An exhibition called “Václav Havel through the lens of Jiří Jírů” has just opened at the Czech centre in Prague. It offers a selection of photographs of Václav Havel taken by his personal photographer during his first term in office as Czech president. At the exhibition I talked to Jiří Jírů about some of the photographs on display and how he had come to work for Vaclav Havel.
John Mucha is the grandson of the famous Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphonse Mucha and president of the Alphonse Mucha Foundation. Last week he visited Radio Prague’s studio to talk about his latest project –a Mucha exhibition at the Russell-Cotes Museum in Bournemouth and ambitious plans to open a Mucha museum in Paris. I first asked him to tell us more about the exhibition at Russell-Cotes.
A significant retrospective of the work of the great Czech photographer Jan Lukas has just opened at Prague’s Art in Box gallery in connection with the centenary of his birth. Entitled People (1930–1995), it includes images ranging from the funerals of Masaryk and Beneš to prominent Czech émigrés in New York, where Lukas spent the last four decades of his life. I spoke to his daughter Helena Lukas and began by asking how hard it had been to whittle his large archive down to the hundred or so photographs on display.
An exhibition of work by the great Czech photographer Jan Lukas has opened in Prague, a week after the 100th anniversary of his birth. The show at the Artinbox gallery, entitled People, includes photos taken in Czechoslovakia in the interwar years, in the Soviet Union in the 1950s and in the United States, where Lukas lived for four decades until his death in 2006. The exhibition runs until October 6.
Foreign visitors arriving at Prague’s Václav Havel International Airport may be surprised to see an outsize Buddha statue on the premises. The sculpture is part of a summer festival of public art called Sculpture Line which runs from early June till late September. The collection of 22 sculptures by Czech and foreign artists, dotted around the city at well-known and less frequented locations, has been attracting a lot of attention. I asked Filip Tomášek from the Smart Point advertising and communication agency which organized the event, to tell
A Prague 1 court has ordered a rare painting dating back to 1350, Madona z Veveří, to be returned to the Czech Catholic Church. The verdict is not legally binding and the National Gallery which currently holds the painting, may appeal the decision. The Catholic Church staked a claim for the painting which it apparently owned for centuries before it became part of the National Gallery collection in 1958. The gallery refused to give it up on the grounds that the parish lost it before the onset of the communist regime, sometime in the late 1930s, and so it could not be reclaimed within the church restitution law.
The DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague is currently hosting an exhibition called TRIAL, inspired by the second trial with the Russian businessman and oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, which took place between the years 2009 and 2010. It is the first time the exhibition is being shown outside of Russia. I asked Michaela Šilpochová of DOX to tell me more about it:
An open-air cinema has been launched on the terrace of Prague’s Veletržní Palace, the home of the Czech National Gallery’s modern art collection. The first film, The Last Adventure by Robert Enrico, was screened there on Tuesday night and more archive movies on the theme of art, heights and aviation are planned for the remaining Tuesdays in August. The terrace of the Functionalist building housed a café in the past but since a fire it has rarely been used.
While most people regard decrepit buildings as something ugly, there are some who actually find them fascinating. One of the people enchanted by these modern-day ruins is Czech student Katka Havlíková. For several years now, she has been exploring vacant buildings across the Czech Republic as well as beyond the country's borders. She has even published a book on urban exploration and another one is to be released later this year. I met with Katka Havlíková to find out more about the phenomenon and her own fascination by vacant buildings:
A team doing research at the former Terezín concentration camp in north Bohemia have just presented remarkable findings in the form of previously undocumented inscriptions made by Jewish prisoners in the walls of the fortress. The Czech-German group behind the ongoing Ghettospuren (Ghetto Traces) project had previously discovered valuable items in attics and cellars at Terezín.
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