The eighth annual Designblok festival of design opened its doors Tuesday in the River Diamond apartment complex, part of the ongoing regeneration of Prague's Karlin district. Designblok 2006 is showcasing the work of more than 100 artists, designers, manufacturers and retailers—90 percent of whom are Czech. I spoke with Designblok organizer and curator Jana Zielinski and asked her: what's hot in Czech design this year?
2006 has been an unusually successful year for Czech art auction houses. With the number of collectors growing and ever more valuable pieces on sale, turnover is soaring. This weekend, another record was broken. A Cubist painting by the renowned twentieth century artist Josef Capek was auctioned off for 9.3 million Czech crowns, which is over 430,000 US dollars. Dita Asiedu reports:
A new exhibit at the Polish Institute entitled Confrontation 6 features the works of two artists: the Polish painter Maciej Swieszewski, and the Czech sculptor Ivan Tlusty. Visitors will find pieces of what can be described as opposite genres, by artists of the same generation from neighboring countries.
In the shadow of the church of the St. Germain de Pres on the Rue Bonaparte, the staff of the Czech Cultural Center waved visitors in to the closing celebration of a unique exhibition of the work of 10 contemporary Czech artists. The hands-on experience of Orbis Pictus comprised three floors of fantastical, whimsical instruments and machines, all of which could be touched and many of which could be used to create sounds and music.
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jaroslav Jezek, a man whose musical compositions from the late 1920s and 1930s have stood the test of time. Critics agree that Jaroslav Jezek belongs to the canon of the First Czechoslovak Republic, and his short life mirrors that of many of his artistic contemporaries: educated in Prague during the interwar era, Jaroslav Jezek achieved fame in his homeland before being forced to flee Czechoslovakia with the advance of the Nazis in 1938, and he spent his last years in exile in the United
Anyone interested in archaeology is likely to be attracted to a new exhibition just opening at the Prague City Museum titled "Through the Valley of Shadows". The exhibit - which took a year to prepare - features samples of a number of Prague burial sites dating from as far back as the Stone Age to the early Middle Ages. It shows how ancient cultures - German, Celtic, and Slavic - dealt with death in practical as well as symbolic terms.
For a number of years now visitors in Prague have been able to view public sculpture in and around the monumental Wenceslas Square throughout the summer months. Titled Sculpture Grande, the exhibition features truly massive works that rise up above the traffic; this year it particularly made headlines through work by legendary American artist Dennis Oppenheim. Generally, public reaction has been positive: most told Radio Prague they enjoyed the show overall, stressing that it was a great opportunity to view abstract art.
For this edition of Czech Books we are at the Philosophical Faculty of Prague's Charles University to meet one of the most respected professors at the university. Dr Martin Hilsky is a professor of English literature and is very well known in this country for his translations of Shakespeare. He has translated over twenty of Shakespeare's plays and also much of his poetry. Dr Hilsky is a central figure at the annual Summer Shakespeare Festival, which ended recently and is one of the big cultural events of the summer. Many of the productions we see