Vaclav Havel probably has a higher profile at the moment than at any time since he stepped down as Czech president almost five years ago. His first play in two decades has been published in book form, ahead of its planned stage premiere in spring. And this week has seen the opening of an exhibition entitled Vaclav Havel – Czech Myth, which is a kind of taster for a planned US style presidential library.
An exhibition entitled Vaclav Havel – Czech Myth has opened at Hilgertova Cihelna on Prague’s Kampa. The temporary exhibition catalogues the life and work of the playwright, former dissident and president. Among the items on display are a model of the interior of Mr Havel’s cottage and replicas of his desk and library from the president’s office at Prague Castle. The exhibition has been organised by the Vaclav Havel Library, which is currently looking for a permanent home in the centre of the city.
Last week one of the Czech Republic’s most important artists, Milan Knizak - sculptor, painter, poet, head of the National Gallery and outspoken pedagogue - opened a new solo show (Recent Work) at Prague’s Manes Exhibition Hall. Dominant themes include Knizak’s take on the crucifixion as well as the Madonna with child, painted with a fresh, even punk sensibility and signature irreverence. Paintings include slogans, which some reviewers have called “urgent”, others “stinging”: slogans such as “I hate progress” or “I hate nature”, some in English,
They fought against the Nazis but were treated as enemies in Czechoslovakia after the war: that is the starting point for “Forgotten Heroes” a travelling exhibition in the Czech Republic mapping the story of ethnic Sudeten Germans who fought against the Nazis. Despite their resistance to Hitler in World War II, many still suffered persecution in Czechoslovakia after the end of the war.
Our guest for One on One this week is Scottish artist Stewart Kenneth Moore who has been living in the Czech Republic since 1994. In that time, he has built up a reputation as one of the city’s most capable artists and draughtsmen, who is particularly well respected for the portraits he has done of many members of the city’s business community. Besides painting, Stewart also has a keen interest in graphic design and his illustrations have been used by a number of publications, including Esquire and Elle Magazine.
Josef Lada’s paintings have reached iconic status here in the Czech Republic, and you may be familiar with them too, without even knowing it. Lada was the illustrator who gave the smiling, rotund, Good Soldier Svejk his form. In the course of his career, he illustrated over 200 books - some, fairytale anthologies for children, others, like Svejk, intended for grown ups. Now Josef Lada is the subject of a major new retrospective in Prague.
This weekend a painting by a famous French Fauvist painter Maurice de Vlaminck was sold at an auction in Prague’s Dorotheum for 5.3 million crowns (approximately 280,000 US dollars). Even though it was valued at 7 million crowns, in the end it only slightly exceeded the starting price. Vlaminck’s “Landscape with Buildings”, dating back to 1914, has thus become the 13th most expensive work of art to be sold at a Czech auction. The head of the auction house Marie Galova says it is not easy to explain the lack of interest on the part of buyers but
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