NATIONAL GALLERY PRAGUE: NEXT PALACE
|Within the admission to the permanent collections.|
Place: Trade Fair Palace
Exhibition on the occasion of a tender to transform the Trade Fair Palace
The Next Palace recalls the existence of the Trade Fair Palace in the last 90 years in the form of a narrative bend. The palace has had a troubled life. It is an epitome of modernistic arcades in the spirit of transparence, glass and iron, as Walter Benjamin points our in his Passagen-Werk. The palace designed for the Prague Sample Trade Fairs was built in 1925–1928 as the largest structure of its time, with long hallway-like arcades lined with glass windows to attract the craving look of a viewer on a leisurely walk. It was the architecture that even Le Corbusier admired. A devastating fire in 1974 caused by incaution of varnishers was a turning point, but also heralded a new future, because the authorities decided that the palace would serve for the National Gallery. This art institution uses the palace’s frugal modernist architecture to present modern and contemporary art – the glamour of commodities was replaced with the glamour of art of the present.
The palace’s functions have, however, not been fully used and it is necessary to consider new, future hybrid programs for the TradeFairPalace. During the Grand Opening, a laser installation on its facade will screen the historical, present and future projects, such as the café, cinema, post office, but also a mediatheque, gallery and others. It is a challenge for contemporary architects to shape a vision for the Next Palace.
The exhibition is a thematic complement to the current exhibition of the National Gallery collections called 1918–1938: The First Republic and was prepared in cooperation with Kolmo and Loom the Moon.
Curator: Helena Doudová