Prague’s Lennon Wall has a new face and will newly serve as an open-air gallery. The famous tourist attraction, which before the Velvet Revolution served as a symbolic location of unofficial anti-communist protest, underwent a month-long revamp after being vandalised with vulgar graffiti. Prague authorities vowed to officially designate the Lennon Wall as a memorial site. Its new look was unveiled to the public on Thursday afternoon.
An oil painting by Oscar Kokoschka entitled Prague – View from the
Monastery of the Knights of the Cross with a Red Star was auctioned off for
78.5 million crowns on Sunday, the most paid for any single painting in
auction, according to Alena Havlíková from the Adolf Loos Apartment and
Kokoschka painted the oil on canvas in the late summer of 1934 and it is considered the best of his Prague views. His depiction of Charles Bridge (1934) is in the National Gallery in Prague, while his Hradčany and Petřín (1936) are part of the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.
The works of one of the most important painters of the 20th century rarely appear at auctions, so its appearance at a Prague auction was a rare opportunity for art collectors.
The National Library of Israel has started digitising a long-lost batch of archival materials, belonging to Franz Kafka’s friend Max Brod. They include, among other things, Kafka’s personal diary and a notebook in which he practiced Hebrew. Israel received the missing documents from a Swiss bank in August after years of international searches and legal disputes over the author’s legacy.
As tributes to the late Czech singer Karel Gott pour in from at home and abroad following news of his death on Wednesday, the Kodl Art Gallery in Prague has announced it is putting one of the singer’s paintings up for action. Although Karel Gott was an amateur, self-taught painter interest in it is expected to be huge.
Peter Sis’s On Flying and Other Dreams is one of the exhibitions of the year in Prague. It places in a fresh context five books focused on freedom by the US-based author and illustrator, including The Wall – Growing up Behind the Iron Curtain, The Three Golden Keys and Robinson. The show was conceived by the team of Michaela Šilpochová, Leoš Válka, Ivana Brádková at venue DOX, and at the opening I asked Sis what he had made of their approach.
The Czech cultural scene is celebrating the 100th birthday of art collector
and philanthropist Meda Mládková.
Mládková spent more than half of her life in exile, mostly in the United States. In 1968 she and her husband Jan established a collection of Czech and Central European art which she brought to the US from behind the Iron Curtain.
After the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Meda Mládková returned to Czechoslovakia and donated her entire collection to the country. In 1999 she started a foundation which acquired Sovovy Mlýny, a historic building a few hundred meters from Charles Bridge in Prague, and transformed the building into a thriving art museum.
The celebrations of her 100th birthday started in June with the premiere of a film about her life and the public can now view an exhibition called Ambassador of Art showing her personal belongings and memorabilia from her home in Washington, which was a frequent meeting place of politicians, intellectuals and artists.
A Regional Court in Prague has found entrepreneur Jaroslav Fröhlich, his
wife, and a business partner guilty of large-scale fraud for having
knowingly sold forgeries of works by famous Czech artists to collectors and
galleries. They are expected to appeal.
Jaroslav Fröhlich was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay 15 million crowns in damages. His wife Eva Fröhlichová was given sentenced to six years, their colleague Martin Trokan to seven years, and both ordered to pay 5 million crowns in damages.
The Fröhlich couple, along with a business partner, sold paintings imitating the style of artists such as Josef Čapek, Josef Lada, František Kupka, Emil Filla and Jan Zrzavý for some 30 million crowns in total.
Most of the works appeared on the market between 2013 and 2016. The police seized unsold forgeries that, if genuine, would be worth an estimated 50 million crowns.
A painting by Mikuláš Medek, one of the leading Czech modernist painters, sold for 46 million crowns at an auction in Prague on Thursday. The oil on canvas, called Action I (Egg), has become the artist’s most expensive work of art ever sold at an auction. Bidding for painting started at eight million crowns.