the national gallery prague celebrates 30 years of freedom and opens a new exhibition of 19th-century art
The National Gallery Prague opens the last exhibition season of the Trade Fair Palace with a commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. In addition to thematic exhibitions, it opens a new display of 19th-century art and two monographic exhibitions – Stanislav Sucharda and Jitka Hanzlová.
The National Gallery Prague events that are part of this year’s celebrations of 30 years of modern democracy will culminate in the Trade Fair Palace on November 14. The exhibition 1989 under the Havel For President! project will show how the contemporary photographers reflected the November 1989 events as well the day-to-day reality of the entire year. The project presenting the photographs by, among others, Bohdan Holomíček, Karel Cudlín, Pavel Štěch or Vladimír Birgus, seeks to offer a testimony that will be comprehensible even for the generations, which could not witness the period.
A series of video interviews with creative artists Interview 89, such as Magdalena Jetelová, Ivan Kafka, Anna Daučíková, Zbyněk Baladrán and Jakub Jansa reflecting the events of 1989 and after, is another part of the exhibition program. The recently opened exhibitions of Milan Grygar and Josef Bolf, which are part of the annual cycle Three Artists – Three Generations, will be complemented with a new one – Jitka Hanzlová: Silences. It is the first comprehensive presentation of the artist’s work in her native country. It will present three decades of her work, including a new cycle of photographs taken specifically for the exhibition in the National Gallery Prague.
The successful opening of the exhibition 1918–1938: The First Czechoslovak Republic commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovakia last year is now followed by the exhibition from the NGP collections 1796–1918: Art of the Long Century. It will make a number of major NGP artworks accessible for the broad public again, such as those by, among others, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso or Caspar David Friedrich. The Czech artists to be displayed will include Josef Mánes, Antonín Slavíček, František Kupka, František Bílek or Josef Václav Myslbek. The exhibition’s concept is based on major contemporary themes – portrait, landscape and historical or religious motifs. It will make it possible to present Czech or European art in a broad international context.
The new exhibition will also have premises to hold small short-term presentations and graphic cabinets. The opening project will be the exhibition Living in Art dedicated to the decoration of the 19th- and 20th-century residential buildings in Prague. The new exhibition of artworks from the NGP collections is thematically linked with the display Stanislav Sucharda 1866–1916: The Creative Process, the first comprehensive presentation of the this major sculptor’s oeuvre from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. It was prepared in cooperation with the Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Besides Sucharda’s work that is divided by themes – portraits, monuments, medals and plaques – the exhibition presents the contemporary context and – owing to the artist’s surviving unique drawings and photographs – the creative process and technological aspects documenting how his works were born. Many of the exhibits are displayed for the first time – a lot of the sculptures were salvaged and restored under the NAKI project Traces of Work, whose outcome this exhibition is.
The Opening 89, which will begin in the Trade Fair Palace on Thursday, November 14, at 7 p.m., will offer free admission to all the exhibitions from the NGP collections and others prepared within the framework of the anniversary celebrations, such as those of Milan Grygar and Josef Bolf. The Opening will include a concert of the band WWW, one of the first Czech rap music bands in the early 1990s.