In 2007 when businesses were closing down as a result of the global crisis, Leon Jakimič founded his lighting installations and glass artworks company Lasvit. Today it is one of the world leaders in its field, with offices in New York, London, Paris, Milan, Dubai and many other cities. Mr. Jakimič runs the company from Hong Kong but, on one of his many visits to the Czech Republic, he showed us around the Ajeto glassworks in Nový Bor where the company’s unique creations take shape.
A new exhibition at the Czech National Gallery’s Trade Fair Palace in Prague features works by leading US artists, including James McNeill Whistler, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. Entitled Three Centuries of American Prints from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the show runs from Wednesday until January 8. It contains 140 works that organisers say provide a perspective on US print production from its beginnings in the 18th century to the present day.
A work by early 20th century Czech painter Jan Preisler sold in auction in Prague on Sunday for 6.5 million crowns, Albert Trnka of the European Arts auction house announced. The painting, called Three Young Women in the Forest, complete with the auction house’s fee will cost the new owner a total of more than eight million crowns. According to Mr Trnka, the price is the second-highest fetched by a Preisler work.
It is exactly forty years since the first inhabitants started moving into the Czech Republic’s biggest housing estate, Jižní Město in the south of Prague. The local Chodovská tvrz gallery is marking this anniversary with an exhibition dedicated to the history of the district and to the everyday life of its inhabitants. Called Jižní město: From Utopia to Reality, it features large-scale models of the prefabricated houses, audio recordings, as well as art objects reflecting life at the so-called “Jižák”.
A number of events are being planned to mark what would have been the 80th birthday of Václav Havel. On the actual anniversary of the late playwright and president’s birth on October 5 a gathering is set to take place on Prague’s Wenceslas Square, while 80 figures from public life and the arts world are set to appear on four stages at a tribute at the city’s Lucerna Palace on October 15. Meanwhile the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation in the US will present Burmese writer Ma Thida with its first annual Disturbing the Peace Award at the Bohemian National Hall in New York on Wednesday.
The Slav Epic cycle of paintings by Art Nouveau painter Alfons Mucha will be displayed in Tokyo as of March 2017 within events marking the Year of Czech Culture held in Japan on the 60th anniversary of the renewal of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In mid-2017 the collection of 20 paintings will move to China where it will be shown in three prominent museums in the course of the next twelve months. According to Prague Gallery director Magdalena Juříková the loan contracts should be signed within a few months. The Gallery must also acquire an export permit for cultural heritage items issued by the Czech Culture Ministry. Art experts have warned that the Asian tour presents a high risk the paintings could be damaged not just by transport and handling but due to the high temperatures and humidity in this part of the world.
The Czech-born Jewish writer and painter Max Mannheimer has died in Germany at the age of 96. Mr Mannheimer, who was born in Nový Jičín, survived the Holocaust and dedicated his life in post-war Germany to fighting anti-Semitism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Mr Mannheimer on Saturday for his efforts to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive, calling him "a great reconciler."
The Stanislav Libenský Award, founded eight years ago, is an international competition recognizing outstanding works in glass by art college graduates. This year’s winners were announced just recently and their work (as well as that of other finalists) is on now on view in a must-see exhibition at Prague’s DOX Centre for Contemporary Art.
Organisers in charge of the Lidice Memorial, a bronze monument to the children of Lidice - war victims from the Czech village razed by the Nazis in WWII as reprisal for the assassination of acting Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich - have been ordered to add the name of sculptor Jiří Hampl to a plaque attributing the work solely to his late wife. The academic sculptor Marie Uchytilová who died in 1989 is credited with the design but her husband contributed to the work's realisation in bronze. František Vyskočil, a representative of the Lidice Memorial organisation, maintains the work was Mrs Uchytilová's alone; he says an expert assessment should determine the nature of the contribution by her husband and has recommended that the matter be taken before the country's Supreme Court.
Members of the Russian dissident art group Voina (War) Oleg Vorotnikov, his wife Natalya Sokol and their daughter were detained in Prague on September 18, the Russian service of Radio Europe/Radio Liberty reported Monday. According to RFE/RL, Ms Sokol and her daughter were released but Mr Vorotnikov remains in custody and could reportedly face extradition to Russia. The Czech authorities did not immediately comment. Mr Vorotnikov and his wife left Russia in 2011 and have applied, but failed to receive, political asylum in a number of European countries. Both are reportedly wanted by the Russian authorities for apparent 'hooliganism'. The highly political Voina street-art group became famous internationally for statements like painting a giant phallus on a drawbridge facing the St. Petersburg headquarters of the Federal Security Service or, in another event, for overturning a police car on the pretense of "searching" for a child's lost ball.
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