The Trade Fair Palace of the National Gallery in Prague presents another exceptional Czech artist from the generation which began to impact the local artistic scene during the 1960s. The retrospective of the painter and costume designer Theodor Pištěk (1932) is followed by an extensive exhibition of works by Hugo Demartini (1931-2010). The two artists were long-time friends since their studies at the Prague Academy. Next year, the National Gallery will introduce viewers to the painter Jan Kotík (1916-2002).
The exhibition of Hugo Demartini encompasses works created between 1956 and the early 1990s from all significant stages of his artistic career. It emphasizes Demartiniʼs singular contribution to Czech sculpture during the latter half of the 20th century, mainly based on his courage to experiment. It illustrates the remarkable development of his oeuvre, from the traditional figural sculpture and Informal Art to the constructivist tendencies of the 1960s, when the artist pursued his characteristic reliefs and objects made of chrome-plated metal and realized radical experiments with accidental compositions on the verge of Action Art. Attention is also naturally paid to other changes in Demartiniʼs work during the 1970s and 1980s, to his return to the pure sculptural material in the plaster models of deserted places and in the cubic destroyed objects.
The impact of the sculptorʼs works is supported by an inventive installation by the architectonic team headed by the artist Federico Díaz.
Part of the exhibition space is a studio equipped with interactive games on the subjects "immediate sculpture", "construction and order", and "object". The exhibition programme includes open art workshops for families with children, art playrooms, a workshop for adults and a series of guided tours commented by experts and lectors from the Galleryʼs education department.