Past Exhibitions:

2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001

2009 Exhibitions

Václav Jíra: Machines II.

The exhibition of Václav Jíra presented his remarkable kinetic machines, which consisted of various elements recycled from various objects. Jíra combined those components in new and surprising ways, creating works that when switched on are set in motion, sometimes comical, sometimes absurd, and sometimes lyrically playful....

November 4 - February 17, 2010

  Zdeněk Sýkora – Karel Malich: Lines and Wires - A Dialogue

The concept for this exhibition, which confronts two great Czech artists: Zdeněk Sýkora and Karel Malich, was prepared by the well know German theoretic Hans-Peter Riese. The exhibition is based on comparing the evolution of both artists over the past twenty years. Sýkora will be represented by a selection of paintings, in which we see how he works with lines and colours. For each Sýkora painting there will be a “wired object” by Karel Malich, who works with lines intersecting space. The comparison of these two artists is very interesting because, even though their works are conceptually very similar, their origins are diverse.

October 2 - January 10, 2010


CoBrA: Its Artists and its Art - Beyond the Boundaries

The CoBrA art group emerged in the post-war era as an initiative for overcoming the rigid rules of the academia and existing tradition by spontaneous expression, based on fantastic imagery of children or even the mentally ill, searching for inspiration in mythological or pre-historic art. The art of CoBrA transcends the cruelties of the Second World War and modern civilization in general by addressing seemingly child-like subject matters, such as fantastic creatures or masks. Doing so, this group of artists, originating in three European capitals, Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, refreshed the Dutch and international art scene and formed one of the most important art movements in the second half of the 20th century.

The artists of CoBrA are generally seen as the “founding fathers” of post-war European expressionism and Tachisme, and the opportunity to display such significant works in Prague is very important in educating the Czech and international public visiting Museum Kampa in such crucial movements in modern times. The CoBrA art group is among those, who paved the way of European modernism and in order to understand the contemporary art world with all its difficulties, it is essential to understand its roots. This project is designed to present the art of CoBrA in the Czech Republic for the very first time. The exhibition, based on a representative selection of artworks by this group, will be held in Museum Kampa in the historical centre of Prague, offering the artworks on display unique premises of one of the most significant museums in the Czech Republic and Central Europe.

The exhibition will feature approximately 20 oil works by several artists of the CoBrA group such as Appel, Constant, Corneille, Pedersen, Asger Jorn and Henry Heerup. The project is established in cooperation with the CoBrA Museum in Amstelveen, which will also loan the artworks and is also being held as part of the Dutch Cultural Festival, which is being organized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Czech Republic from 22 May until 5 June 2009.

The exhibition is held under the auspices of H.E. Mr Jan Lucas Inayat Van Hoorn Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Czech Republic. The exhibition is kindly supported by Heineken Česka republika.

May 5 - September 9, 2009


Max Beckmann: Paintings, Drawings and Graphics

This exhibition features several oils, lithographs and drawings by this important German artist of the first half of the twentieth century. For the first time, his works will be seen in Prague. After World War I Max Beckmann’s developed in his works figurative painting as a conscious answer to abstract tendencies in art.

In his paintings and lithographs gothic elements are visible and references to Christian iconography, which deal with actual themes such as war, life in the big city, violence, fear and alienation. Max Beckmann emerges from a graphic theory of painting, and this is one of the reasons why he donates so much time to lithographs. His world-known lithograph series "Die Hölle" from 1919, which will be exhibited at the exhibition on Museum Kampa, is a compelling reaction to the horrors of war. This series belongs to the best of lithographic work of the 20th century. Other legendary series' are the "Berliner Reise" from 1922, the watercolours "Apokalypse" from 1941/42. These series' along with other lithographs and oil works will be displayed in Museum Kampa. The height of this exhibition will be Max Beckmann's paintings of the countryside and portraits from different stages of his life. The oil paintings will delight the viewer with their colour and his lithographs with their comments on society and the world we live in.

