partner, a unique collection of oil paintings, works on paper, prints and documentary material has been assembled, and presented in the Grand Palais in Paris in spring 2018, now in the National Gallery Prague and subsequently in the Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki in spring 2019. The Prague exhibition shows artworks from the National Gallery Prague as well as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Albertina Museum in Vienna.

The chronological exhibition is divided by theme to allow the viewer to follow the artist’s path from symbolism to abstraction (of which Kupka was a pioneer). The retrospective focuses on Kupka’s symbolist paintings, first expressionist portraits, path to abstract art, colour verticals, vocabulary of forms and colours, machinism and geometric abstraction. The many artworks on paper show Kupka as a satirical draughtsman and brilliant illustrator, an artist interested in philosophy, Greek and Roman art, religion and science.

Curator: Anna Pravdová

Bonjour, Monsieur Gauguin: Czech Artists in Brittany 1850–1950
November 16, 2018–March 17, 2019, Kinsky Palace

Brittany has always attracted artists and owing to the local Pont-Aven school, it became a major centre for modern art visited by many of the most progressive artists of the time. Artists of Czech origin, too, came regularly to Brittany; several even settled there temporarily.

The exhibition provides details about the presence of Czech artists in Brittany in 1850–1950, and evaluates how they depicted its rough landscape or traditional motifs and the influence of the Pont-Aven school on their work or its unique character.

Works by Czech artists (such as Jaroslav Čermák, Antonín Chittussi, Alfons Mucha, Josef Čapek, František Kupka, Jan Zrzavý, Alén Diviš, Toyen, Jan Křížek) are presented and compared with paintings by foreign artists, such as Paul Gauguin, Paul Sérusier and Emil Bernard.

Curators: Anna Pravdová, Kristýna Hochmuth
Professional cooperation: Philippe Le Stum

1918–1938: The First Czechoslovak Republic
From October 24, 2018, Trade Fair Palace

The new semi-permanent exhibition is held on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia. Based on the collections of the National Gallery Prague, complemented with loans from institutions and private collections, the exhibition introduces the lively cultural scene of the young independent Czechoslovakia between 1918 and 1938.

The exhibition features not only visual artworks but also other cultural forms that flourished during the first republic - book illustrations, design, graphic design, etc. It shows the diversity of the art production of the period. The curators partly reconstruct important exhibitions that were held during the first republic (the exhibition of the Tvrdošíjní group, the Exhibition of Contemporary Culture in Brno, Poesie 32, the First Exhibition of Surrealists in Czechoslovakia).

The exhibition presents the art of the first republic through the eyes of a 1920s and 1930s art visitor and introduces prominent galleries, art clubs and institutions, as well as the important cultural centres of the young state.

Curator: Anna Pravdová in cooperation with Lada Hubatová-Vacková

Moving Image Department #9: Desire in Language. Damir Očko, Roman Štětina with Miroslav Burianek
October 24, 2018–February 3, 2019, Trade Fair Palace

The 9th chapter of the Moving Image Department is a “conversation piece” per se in which the protagonists/the artists explore the landscape of the language: its performativity and the limits of articulation. Both Czech artist Roman Štětina (b. 1986) and Croatian artist Damir Očko (b. 1977) investigate the language’s behavior, its patterns of acting and an ability to evoke an action. They embark on a search for a new vocabulary to reflect the politics and its gestural economy as well as to decode the structures of desire through the means of poetry and its revolutionary power; theirs is a venture into the possibility of the political and the affective hidden within a poetic gesture, often leaving the protagonist on the edge of a physical and mental exhaustion. The performative self, conditioned by the language and the act of speech, and its struggle with the articulation, occupy the centre stage of Štětina’s and Očko’s theatricalized and self-referential cinematic works. 

Poetry Passage #7: Egill Sæbjörnsson, The Stairs
October 24, 2018–February 3, 2019, Trade Fair Palace

The Stairs is Icelandic artist Egill Sæbjörnsson’s poetry in motion. In this site-specific work, self-generative video turns the Poetry Passage staircase into a playground of chance and improvisation. As such, the contemplative piece by Sæbjörnsson (b. 1973) becomes a reflection upon a difference and repetition that govern the routines of our lives. Never at the same pace, nor at the controlled rhythm, the balls come now and then, like the particles in space or the rain drops on the autumn day… 

Introducing Valentýna Janů, I’m sry
October 24, 2018–February 3, 2019, Trade Fair Palace

Czech artist Valentýna Janů (b. 1994) finds inspiration mainly in literature, pop music and, especially, in everyday situations. While oscillating between physical objects and textual narratives, a situation becomes a key word for Janů’s work; performative act dominates her interdisciplinary vocabulary. Words turn sculptural while texts become compositions within the formal assemblage of speech and writing. 

Her project entitled I’m sry brings the viewer into a space which forces you to slow down and apologize for all what you’ve done wrong. Objects and images are in dialogue with a soothing soundtrack by Czech musician dné. Intimate situation is their commentary and an antidote to a never-ending list of daily remorses, both conscious and unconscious.

Moving Image Department, Poetry Passage and Introducing are curated by Adam Budak 

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National Gallery Prague
November 2, 2018

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