Zdeněk Beran - Retrospective
February 2 – April 8, 2007
The exhibition is held by the National Gallery in Prague - Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Veletržní Palace, eastern wing, first floor (Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Prague 7)
Author of the exhibition: Milan Knížák
Curators: Milan Knížák, Blaguna Paskaleva
Principal partner of the National Gallery in Prague: HVB Bank
Sponsor of the National Gallery in Prague: Synot Lotto, a.s.
Principal media partner: Hospodářské noviny
Media partners: Art&antique, Classic FM, ČRo 3 - Vltava
Zdeněk Beran (b. 1937) is a synthesis of contradictory artistic principles. On one hand, there is his admiration for the avant-garde, and on the other, his capacity to work with classical techniques as well as the traditional concept of painting.
He entered the artistic scene with portraits and small-size landscapes painted in expressive and abbreviated manners. Having had no difficulties meeting the demands of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, he soon won a school award and graduated with a monumental diploma project offering the non-traditional decoration of a crematorium and employing the technology of contemporary painting. His encounter with several friends who had fallen for Informel abstract painting in the 1950s was a fateful one. They were primarily Jiří Valenta, whom Beran took for a slightly older guru, and his drinking buddy Antonín Tomalík, a robust and tragic artist who committed suicide before reaching thirty. This group of “Bums” (a name that came into use), which also included artists in other genres, such as musicians and photographers, represented a progressive wing of Czech fine arts in 1960. Their efforts were an incredible combination of yearning for a provocative deed and rigidity expressed, in particular, in an uncompromisingly maintained technology for building an object. “The correctly treated structure” was a term whose exact meaning was known only to the Bums.
The year 1968, and the new atmosphere it brought, scattered the group. We can only follow their individual fates in the 1970s. Zdeněk Beran expressed his delayed arrival at surrealism in a series of naturalizing drawings. During this period, he produced his masterpiece The Rehabilitation Ward of Dr. Dr, a traumatizing picture of the so-called normalization period and his own personal problems. In the 1990s, Beran became an enthusiastic teacher, founding a school oriented to hyperrealism at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague.
Zdeněk Beran’s retrospective exhibition presents his work from all angles and is accompanied by a representative monograph.
Basic fee: 100 Kč
Reduced fee: 50 Kč
Daily except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.