From Modern to Present: Gallery of Contemporary Art
This permanent art exhibition maps the artistic situation in the Brno environment from the end of World War II to the present day. The exhibition is conceptually divided into seven spaces, each dedicated to a specific developmental period.
The curatorial intention was to capture the atmosphere of each era through different installation approaches. While the constructive tendencies are presented with an airy touch, the vibrant art of the 1980s is expressed through larger-than-life installations. The installations benefit from clear views between individual spaces, allowing hints at the connections between various artists and developmental contexts.
In May 2014, artworks particularly focusing onf the 1970s and 1980s, as well as significant expressions of new media was added to the exhibition. The realm of action art features photographs from the actions of artists such as Dalibor Chatrný, Marian Palla, Vladimír Ambroz, J. H. Kocman, Miloslav Sonny Halas, Jan Steklík, Tomáš Ruller, Josef Daňek, and Blahoslav Rozbořil. In the field of new media, video art, and projects that combine light and sound, visitors can encounter works by Woody Vasulka, Jiří Suchánek, Petronela Estrada Tančeková, Filip Cenek, and the artistic duo Barbora Trnková & Tomáš Javůrek.
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The exhibition begins with the art situation after 1948 when a new ideology and the conforming socialist realism were imported into the country. Thanks to the gradual relaxation of official policies, the second half of the 1950s saw the recognition of creative groups whose existence was of crucial importance for maintaining the continuity of Czech art. The first section is dedicated to the group "BRNO 57," centered around Bohumír Matal and Jánuš Kubíček. Sculptor Zdeněk Macháček, one of the founding members of the "Parabola" group, was closely associated with this group, and in the early 1960s, Bohdan Lacina, who returned to painting in 1959 after a ten-year break, also contributed to a similar expression.
The next exhibition space is devoted to other creative groups in Brno during the first half of the 1960s. This includes the "M Group," mainly formed by older graduates of the Brno School of Arts and Crafts, founded by Robert and Božena Hliněnští, Josef Kadula, Emil Weirauch, and two self-taught artists Čeněk Dobiáš and Karel Kryl. The group later expanded to include Inez Tuschnerová, Jan M. Najmra, and sculptor Antonín Širůček. Another group presented is "Profil 58," consisting of graduates from Prague art schools: Dalibor Chatrný, František Šenk, Vladimír Drápal, Jiří Šindler, and Oleg Vašica, as well as artists trained at Brno University such as Jiří Hadlač, Oldřich Hanzl, and graduates of the Brno School of Arts and Crafts, František Bič, and Miroslav Netík. The group also included a distinctive painter, Leonid Ochrymčuk. Not to be overlooked are the artists who worked independently of the Brno creative groups, particularly Teodor Rotrekl, who continued his studies in Prague after finishing the School of Arts and Crafts and then settled in the Kladno region.
The subsequent exhibition space presents Brno creative groups in the second half of the 1960s, followed by works of Jánuš Kubíček, Bohdan Lacina, and Bohumír Matal in the late 1960s and early 1970s, artists who significantly influenced the character of Brno's painting. While Kubíček's and Lacina's works saw an increase in lyricism and imagination, partly due to mutually beneficial interactions, in 1968, Bohumír Matal left Brno and settled in the Prudká River valley near Doubravník, where he matured towards constructivist-oriented paintings.
The space dedicated to the constructivist character of Bohumír Matal's work, as well as several examples of Jánuš Kubíček's art, is followed by the section on constructive tendencies and reductionist form. This section represents the works of Dalibor Chatrný and Radek Kratina, as well as the works of Brno's letterist and creator of visual poetry, Jiří Valoch. Also included in this section is the distinct personality of Inez Tuschnerová, with her work based on simple scriptural gestures and direct dialogue with materials.
The next space is dedicated to the period of normalization in the 1970s. It includes artists who, at the end of the 1960s and during the normalization period of the 1970