National Gallery Prague in 2020
In 2020, National Gallery Prague will present exhibitions of Rembrandt, Mikuláš Medek and Buddhist art. The Trade Fair Palace will again feature a number of contemporary art projects. The Grand Opening in March will usher in the new season with exhibitions of Kurt Gebauer, brutalist architecture and others.
The traditional Grand Opening in the Trade Fair Palace will launch the new exhibition season at the beginning of March 2020, the year when the NGP celebrates the 224th anniversary of the founding of its predecessor, the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts. The gallery will open the most comprehensive retrospective to date of the sixty-year-long career of the sculptor Kurt Gebauer. In light of the increasingly frequent demolitions, NGP will present an exhibition of brutalist architecture in Prague between 1960 and 1980. In addition to these projects, NGP has also prepared an exhibition dedicated to the influences of Edgar Allan Poe's work on Czech art.
Rembrandt and Medek
In April, NGP will open a pivotal old-art exhibition – Rembrandt in the Kinsky Palace. In addition to the iconic Scholar in His Study, the exhibition will show a number of prominent artworks on loan from important international museums, such as the MET, The National Gallery in London and Vienna's Albertina, as well as private collections. In June, NGP will open the second part of the permanent exhibition of its Old Masters Collection in the Sternberg Palace.
Three NGP buildings will host an extensive project devoted to Mikuláš Medek, one of the most prominent artists on the Czech postwar scene. The Waldstein Riding School will house the main part of the exhibition, while Medek's religious-themed oeuvre will be presented in the Convent of St. Agnes of Bohemia. The monumental Decorative Paneau from 1969, originally on display in the Ruzyně airport restaurant, will be exhibited in the Trade Fair Palace.
The Fall Opening and Buddha from Up Close
The Fall Opening in the Trade Fair Palace will launch an exhibition of artworks from Ljubljana's Modern Gallery and Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, the first institutional collection focusing on East-European art. Other shows to open in the Fall will feature the painter Igor Korpaczewsky, the photographer Markéta Othová and the Artists' Colony at Okoř which included artists such as Antonín Slavíček, Otakar Lebeda and Antonín Hudeček. The Trade Fair Palace will also house the traditional exhibition of the finalists for the Jindřich Chalupecký Prize.
In addition to regular shows in graphic cabinets at the Schwarzenberg Palace and Trade Fair Palace, drawings and prints will be represented by an exhibition of the American draftsman, caricaturist and illustrator Saul Steinberg. Another pivotal project – the exhibition Buddha from Up Close in the Kinsky Palace – will conclude the season. For the first time in its history, the National Gallery will present masterpieces of Buddhist art in cooperation with Zurich's Museum Rietberg.
New Permanent Exhibitions and Record-Breaking Attendance
Despite the turbulent changes in NGP's leadership, the 2019 exhibition plan was fully realized, presenting a number of successful projects to the public. The gallery opened two new permanent exhibitions: Old Masters in the Schwarzenberg Palace and 1796–1918: Art of the Long Century in the Trade Fair Palace. In 2020, NGP will continue preparing further permanent exhibitions, two of which are planned for 2021. An exhibition of postwar art will be opened on the second floor of the Trade Fair Palace and Asian art will be newly exhibited in the Salm Palace.
With attendance of 100,000 visitors, the exhibition of French Impressionism became the decade's best attended show and it will likely be nominated for the most successful Czech exhibition of the year. The exhibitions of Josef Šíma, Albert Giacometti, Milan Grygar and Václav Hollar also received positive response from the public. In addition to these exhibitions, NGP organized Stanislav Kolíbal's successful project at the 2019 Venice Biennale.