The Studio of Universal Sculpture on Kurt Gebauer‘s Eightieth Birthday
9. 6. – 31. 7. 2021
Gallery UM, nám. Jana Palacha 80, Praha 1
Tuesday, June 8th, from 7 pm to 10 pm, and Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm until the 31st July 2021.
Welcome to the world of universal sculpture!
At least one sculptor for each hamlet, a statue for each street.
In the places where nature and history did not give anything nice for the eye to see, there is a place for universal sculpture, ie painting, installation, performance, good architecture, landscape, or sculpture, when the human eye gets bored it starts to misbehave.
Only a few educators mean so much to students that they are in contact with them long after graduation. One of them is the sculptor, Professor Emeritus Kurt Gebauer, who led the Sculpture Studio from 1990 to 2012 and worked at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) until 2015. This August he will celebrate his 80th birthday and his students have prepared an exhibition for him, which will also be a celebration of this significant jubilee.
Kurt Gebauer has been associated with UMPRUM since the early 1990s when its current form was shaped. Studying in the Studio of Universal Sculpture meant a lot. More than 150 students passed through it, among them, for example, David Černý, Lenka Klodová, Dagmar Šubrtová or Václav Magid. Young sculptors acquired their practical and debate skills in the freest time this country has ever experienced and in one of the most open studios of its time.
“I really enjoy working with students. We did a lot of events at UMPRUM. Students, and therefore graduates, are like family to me. Some adopted me as their dad," laughs Kurt Gebauer. "I am in contact with many, some scattered around the world, but we still call, sometimes see each other, or at least I watch what is happening in their lives. There were several exhibitions, participation in symposia, competitions, and we know about each other‘s activities. The family is alive. In Třeboň, in the attic of the chateau, we kicked off a permanent exhibition of student and post-student work, the next one will be in a baroque granary in Drahkov in the Benešov region.”
The installation in the UM Gallery combines the work of Kurt Gebauer with the energy and work of his students. From Gebauer, there will be a large series of figural Trumpets from 2016 – 2020 on display, and a beautiful as yet unexhibited girl's nude, on which the sculptor worked in the years 1978 - 2018. The dominant feature in the background of the exhibition hall is a large portrait of Kurt Gebauer, created by Diana Winkler from photographs from the life of the studio and the contemporary work of its students. The project also includes videos and the so-called Kurtionnaire, messages from graduates, how they are doing, what they are doing, and how their work continues. In the middle of the room on the large table, there will be a place for sculptures - gifts from students and graduates of the Studio of Universal Sculpture.
"Through the exhibition, his students answer questions about the meaning of artistic activity through videos, documentary photographs, clearly formulated opinions, and their "gifts "- sculptures in honor of their teacher. The latest magnificent sculptural series by Kurt Gebauer is surrounded by the essence of his pedagogical work. Which is a satisfactory look into the future of sculpture ", explains the exhibition curator, Martina Vítková. A half-hour video was created especially for the exhibition, an interview with Kurt Gebauer, led by Ivana Junková, was filmed by Julie Slovenčíková and Šárka Leinweberová. The name of the exhibition, The Kurt´s , is not only a dedication but also a declaration of family or tribal affiliation.
The event itself is not a surprise for Kurt Gebauer. He actively participated in its preparation from the very beginning. The celebration of the 80th anniversary of the important sculptor and pedagogue does not end with a large exhibition presented in the National Gallery in Prague in the years 2019-2020, nor an exhibition in the UM Gallery. He is planning a large exhibition in Opava with his students in August 2021, the month in which his birthday falls onto.