This exhibition sets out to present the artistic depiction of work and labour – starting with the glory years of this theme, then tracing its subsequent degradation, followed by a period in which it was marginalized and neglected, and finally its gradual re-emergence on the art scene. The exhibition will not offer a nostalgic vision of work; it will instead seek to rehabilitate the notion of work as an artistic theme, offering a critical evaluation of it and presenting it (to both experts and non-experts) as a topic that has some form of relevance to every human being. The exhibition will show how artists historically dealt with themes of work and labour as well as tracing the legacy this art has left – both in the narrower region and on the wider art scene. The individual parts of the exhibition will showcase various aspects of work and labour, including artists’ depictions of different professions – from industry and trade to agriculture and intellectual endeavours – demonstrating how Czech artists’ treatment of these themes has evolved during the 20th century and up to the present day, and encompassing sculpture, painting, photography, and architectural ornament. From the initial notion of work as a necessity, the emphasis has gradually shifted to an enchantment with new technologies and ultimately to contemporary interpretations centering on the notion that art can provide insights into the everyday life of past societies, tracing the evolution of technologies and applying the principle of the “last working day” to preserve our knowledge of working practices and crafts that are nowadays obsolete or largely forgotten.
Exhibition concept: Renata Skřebská
Texts: Renata Skřebská
Contemporary art consultant: Jan Kudrna
Consultant for architectural design: Miloš Matěj
Translation: Christopher Hopkinson
Graphic design: Katarína Jamrišková
Promotion: Jana Malášek Šrubařová, Magdaléna Staňková
Educational programmes: Hedvika Dalecká, Jana Sedláková
Guided tours with curators Renata Skřebská or Gabriela Pelikánováwill také place on Tuesdays or Thursdays 8 October, 15 October, 20 October, 27 October, 12 November, 19 November, 24 November, 1 December, 17 December, 29 December at 4.30 p.m. and on Saturdays 3 October, 7 November, 12 December, 2 January at 3 p.m. Entrance with a valid ticket. Booking advance here (only in Czech). Guided tours are canceled until further notice
We are grateful to all the institutions and private collectors who have lent works for the exhibition:
Prague City Gallery; Roudnice nad Labem Gallery of Modern Art; Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region, Kutná Hora; Karlovy Vary Art Gallery; Moravian Gallery, Brno; Museum of Art, Olomouc; National Gallery, Prague; National Heritage Institute, Kroměříž branch, Hradec nad Moravicí castle and Michal coal mine, Ostrava; Vysočina Regional Gallery, Jihlava; Liberec Regional Art Gallery; Ostrava City Museum; North Bohemian Gallery of Fine Arts, Litoměřice; Sládeček Museum of Local History, Kladno; Silesian Museum; East Bohemian Gallery, Pardubice; Gallery of West Bohemia, Plzeň and the artists who loaned us their works.
Gustav Aulehla, Břetislav Bartoš, Theodor Bechník, Břetislav Benda, Oldřich Blažíček, Svatoslav Böhm, Cyril Bouda, Vladimír Boudník, Karel Brabec, Josef Brož, Alois Bučánek, Václav Buchtelík, Alena Čermáková, Valentin Držkovic, Ferdiš Duša, Karel Dvořák, Nikolaj Fed’kovič, Bedřich Feigl, Emil Filla, André Fougeron, Vladislav Gajda, Paul Gebauer, František Gross, Otto Gutfreund, Eduard Halberštát, Stanislav Hanzík, Karel Hofman, Dagmar Hochová, Karel Holan, Oto Holas, Miloslav Holý, Jaroslav Horejc, Jaroslav Hruška, František Hudeček, Antonín Ivanský, Rudolf Janda, Stanislav Ježek, Miloš Jiránek, Václav Jirásek, Jiří John, Bohumil Kafka, Jaroslav Kapec, Valerián Karoušek, Sabina Knetlová, Viktor Kolář, Stanislav Kolíbal, Bohdan Kopecký, Jaroslav Kotas, Pravoslav Kotík, Karel Kotrba, Jaroslav Král, František Krasl, Rudolf Kremlička, Jaroslav Krepčík, Helmut Krommer, Josef Kubíček, Bohumil Kubišta, Jan Lauda, Jindřich Lenhart, Karel Lenhart, Josef Liesler, Stanislav Lolek, Viktor Mácha, Josef Mařatka, Bohumír Matal, Constantin Meunier, Raimund Mosler, Josef Multrus, Jiří Načeradský, Filip Nádvorník, František Nedvěd, Josef Odráška, Antonín Pelc, František Podešva, Karel Pokorný, Miloš Polášek, Roman Polášek, Václav Rabas, Bohuslav Reynek, Michael Rittstein, Karel Říhovský, Helena Salichová, Vojtěch Sedláček, Zbyněk Sedlecký, Otakar Schindler, Jaromír Schoř, Vladimír Silovský, Martin Sladký, Antonín Slavíček, Jan Smetana, Karel Souček, Vojtěch Sucharda, Petr Szyroki, Ladislav Šaloun, Adriena Šimotová, Pavel Šmíd, Václav Špála, Jindřich Štreit, Max Švabinský, Josef Treuchel, Drahomír Tůma, Franta Úprka, Joža Úprka, Jan Václavík, Jitka a Květa Válovy, Jindřich Wielgus, Vilém Wünsche, Adolf Zábranský, Alois Zapletal, Miloš Zet, Ladislav Zívr, Jan Zrzavý