The Vltava River at Prague’s Mánes exhibition hall turned blood-red on Monday afternoon, after activists from an art group calling themselves Bolt958 poured an unknown substance into the water. The group charged that the famous art gallery “was bleeding”. The protest was over how the space, in their view, is being misused.
Václav Havel is probably the single most important figure in modern Czech history. Havel was born here in Prague and spent virtually his entire life in the capital. In this programme we will visit a number of spots in the city closely associated with the playwright, dissident and president. And for that we absolutely couldn’t have a better guide than the architect and writer Zdeněk Lukeš, who served under Havel at Prague Castle in the 1990s and in 2016 brought out the excellent guidebook Václav Havel’s Prague.
Firefighters were called out to deal with an oil spill on the Vltava River in Prague on Friday, iDnes.cz reported. The oil “stain”, which was around 50 metres in length, occurred between the Charles Bridge and Mánes Bridge in the centre of the city. It was likely caused by the escape of motor oil from a plastic bottle, a spokesperson for the fire service said. A temporary ban was imposed on boats on the river while the problem was being addressed.
An exhibition on the Fluxus art movement is set to get underway at the Czech National Gallery’s Veletržní Palace modern art venue on Wednesday. Fluxus, which originated in New York, brought together artists, composers and designers. The network’s best-known member was John Cage while Czech artist Milan Knížák was also an exponent. The exhibition offers an interactive presentation of the movement’s history via materials related to Fluxus festivals held in Europe between 1962 and 1977.
Sculptor David Černý must pay a former director of the Czech National Gallery, Milan Knížák, CZK 100,000 in damages for defaming him in a Czech Television interview. The Prague Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal lodged by Mr. Černý, upholding a previous decision it made. The artist also has to pay Mr. Knížák’s court costs. Mr. Černý used abusive language to describe the then National Gallery head in an interview for a 2011 documentary on an award for young artists. Mr. Černý caused controversy with a sculpture for the 2009 Czech presidency of the EU that was considered offensive by some member states.
The Prague art gallery Mánes is set to reopen after a two-year renovation on Wednesday with an exhibition of works by caricaturist and illustrator Ivan Steiger. Restaurant and office spaces at Mánes are still awaiting building approval, with its operators saying they would like to open the entire complex to the public in the summer. The Functionalist structure hosted the 80th birthday party of President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk in 1930, the year it opened with a show looking back at a century of Czech art.
The functionalist Mánes Exhibition Hall, located on the right bank of the Vltava river between the bridges Jiraskův most and Most Legií, is one of only two buildings in Prague that were expressly designed to house art – the other one being the famous Rudolfinum gallery. Martin Pavala, the chairman of the supervisory board of the Czech Art Foundation, which owns it, explains that the art gallery’s history started in 1930.
The Minister of Culture, Jiří Besser, has appointed a fresh face to the head of the Czech Republic’s National Gallery, that of economist Vladimír Rösel. Though chosen for the position by a selection committee and praised by the minister for having by far the best plan for leading the gallery into the future, critics have been quick to point out his obvious drawback – that he is neither an artist nor an art academic. What’s more, Mr Rösel replaces a huge figure in the Czech art world, Milan Knížák, an artist of world-renown whose 12-year tenure in
Economist Vladimír Rösel has been appointed to head the National Gallery, Minister of Culture Jiří Besser has announced. He will take office on June 1. Mr Besser said that he and the selection committee had chosen someone who was able to take the institution in a new direction. He team, the minister said, had put together by far the most comprehensive concept for developing the National Gallery and opening it up to the world. The ten-member committee reportedly weighed five candidates to replace the outgoing director, well-known public figure Milan Knížák.