Not a Palace but a Palatial Collection and the Image Black Light Theatre

This morning we went to a local cafe for breakfast.  Nice cheap food where the locals hang out.  Across the street was this church and market.  Regan loves markets as much as she loves puppets.  We hung out for a while and I bought some bath salts and a baboushka hat.The black hat had fake black and white fur around it and you can wrap it around you like a scarf.  Today was a miserable, cold and wet day.  The week started at +9 and it must be close to zero degrees today.  The rain just made it feel all the more cold.  I brought my pleather jacket, which was excellent for cuting the wind and protecting me from the rain – but it was not warm.  Today, I definitely could have worn a winter jacket.  

Art Museum

The Veletrzni Palace, part of the National Gallery of Prague, was once destined to outdo the Pompidou Center in Paris in sheer size and cultural power.

The Museum’s history dates back to 1796 when a group of prominent representatives of Bohemia patriotic aristocracy and enlightened middle-class intellectuals formed the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts and established the Academy of Fine Arts and the Picture Gallery.  In 1918 the Picture Gallery became a central art collection of the newly formed Czechoslovakia. In 1995 a new gallery dedicated to modern art opened in the refurbished Veletržní Palace.

In Prague 7 sits a huge gem of a building, the Veletrzni Palace; constructed from the design of Oldrich Tyl and Josef Fuchs in the years 1925-1929, this massive building was used for trade fairs until 1951 after which it was home to several international companies. A heartbreaking fire destroyed it in 1974.

Four vast floors, resembling a huge cruise ship, house a wonderfully impressive collection of 19th to 21st century European and Czech art. 

The vast collection contains a large number of Czech and Slovak paintings and sculptures, including works by Gutfreund, Kupka, Fila, Benes and Bohumil Kubišta.

Loved this exhibit by Thomas Ott, a Swiss artist and comic book author.  Ott’s stories and independent works are linked by the theme of classic horror. This is also reflected in the scratchboard technique that has made him famous.

František Kupka, was a Czech painter and graphic artist. He was a pioneer and co-founder of the early phases of the abstract art movement and Orphic cubism.

Because of the bad weather, today was a perfect day to spend inside.  We spent a few hours going through the three floors of the permanent collection, most of which were Czech artists.  Their international section was very small, which makes sense considering they were under communist rule until 1989 and outside influences were not encouraged.  They did have a gorgeous Klimt painting.

I have to admit that I really enjoyed this Exhibit and that I am a fan of Art Nouveau.  I appreciate the drawing skills and realism and how the graphic design can easily be transfered for commercial use.  Never made it to the Mucha Museum though.

David Cerny is arguably one of the most popular contemporary artists in the Czech Republic.  Of notable fame are his crawling babies (up a radio tower) and his large scale bronze babies with weird faces. 

In front of the Kafka Museum there are two bronze sculptures peeing into a receptable in the form of the Czech Republic.  What is interesting is that there is an electric mechanism driven by a couple of microprocessors that swivels the upper part of the body, while the penis moves up and down. The stream of water ‘writes’ quotes from famous Prague residents.  Visitors can interact with the sculptures by sending a SMS message to a number that is displayed.  The living statue then “writes” the text of the message before carrying on as before. 

The hanging Freud sculpture is interesting and the one that everyone misses… including me.  

I saw the fingers in Cesky Kremlov and the sculpture was attributed to Cerny. Interesting placement. it looked like it was holding up the building. 

Went to see this show at the Image Black Light Theatre.  The photos are stunning, but the dancers in the show did not stop for us to ‘see the pictures’.   Also not all of the dancers were of equal talent.  This show has a lot of potential.  It could have been spectacular, but I was left  feeling a bit disappointed. 

Africania – Black Light Show

Went to see this show at the Image Black Light Theatre.  The photos are stunning, but the dancers in the show did not stop for us to ‘see the pictures’.   Also not all of the dancers were of equal talent.  This show has a lot of potential.  It could have been spectacular, but I was left  feeling a bit disappointed.

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