2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jan Smetana and the 20th anniversary of his death. Smetana’s artistic career began as the youngest member of Group 42, at a time when he was fascinated by overlooked urban scenes, the courtyards of the Prague working-class city outskirts, oil lamps and later by Parisian motifs. After his involvement with Group 42, when the peripheral attributes of technological civilisation and the suburban landscape had been the themes of his pictures, Smetana devoted himself in his painting to searching for the hidden forces that govern nature – birth and death, the interaction of light and matter, metamorphoses of colours and shapes, structures and nebulae in space. The Jan Smetana exhibition at GASK is conceived as an overview of his life’s work. Smetana was for many years a professor at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts (1967-1985) where he was in charge of the studio of figural and landscape painting. Many of his former students since became renowned artists in their own right, which is why part of the exhibition will present a selection of their work as well.