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Prague Spring presents the Art Salon and the works of contemporary Czech artists on the theme of Smetana's cycle of symphonic poems "Má vlast"

Published:  3/21/2024

This year's Prague Spring presented novelties in its accompanying program, one of which is the Prague Spring Art Salon project, which is focused on visual arts. Festival representatives and curators Jan Kudrna and Milan Dospěl spoke to six contemporary Czech visual artists who created works inspired by Bedřich Smetana's cycle of symphonic poems "Má vlast" (Má vlast) by Bedřich Smetana, the 200th anniversary of whose birth has passed this year. All works will be auctioned on May 26 as part of a benefit auction at the KODL Gallery. Visitors to the festival will see them in Prague's Municipal House and Rudolfinum from May 12 to June 3.

Petr Nikl, Ivan Pinkava, Milan Grygar, Daniel Vlček, Jakub Roztočić and Ira Svobodová. Six leading Czech artists representing different techniques, media and generations. But there was only one inspiration for the creation of their new works - the cycle of symphonic poems Má vlast by Bedřich Smetana. "With this coat of arms, the Prague Spring is solemnly opened every year on May 12, and the opening of the Prague Spring Art Salon exhibition will also take place on that occasion. The works will be exhibited at festival concerts in the Rudolfinum and the Municipal House and auctioned at the end of May at the KODL Gallery, which is a partner of the project. The proceeds of this benefit auction will be donated to the benefit of the Prague Spring festival for its further development. We believe that this creates a unique accompanying art program of our festival and will become an annual tradition." added to the exhibition by the director of Prague Spring, Pavel Trojan. He invited two curators - Jan Kudrna and Milan Dospěl - to cooperate, and for the first time music and visual arts are connected in the festival program. “We are delighted and at the same time extremely appreciative to be involved in this amazing project. From the beginning, I believed that under the guidance of a pair of experienced curators, we would see top-notch work by excellent artists. Collectors have something to look forward to," says Martin Kodl, owner of the KODL Gallery, about the project.

Concertgoers will have the opportunity to see how Má vlast inspired selected artists. Petr Nikl created a work called My Homeland and applied ink and ink of six colors to the space of the painting, which he divided into six segments. These were subsequently spread across the canvas by mechanized bugs and thus created the final form of the work. Ivan Pinkava will present the photograph My Fatherland, in which he reflects on his relationship to "My Fatherland" as a symbol that he subjects to his own investigation. In the photograph, an unspoken story plays out, which hints at a personal relationship or a view of the essence of oneself, one's homeland, and existence in general. Sound is an essential element in Milan Grygar's work. He has been working on his cycle Antiphons since the mid-90s, and he just selected one painting from it for Art Salon. An antiphon is a musical form derived from a liturgical verse. It makes it possible to express the relationship of two sound elements clashing in the same space and time, mostly radically contrasting, but at the same time in a certain way mutually satisfying. The image that will be seen is also based on the essence of visual contrast and sound articulation. Even Daniel Vlček is significantly connected to the world of music. In the past, he established himself as a prominent representative of the music and performance scene, now he is increasingly profiled as a painter and conceptual artist working with the visual capture of sound. For Prague Spring, he created a painting called Spherical Event III, inspired by the motif From Bohemian meadows and groves. Jakub Roztočić in his painting No. 78 works for the first time with a color spectrum of six default colors, which is the number of symphonic poems of My Homeland. Using a self-constructed visualization generative brush in his work, he contains a painting - and at the same time an object and a sound recording - which transitions into an autonomous work. The six artists are rounded off by the artist Ira Svobodová, who was inspired by her most popular poem from the aforementioned cycle. The painting Šárek, whose main motif is a dynamically shaped pink ribbon, is based on the dynamics of the scores and the story of the poem, which, according to the author, is full of betrayal, love and tension.

These six works will travel as part of the concert program between the Rudolfinum and the Municipal House in Prague during the entire festival. On May 26, a benefit auction will take place in the KODL Gallery and on the Artslimit.com portal, the proceeds of which will be used for the development of the festival in the coming years. At the end of the festival, on June 3, as part of the final concert of the 79th Prague Spring in the Municipal House, the result of the auction will be solemnly announced.

 

About the project | Prague Spring Art Salon

The festival approached six renowned contemporary Czech artists across generations to be inspired by the cycle of symphonic poems Má vlast by Bedřich Smetana and to create a work that will become part of the new art project Prague Spring Art Salon. The works of Petr Niklo, Ivan Pinkava, Milan Grygar, Daniel Vlček, Jakub Roztočel and Ira Svobodová will be auctioned on May 26 at the KODL Gallery auction and on the Artslimit.com portal, the proceeds will go to support the development of the festival.

The curators of the Art Salon are Czech and European contemporary art expert Jan Kudrna and the curator of the KODL Gallery Milan Dospěl.



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