In this edition of Czechs Today, we talk to Ondřej Kohout, a painter and stage designer who left Czechoslovakia with his family in the early 1980s after signing the Charter 77 manifesto. He went to live in Vienna where he reunited with his father, the poet and playwright Pavel Kohout, who had been forced out of his country by communist authorities. In the Austrian capital Ondřej Kohout established himself as an independent artist, and since 1983 he has had more than 60 exhibitions in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and other European countries.
As one art critic once said, the paintings of Josef Lada accompany Czechs from cradle to grave. He is as well known for his illustrations of fairy tales and children’s readers as he is for his landscapes, which each Christmas are printed thousands of times over on the front of the nation’s Christmas cards. Lada was also the artist who gave the grinning, rotund Good Soldier Švejk his form.
Don’t eat that – its fifty years old! Czech researchers eat a package of soup that had been sitting around for half a century. “Six fingers are better than five,” says a boy who should know. And, the Wallenstein family clan has a get-together in Prague. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
“London, Chelsea Reach”, a 1957 painting by Austrian artist Oskar Kokoshka, was sold for 19.5 million crowns (one million US dollars) on Sunday. It was the highest starting price ever set on the Czech auction market. However, the painting has not beaten the record held by František Kupka’s Élévation IV, which was sold off for 22.1 million crowns last October.
Jan Saudek is one of the Czech Republic’s best-known photographers, whose work is instantly recognizable for his trademark use of coloration and scarred backdrops, his subjects sometimes intimate, sometimes provocative, nudes. Not long ago, Adolf Zika, a world-class fashion and artistic photographer in his own right, completed a feature film about Mr Saudek which has now hit Czech cinemas. Titled “Jan Saudek – Trapped by his Passions, No Hope for Rescue”, the film is an attempt to take a closer look at the man behind a very public persona: that
An exhibition celebrating the history of the gay and lesbian movement in the Czech Republic has just opened here in Prague. It is mostly focused on gay culture in the last two decades, when Czech homosexuals have made great strides in achieving equality. When it comes to an end in the capital, the exhibition will tour the country.
Faded jeans, platform shoes, pointed collars and lapels, striking colours and prints: that’s what you recall when you think of 1970s fashion. Now, you can see some of its finest – or at least most garish – examples on display at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague. The exhibition entitled Kytky v popelnici or Flowers in the Dustbin is part of a long-term cycle which aims to present fashion in the course of history. The show is also part of a larger project that has presented 1970s lifestyle in photography, living and now, in fashion.
What do you associate with a Czech Christmas? Carp and potato salad, maybe? Advent wreaths perhaps? Or maybe those festive markets selling mulled wine and gingerbread? Well, now there is a new exhibition which aims to present some of the Czech Republic’s slightly less well-known Christmas traditions. Namely, the festive customs of the country’s minorities. The exhibition, titled ‘Rozlicny cas vanocni’ (‘Various Christmas Traditions’), has just opened in Prague's Hrzansky palac.
All I want for Christmas is to be sent to prison! A Czech man talks an Austrian judge into jailing him. Who let Fittipaldi drive a Pendolino? And Chomutov offers a special marriage ceremony for those who want to give it a try but prefer to remain single. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
Christmas is everywhere in Prague at the moment, from the sparkling lights in the city’s trees to the festive markets selling mulled wine and mistletoe. But one outpost of festive activity that you might miss if you didn’t look out for it is the exhibition of nativity scenes currently running up at Prague Castle.
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