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GASK celebrates 60 years with major gallery projects!

GASK celebrates 60 years with major gallery projects!
18. 12. 2023

In 2024, the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region will celebrate sixty years of its existence. As part of this celebration, the gallery will present a rehanging of its permanent exhibition that will replace the current States of Mind / Beyond the Image. In March, GASK will open the large retrospective DISEGNO INTERNO – Eva Švankmajerová / Jan Švankmajer. The exhibition, which is being held in the year of Švankmajer’s 90th birthday, presents a cross-section of both artists’ life work. Also around this same, the gallery will present the work of Czech sculptor, jewellery artist and creator of the Prague Metronome V. K. Novák, as well as the ink paintings of Jiří Straka, an artist who lives and works in Prague and Beijing, China. The jubilee year comes to an end with exhibitions by two important artists – painter and draughtsman Svatopluk Slovenčík and the outstanding portraitist Vratislav Nechleba. Besides art events, the gallery is also planning the sixth edition of the Day of Sound festival of experimental and independent music, which this time around will be curated by composer and producer Michal Rataj. GASK will also hold its seasonal design markets, which traditionally draw the broader public to the gallery. And the GASK Learning Centre will again organise a wide range of educational programmes to go along with the current exhibitions for schools, teachers, parents with their children, and adults.

As part of its anniversary celebration, GASK will present a complete rehanging of its permanent exhibition to replace States of Mind / Beyond the Image, which in 2015 won the prestigious national Gloria Musaealis award. The new exhibition will again draw from the GASK collection, which currently consists of more than 11,000 works of art. The gallery’s curators and representatives from the GASK Learning Centre will choose works for the exhibition and organise them in a new exhibition concept based on ‘the journey towards self-discovery’. Visitors can still see the current States of Mind / Beyond the Image until the end of the year. The new permanent exhibition opens 29 June 2024.

Disegno Interno (‘inner design’ or ‘inner model’) is the name of an exhibition of works by Jan Švankmajer and his wife Eva Švankmajerová covering all the creative fields on which this internationally acclaimed Surrealist has focused (collage, printmaking, object art, book illustrations, automatic drawing, tactile experiments, collecting and, of course, filmmaking). An important part of the exhibition will be a presentation of paintings by his wife Eva Švankmajerová, which to this day continues to engage in a special dialogue with Jan Švankmajer’s own work. The exhibition’s wide-ranging programme of accompanying events will focus on the main themes (but also less well-known areas) that Švankmajer’s extraordinary imagination has explored over the years. The exhibition, curated by Richard Drury of GASK, will run from 3 March to 4 August 2024.

In a sense, Vratislav Karel Novák’s exhibition Still Moving began in December when his kinetic object Planets – Circles was unveiled to the public in the gallery’s gardens as part of the Open-air GASK outdoor exhibition project. In February 2024, three of the gallery’s exhibition spaces will show a selection of his work, which includes kinetic and interactive sculptural objects and jewellery. Novák’s art, which defies simple categories, transcends the boundaries between artistic disciplines – contradictory concepts of fragility and dynamism are wed with the geometric rationality of Constructivism and a subversive sense of irony. The exhibition, which is being organised in collaboration with the Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou, runs from 18 February to 8 September 2024. It is curated by Kateřina Nora Nováková and Ludmila Šikolová along with GASK curators Vanda Skálová and Richard Drury.

Jiří Straka’s exhibition Silence will be fittingly installed in the Baroque spaces of the former Jesuit College: in his paintings, Straka, a performer, Sinologist and painter inspired by calligraphy, focuses on the clash of cultures, specifically the spread of Catholicism into distant lands such as China and Japan in the 17th century. Curated by Veronika Marešová, the exhibition opens to the public on 18 February 2024.

GASK will honour Zlín-based painter, draughtsman and teacher Svatopluk Slovenčík with an exhibition commemorating what would have been the 90th birthday. The exhibition will focus mainly on the artist’s works on paper, whose intimate yet monumentally elaborated space most clearly reflects what curator Ludvík Ševeček called Slovenčík’s ‘search for order amidst the dynamism of life’. The exhibition, which opens 13 October 2024, seeks to place the legacy of this respected, though not yet fully appreciated artist within the broader context of today. An accompanying monograph with the same objective will be published during the year, written by the exhibition’s curator, Richard Drury.

The idea of organising a retrospective exhibition in honour of Vratislav Nechleba was directly inspired by a generous gift from Anna Nechlebová, who in 2001 donated more than seventy of the painter’s works to the Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region. Nechleba, a true celebrity during his life, was one of the most sought-after portrait painters in Bohemia at the time. His works, which are closely associated with the elites of his day, were admired for their perfect painting technique, brilliant lines, excellent painting style, naturalism and attention to detail. For the exhibition, the gallery has invited several contemporary photorealist and Hyperrealist artists to respond to Nechleba’s work on the basis of several chosen themes. The exhibition is curated by Vanda Skálová and Milan Kreuzzieger and will feature the first monograph ever published on this artist. The exhibition runs from 13 October 2024 to 2 March 2025.

In addition to the above-mentioned exhibitions, in 2024 GASK will also show the work of Martina Skala, Marta Morice, Lukáš Machalický, the Prasklo studio and Tereza Pirščová-Brichtová, as well as a special exhibition dedicated to young contemporary painters.

Let yourself be guided (and beguiled) by art in 2023 as well!