Hunt Kastner Artworks in Prague 7 is a private gallery owned and run by Camille Hunt, who is Canadian, and Katherine Kastner, who is from the US though her mother is Czech. The two represent 10 Czech artists, among them Eva Koťátková, Josef Bolf and Daniel Pitín. This week I stopped by to talk to the owners about their work, both curating shows and helping their artists find buyers overseas. I first asked Hunt what had led them to open the gallery in the first place.
Our guest on this week’s Sunday Music show is singer and songwriter Tomáš Klus winner of the Singer of the year and Album of the year at the 2011 Andel Awards. Tomáš Klus has best captured the present mood of the Czech nation. In his 2011 hit song "Pánu bohu do oken" he sings about the rotten world of Czech politics asking God what Czechs have done to deserve this.
The company Modernista, which has a shop in the centre of Prague, deals in both original Czech furniture from the first half of the 20th century and replicas it has made under license. Perhaps most notably, Modernista sells and recreates Cubist pieces – including ceramics and clocks – which are unique to this part of the world. Owner Janek Jaros described the business to me when we spoke a few days ago.
American pianist Stephen Beus is one of the star performers at the American spring music festival currently underway in the Czech Republic. The internationally acclaimed musician, who performs with renowned orchestras and gives solo recitals the world over, has been described as a strikingly original, confident and gifted player with a rock-solid technique. On what is his second recital tour in the Czech Republic he visited Radio Prague’s studio and talked about the joy he derives from music, the inspiration he draws from it and the secret behind
Over the last couple of years, art sales in the Czech Republic have seen a decline. But this year is different, and it’s not just the record sale of a František Kupka painting that did the trick. The market now attracts collectors who are ready to look beyond the well-established segment of modern art that has topped sales so far.
An international meeting of Czech language and literature experts, among them teachers and translators, kicked off at Prager Literaturhaus, a Czech institute that promotes Prague’s German literary heritage. For the next four days, lovers of the Czech language will be discussing their field of expertise and exchanging their findings in a number of seminars, panel discussions and lectures. On the first day of the international get-together, we speak with Kristin Kilsti, a Norwegian literary translator who works from Czech into her native tongue.
Not many people would give up the salary, status and security of a job as a high-flying European lawyer for all the uncertainties of being a full time writer. But this is exactly what Blanka Čechová has done. After several years working for international institutions that seemed to feed on their own bureaucracy, she became disillusioned, and instead has taken her experiences as an inspiration for her writing. Her new novel, “Totál Balkán” draws richly from the time the author spent with an international mission in Kosovo, and the picture it paints
In 2004, Jiří Mádl, who at the time was all about playing hockey and had little ambitions to become an actor, shot to fame overnight with his lead role in the box-office hit Snowboarďáci, or Snowboarders. While he was mostly cast for teen comedies following his first big success, his more recent films show a shift towards serious roles. In his latest movie, Four Suns or Čtyři Slunce, directed by the acclaimed Bohdan Sláma, Mádl plays bad-boy Jerry. The film also happens to be the Czech Republic’s first submission to the prestigious Sundance Film
After many months of delays, and several years of arguing, the Slav Epic will go on display in Prague’s Veletržní palác on Thursday. Alfons Mucha’s Art Nouveau masterpiece has been at the centre of a heated dispute between the town of Moravský Krumlov, where the 20 enormous canvasses were kept until recently, and the City of Prague, which has made no secret of wanting to put the work on permanent display. As for the painter’s own wishes, the Slav Epic was willed to the Czech capital upon his death in 1939, but on the condition that a special building