May 7 - September 13, 2009


Václav Cigler: Meeting Places

The entire appearance of the spatial installations of Václav Cigler titled MEETING PLACES was conceived for the space of Museum Kampa, which took part in preparing the exhibit. Since 1999, Museum Kampa has been on fairly intimate terms with the artist, as Václav Cigler was one of the artists who collaborated in the reconstruction of the museum.
The exhibition represents five of the most important principles of his work: glass, water, space, light and the individual.  It presents spatial projects and compositions for architecture and attempts to find new approaches with respect to landscapes – landscape and architectural sketches which Václav Cigler has worked on since 1957. In these he meditates on the relationship between person and nature.  These relationships – dual relations are intended as the unified being of person and space – of a place and the order in it which structures internal and surrounding form.  He is intrigued by the effect of light on the landscape, the effect of light playing on the surfaces of water or rivers, the visual transformations which occur as one passes through a landscape.
The exterior part of the museum, the courtyard, is Cigler’s first meeting place for exhibit visitors.   Strolling – a composition of four glass prisms (2008) is an installation featuring two pairs of six meter glass mirrored prisms which direct the movement of visitors towards the museum entrance.  The reflective surface of the prisms visually draws in the surroundings and projects both the museum building and the viewer itself. Light trail (2009) is a horizontal line of light enclosed between two steel elements intended to establish a route for strolling.
In the main exhibit space under a glass footbridge the artist creates new works using familiar, primarily architectural elements; a water sculpture titled Water Surface, Rippled Surface, Pulsing Surface (2009) and a wall of light called Light Field (2009).   Elements measuring 2.7 x 9m bears the communication of our bodily rhythms – breathing, heart beat, rhythm of walking – with the concept of our own time space.  The pulsing water surface is given its motion at two places, with moments of stillness interspersed between the rippling.  The luminous area glows until it fills the space with light and then weakens.  These are works which come into being before our very eyes.  Both pieces are perceived as forms of energy or as activity.  In their symbolism they are devoid of any narrative and express the basic founding elements of life – water and light.  Here we infer newly created spatial relations and experiences, tension in the space between complementary and inseparable aspects of reality, such as the relationship between a person and the universe, the personal and the general.  Here the artist visually connects the foundation to the sublime using these two objects, and with respect to the movement of the viewer mediates experiences from the place of observation, where the viewer may abide to take the experience in at his leisure.
The aim of the third installation titled Meeting Place (2009), which is located on the terrace with the glass footbridge over the main exhibit space, is to subconsciously evoke a spatial situation.  It is a place into which one can enter and become a part.  There is no inside or outside.  We are cut off from the surroundings but we hardly notice it.  We are in an atmospheric enclave.  A space in the shape of a glass funnel with a reflective surface approximately 15 x 15 m in size becomes an opportunity, a degree of freedom, an experience of space where we become aware of our own physicality, our ability to visually perceive distance for example.  This also means orientation and reflexive actuation in the apportioned space.  For Václav Cigler this is not only abstract, where all of its qualities are transferable from place to place, but always involves a specific space of suitable distance, direction, the elemental near and far which in Cigler’s work is a prerequisite for entering into places of meaning  - MEETING PLACES – which are intimate, open, illuminated and clear. It is akin to a structure of human residence, a tenement of union of heaven and earth, the divine and mortal, and the permeation of each throughout all.

This exhibition was held as part of the artist’s 80th birthday.

April 22 - July 26, 2009

Dalibor Chatrný: By Rope and Magnet

Dalibor Chatrný´s individual artistic idiom began to take shape in the second half of the 1950s, a time when he linked up with the legacy of the prewar avant-garde movement. The artist soon joined the stream of Czech and European postwar abstract art. As early as around 1960 he created studies in which he tested out various possibilities of active rhythms inherent in simple forms, static and dynamic alike. By then he already showed keen interest in the division of space and surface. He was concerned with correlations between different forms and between colours, as well as between details and the whole. There, he divided the whole into ultimate components which he then rearranged in new contexts, thereby linking up with the legacy of Cubism. While studying regularities of composition, he further elaborated earlier discoveries made by abstract artists between the two world wars. He endeavoured to understand and express the dialogue of forms, and he produced variations on given themes. He examined the rhythm of both regular and irregular lines. He sought for ways of expressing spatial relations, of capturing equilibrium and immobility, as well as on the other hand, motion in its various transformations.

As early as 1963, he progressed to a series of magnetic drawings made by scattering metal shavings dipped in paint onto paper; using magnets held underneath the paper, he then proceeded to “draw,” with the shavings following the hand’s movements and leaving behind colour traces. Actually, similar experiments were carried out virtually at the same period by Vladimír Boudník (without the two then knowing each other) who, however, fixated the patterns of iron shavings arranged according to magnetic lines of force, and turned the resulting structures documenting the action of lines of force into matrices for prints. Another line of works based on a similar principle consisted of objects fitted with magnets. There, the artist started by placing identically sized circle-shaped magnets into a glass cylinder so the sum of their forces kept them floating in space at varying distances. In due time this concept gave rise to a whole series of magnetic objects which further developed the potential of this discovery.

The present exhibition maps two circles: namely, those of paintings and installations with ropes; and magnetic drawings and objects. What they all have in common is the utter economy of rendition, a trait which brings Dalibor Chatrný close to the international movement of Minimal Art, and which documents one of his creative options.

Jiří Machalický

February 13 - May 10, 2009


Jindra Viková: Faces - Fragments

Life carries us away and we are afloat in its stream. All the while, we absorb ever new impulses, which become fixed in our memory. The strongest impression on me was always made by the faces of the people I encounter, many of them disappearing never to return again. All that remains is my curiosity of what lies hidden behind them. These perceptions gradually fade and I try to preserve at least that which is most essential in them for my idea. They represent small fragments of a scattered whole – the fragments of past encounters…

J. V. 2008

The exhibition “Faces – Fragments” presents a selection of the imaginative portraits of Jindra Viková from the years 2006–2008, created as hanging assemblages. The most important component of these is a silhouette rendered on an almost leaf-thin porcelain surface and then placed in a Plexiglas box. This wall-fixed sequence overlaps with a number of other assemblages, whose central motif is that of hands, this time rendered in wax. The exhibition installation is accompanied by a related series of spatial sculptures, also rendered in leaf-thin porcelain, or merely indicated with wire.

January 14 - March 1, 2009

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