Glassmakers Dechem were named Grand Designer of the Year for 2014 at the Academy of Design Awards at Prague’s Estates Theatre on Saturday night. Dechem, comprised of architect Michaela Tomišková and glassmaker Jakub Janďourek, also picked up Designer of the Year and Producer of the Year prizes. As well as CZK 100,000 to be spent creating next year’s award, the pair received kimonos made by the 2013 winner, Monika Drápalová. The Newcomer of the Year and Public awards also went to glassmakers.
Václav Krbůšek is a well-known designer and animator behind a number of highly successful web campaigns and microsites. Most recently, he made headlines as a member of a team behind the release of an internet game called Pussy Walk, in which players guide a bumbling character (bearing a close resemblance to the country’s president) to the crown jewels.
Yellow cabs flying in the sky above New York, the Statue of Liberty holding an ice cream cone or a man hanging from a skyscraper, about to be blown away by the wind: these are just some of the “illustrated photos” of New York created by Eliška Podzimková, a young artist from the Czech Republic. To date, her Instagram account, AnimateNY, where she publishes her pictures, has attracted some 25,000 followers.
A new exhibition in Prague’s Jewish Quarter explores post-war Czechoslovakia as a way station for thousands of Jews who found themselves homeless after WWII. Entitled Dashed Hopes, the exhibition at the Robert Guttman Gallery focuses on the tens of thousands of Jewish refugees who passed through Czechoslovakia after surviving Nazi concentration camps on their way to building new lives. Visitors will see photos capturing children’s shelters, the revival of religious life, the return of the chief rabbi to Prague from Palestine and Chanukah celebrations from 1945.
The National Gallery in Prague is undergoing a restructuring in view of showing its collections to the best possible advantage and meeting the standards of a leading European art institution. The man masterminding this transformation is chief-curator Adam Budak who previously worked at the Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.
Collectors and investors spent 854 million crowns (around 35 million US dollars) last year at art auctions in the Czech Republic, according to the Czech art investment website artplus.cz. The sum was ten percent lower than in the previous year, but it is still the third highest annual turnover in the country’s auction history. The most expensive object auctioned last year was Emil Fila’s painting Man with Pipe, dating back to 1915, which was sold for 14 million crowns.
In Business News this week: the Czech economy grew by 1.3 percent in the last quarter of 2014; Czech brewer Plzeňský Prazdroj announces record sales for 2014; natural gas sales lowest in the last decade; British developer threatens legal action over shopping mall project; mineral water producer Poděbradka increases its sales by 10 percent.
The Communist Party has moved to tone down a photo exhibition celebrating the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, changing its focus instead to a reflection on life in North Korea. The exhibition was arranged in honour of the new North Korean ambassador to Prague, Kim Pyong- Il, who is the younger half-brother of the late North Korean leader. Communist party leader Vojtěch Filip, who came under fire over the exhibition, has distanced himself from the original initiative, saying that it had been arranged by his deputy Petr Šimůnek, and had not been consulted in advance.
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