No Art Today? New Acquisitions from the Collections of Prague City Gallery 16. 11. 2021 – 10. 4. 2022
The No Art Today? – New Acquisitions from the Collections of Prague City Gallery exhibition presents a representative selection of artworks purchased for the Prague City Gallery’s collections between 2017 and 2020. Thanks to the regular budget allocated by its founder, the City of Prague, for the expansion of its art collections, the GHMP, as one of the few public galleries, has been able to systematically add to and expand the collections in its care for seven years now. On the basis of a careful study of the Prague art scene in particular, as well as with regard to its recent exhibition projects, the Gallery has managed to enrich its collections with contemporary works as well as to fill in the “blank spaces” in art, especially from the second half of the 20th century.
Second part of the exhibition continues until 30 January 2022 at the Municipal Library, 2nd floor.
Between 2017 and 2020, Prague City Gallery acquired, through purchase or donation, nearly 700 works from the following artists for its collections: Jan Konůpek, Dominik Lang, Jaroslav Róna, Josef Žáček, Július Koller, Alena Kotzmannová, Radek Brousil, Iren Stehli, Karel Miler, Stano Filko, Jan Šerých, Adéla Babanová, Jiří Žák, Anna Daučíková, Woody Vasulka, Jiří Thýn, Valentýna Janů, Marie Kratochvílová, Martin Kohout, Aleksandra Vajd & Hynek Alt, Jiří Kovanda, Johana Pošová, Ján Mančuška, Marie Tučková, Jan Merta, Josef Bolf, Peter Bartoš, Zbyněk Baladrán, Jiří Franta and David Böhm, Jan Kotík, Anna Hulačová, Roman Štětina, Daniel Pitín, Marie Blabolilová, Tomáš Svoboda, Ivan Pinkava, Vendula Chalánková, Tomáš Císařovský, Martin Mainer, Lubomír Typlt, Sráč Sam, Petr Štembera, Vladimír Havlík, Jan Mlčoch, Tomas Ruller, Milan Knížák, Vladimír Ambroz, Markéta Hlinovská, Zdena Kolečková, Jitka Svobodová, Markéta Othová, Peter Rónai, Rudolf Sikora, Viktor Frešo, František Kyncl, Michaela Maupicová, Magdalena Jetelová, Dalibor Chatrný, Margita Titlová-Ylovsky, Jiří Příhoda, John Cage, Jana Želibská, Alex Mlynárčik, Zorka Ságlová, Barbora Klímová, Particie Fexová, Jiří Kačer, Květa Pacovská, Lenka Klodová, Milena Dopitová, Kateřina Vincourová, Jakub Hošek, Pavel Příkaský, Pavla Malinová, Jiří Petrbok, KW (Igor Korpaczewski), Matěj Smetana, Martin Velíšek, Šimon Brejcha, Lenka Vilhelmová, Richard Janeček, Václav Magid, Ondřej Přibyl, Michal Kindernay, Jitka Válová, Jiří Černický., APART, Barbora Dayef, Matěj Al-Ali, Tomáš Smetana, Milan Kozelka, Lenka Vítková, Matouš Lipus, Miroslava Večeřová, Anežka Hošková.
Sandra Baborovská, Jitka Hlaváčková, Magdalena Juříková,
Jakub Král and Olga Malá
In the House of Photography, selected works from the collections of Czechoslovak conceptual, performative and action art (or rather its documentation) is presented in five thematic blocks, associatively focusing on performances performed individually and collectively. In the next two sections, the focus is on the specific themes of nature and the private mythologies of individual artists, while in the last section, the exhibition focuses on the specific way of disseminating this type of art in the book. Each block is delimited by one association, which is composed within the blocks in a series in which the given issue progressively graduates.
In the first block, focused on individual works, a range of individual artists’ strategies is revealed, from basic work with the artist’s own body and the exploration of space, which is quite elementary for action art, to the liminal positions of the use of the artist’s own body. In the second block, the exhibition deals with the themes of nature and the environment as a pre-requisite for the realisation of a work of art, ranging from the simple use of nature as a mere space in which the work of art takes place, to open environmental manifestos, warnings and utopian authorial projects. The block oriented towards collective actions deals with the activation of the contemporary viewer through composed rituals – the viewer can be considered the addressee of an artistic gesture distributed by mail, and in the most radical position of this type of art, can even become an unconscious participant in the conceptual artwork. The block dealing with the private mythologies of individual artists oscillates between the themes of humanity, nostalgia, and following the legacy of historical avant-gardes, and artists’ self-historicisation and self-stylisation. The final theme of the exhibition is the representation of the way in which this type of art is disseminated through the artists’ books, as well as the way in which canonical works of action art are updated through their re-performance under different political conditions.
The Czech and Slovak scenes from the 1960s to approximately the 1980s are presented together in the House of Photography; we do not want to differentiate the space of the former Czechoslovakia (at least in terms of acquisitions). Thus, our exhibition is mainly about the representation of a few basic phenomena and topics that conceptual art in general in Eastern Europe (the neo-avant-garde, cosmism, mythology, the dissemination of art…) and action art in a locally specific way (in the form of the degree of personal commitment and choice of specific themes) are dealing with thematically and formally. The exhibition is not, and cannot be, an exhaustive historical assessment of the phenomena in question and a rigorous interconnection of the artists, but within the limited possibilities of our collections, it provides associative play with our material in the conceptual and action art collection.