UM Gallery, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague
19. 11. 2014 – 7. 1. 2015
Opening and launch of publication: Tuesday, 18. 11. 2014 at 6 pm
In the first decade of the independent Czechoslovak Republic, conditions for local female artists changed fundamentally in a sense that they could exhibit abroad and be integrated not only in the broader context of contemporary "Women's Art", but also in Modern Art as a whole. Political leaders of interwar Czechoslovakia were aware that the export of art and cultural values could reinforce the status of a young democracy and bring economic profit. "Women's Art" was an interesting topic for them in the context of cultural exchange and foreign cultural policy.
(image no.1) Věra Jičínská / Standing Female Nude
One of the exported exhibitions of this kind was that of an extensive Exhibition of Czechoslovak Women's Art, which was sanctioned by state authorities and held in 1929 under the tutelage of the National Women's Council and the Circle of Fine Women Artists (KVU). The exhibition took place in the Czechoslovak Embassy in Buenos Aires and presented 34 artists. The aim was to present the tradition of female handicraft as well as other fields – painting and especially sculpture and architecture – the availability of which, in the Czech context, had been institutionally fundamentally limited for women until 1918.
The 80 exhibits collected in the UM Gallery reveal the variety and simultaneously the complicated status of female artistic production between the wars. The exhibition recalls not only the remarkable personalities of the older and the younger generation, but also several representatives of the "mainstream". Most of the latter were active members of KVU, whose work confirmed stereotypical views of the female branch of art as a fingerprint of "natural" feminine conformism. The emphasis on handicraft (lace, embroidery, batik) showed the attachment of women to housework, as well as to folklore and ethnography.
The exhibition also presents black and white prints of missing or inaccessible works. It illustrates the dramaturgy of the Buenos Aires Exhibition, which was (probably for financial reasons) composed as a "collage" of real and reproduced works of art. However, we find no references in the available sources to the three artists whose handicrafts and decorative art works travelled to South America 85 years ago. They are represented only by the label.
(image no.2) Zdeňka Čechová – Libescherová / Self-portrait
The main part of the From Prague to Buenos Aires exhibition relies on written documentation of the exhibition held in Argentine, which was deposited in the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Given the fact that no photographic documentation of the event has been preserved, the current exhibition is not - and can not be - conceived as a reconstruction. "It is rather an attempt at a partial revision of history, and its purpose is to convey one of the forgotten chapters in the history of Czech, or more precisely Czechoslovakian, Modern Art and to contribute to the necessary debate about the relationship between art, power and politics," says the curator of the exhibition, Martina Pachmanová.
A publication of the same name is being issued to accompany the exhibition. It is edited by Martina Pachmanová .
Hana Autengruberová, Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová, Zdenka Braunerová, Zdenka Burghauserová, Helena Emingerová, Valerie Hachla-Myslivečková, Julie Horová-Kováčiková, Božena Jelínková-Jirásková, Aloisie (Lola) Jenšovská, Věra Jičínská, Marta Jirásková, Helena Johnová, Jaroslava Klenková, Zdeňka Liebscherová-Čechová, Anna Macková, Emilie Mildeová-Paličková, Marie Teinitzerová, Olga Theofila Pikhartová, Milada Petříková-Pavlíková, Minka Podhajská, Petra Pospíšilová, Božena Pošepná, Anna Roškotová, Marta Rožánková-Drábková, Jiřina Svačinová-Felixová, Helena Šrámková, Sláva Tonderová-Zátková, Pavla Vicenová-Rousová, Karla Vobišová-Žáková, Sláva (Jaroslava) Vondráčková, Julie Winterová-Mezerová (missing artists: Helli Neudek, Anežka Přerovská, L. Handuková)
(image no. 3) Marta Jirásková / Semi-nude
Wednesday, 10th December at 17:00 Guided tour with the curator
Saturday, 13th December from 14:30 to 17:00 Children's art workshop
For more information:
náměstí Jana Palacha 80, 116 93 Praha 1
tel.: 251 098 262 / cell: 739 304 060
firstname.lastname@example.org / www.vsup.cz
The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague
The Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague was founded in 1885. Throughout its existence, it has ranked among the finest educational institutions. The proof is the number of successful graduates, who are currently respected professionals with prestige beyond the borders of the Czech Republic. The Academy is divided into six departments - Architecture, Design, Fine Arts, Applied Arts, Graphics and Theory and History of Art.
Individual departments are further divided into ateliers according to their specialisation, led by respected personalities.