An interview with the cofounder of The Pudil Family Foundation. About a small family business, life in a free world, and global ambitions. About the future of Kunsthalle Praha, but also about the importance of understanding our own history.
The Pudil Family Foundation
Klárov 132/5, Malá Strana
118 00 Praha 1
Kovanda kissed through glass and Ondák exhibited the colours of autonomy in Barcelona.
It was a century ago this year that two major artists of modernism died – Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) and Egon Schiele (1890–1918). This sad anniversary is commemorated by their joint exhibition at the Trade Fair Palace in Prague. The year of their deaths also marks the end of Austria-Hungary, a rich cultural empire that was home to both artists. Thus, their works will be placed within the context of Viennese modern artists, including Oskar Kokoschka, Emil Orlik, and Josef Hoffmann.
To mark the 80th birthday of Zbyšek Sion (*12 April 1938), the leader of the Czech informel movement, the Klatovy / Klenová Gallery, in cooperation with curator Milan Dospěl, has prepared a retrospective exhibition titled Zbyšek Sion / Paintings. Informel, also called Art Brut or Outsider Art, spread in the Czech Republic in the 1950s as an (informal) protest capturing existential angst, urgency and solitude in the totalitarian regime.
Through the fictional company UNES-CO, Kateřina Šedá is offering paid positions to “citizens of Český Krumlov” with the job description of carrying out “a normal life.” “Employees” will be compensated with wages for a three-month stay in a company apartment in the center of town and will perform everyday activities such as airing out pillows in windows, playing football in the street or taking a walk with a stroller. With this performance, Kateřina Šedá is drawing attention to the issue of tourist cities where residents have abandoned the centers and have moved to the edge of towns.
As part of its Grand Opening 2018, the National Gallery in Prague will bring five new exhibitions to the scene, led by artists Katharina Grosse, Maria Lassnig and Patricia Dauder. The National Gallery is continuing its new programme focus, which intends to enrich the Czech scene with international projects and tailor-made works for the Trade Fair Palace. New shows and a concert by the Slovak alternative singer Katarína Máliková can be enjoyed on 15 February at 7pm at the Trade Fair Palace.
Graduates of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague have left their studios and moved their work to the National Gallery as part of the exhibition New Wave. 2017 AVU graduates. Despite waves representing something constant, repeating with every orbit of the moon in high and low tides, every wave has the possibility of bringing something new to the shore. The exhibition thus continues in the footsteps of the Nouvelle Vague of cinematography of the 1960s, the New Wave of popular music of the 1970s and 80s, as well as the New Wave of Slovak photography of the 1980s.
The Czech Republic has its own pioneer of abstract art — František Kupka — who stands beside artists such as Wassily Kandinsky or Piet Mondrian. But František Kupka’s contributions often remain neglected in an international context. Kupka’s irreplaceable role as a pioneer of abstract art is currently highlighted by the Grand Palais in Paris in a retrospective exhibition which includes three works from the collection of The Pudil Family Foundation: Study for 'Pleasures' (1901), Signum (1907) and Battalian of Legionnaires (1918). The exhibition was prepared by curator Brigitte Leal and art historians Markéta Theinhardt and Pierre Brullé.
One of the most important photographers in the world, Josef Koudelka, is exhibiting his cycle of large-format photographs titled De-Creazione, at the Trade Fair Palace in Prague; Koudelka has donated the works to the state. The cycle was created at the initiative of the Vatican, which, for its first presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2013, invited artists to present works based on the three basic themes of the Book of Genesis: creation, destruction and re-creation.
The National Gallery in Prague presents richly decorated works of medieval masters in the exhibition For the Eyes to Admire. Decorative Techniques in Medieval Painting and Sculpture, 14th – 16th Centuries. While the previous exhibition What the Eyes Cannot See examined drawings hidden under the surface, now we are able to admire intricate details that were intended to catch our attention and deepen our aesthetic enjoyment of the paintings and sculptures.
The National Gallery in Prague celebrates the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Czech Rococo painter Norbert Grund with the retrospective exhibition Norbert Grund (1717–1767). The Charm of the Everyday in Kinsky Palace. The artist’s genre paintings of scenes from everyday life are accompanied by examples of handicrafts that help illustrate the culture of the period. On the occasion of the exhibition, the National Gallery in Prague is also publishing an extensive monograph of the artist.
On the occasion of the exhibition Man with a burning mane. Emil Filla and surrealism 1931-1939 at Museum Kampa, The Pudil Family Foundation has lent three works from its collection – Filla’s Three Graces, Toyen’s Dream and Janoušek’s Started on paper – Love ends on the rocks. The exhibition examines the transition of the Czech painter Emil Filla from pure cubism to more organic forms, reflecting the evolution of surrealism in Bohemia during the 1930s.
The series of educational lectures “I Like It – I Do Not Like It Anymore: To Be a Parent in New Media Age”, presented as part of the Fotograf Festival, considered the question of how to bring up children in the digital world. The lectures were aimed at helping parents update their approach to child-rearing in view of the demands of the new media, IT and the “connected” world.
The vernissage Autumn Opening introduced several new exhibitions in the Trade Fair Palace, with Manifesto by the Berlin artist Julian Rosefeldt in pride of place. In it, the Australian actress Cate Blanchett dramatically embodies thirteen manifestos from the period of Modernism. The proclamations of the Futurists, Surrealists and Dadaists, for example, are voiced by a broker, a puppeteer and a funeral speaker.
The young composer Ian Mikyska has prepared a unique sensory walk through the Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia. We can set out on our exploration with the aid of a special guidebook, which is available at the ticket offices of the National Gallery in Prague. Thanks to maps and musical notation we can touch the historical and material layers of the building, hear the background soundscape and focus our sight on the smallest details.