Winter is a time that seems made for large doses of culture. Cold, dark days motivate you towards indoor activities, and you shouldn’t spend all your time in a pub. Here’s a round up of our top 5 exhibitions over the next few months for a little art inspiration.
Only The Good Ones: The Snapshot Aesthetic Revisited
Galerie Rudolfinum, through April 6
This is the one I’m most looking forward. Remember as a child, flipping through the summer vacation snaps? This exhibition is based on just that (well, not your photos). Curators decided to take a look at how the snapshot has influenced photographers over the past 25 years. Quick pics are you in front of the Eiffel Tower, out with a group of friends – there’s nothing much artistic about it but they are for the memories, not for the wall. Interestingly, with the proliferation of social media, the snapshot has grown in importance and influence. At the Rudolfinum, more than 200 pieces were gathered from a number of international photographers with the aim of telling the history of the snapshot aesthetic, from the home, the street, everyday life.
Dox Centre for Contemporary Art, through April 7
Pharmaceuticals + utopia? This exhibition is a more than about popping pills, but looks beyond chemical enhancers to the basic desires of humans – what they wish for, hope for. Marek Schovánek’s installation consists of pills; hand sculpted, brightly colored pills of all shapes and sizes. Looking closely, you’ll see something engraved on them; the brand name? Nope, it’s a title which expresses an underlying wish or fantasy not available at your local pharmacy, but something that pertains to longings beyond the scope of human needs.
Ludvík Kuba – The Last Impressionist
National Gallery’s Salmovský palace, through April 6
For those looking for something a bit more traditional, the National Gallery’s beautiful Salmovský palace is hosting Czech painter Ludvík Kuba. Honing his skills at the beginning of the 20th century in Paris and Munich, Kuba eventually settled in Vienna where he developed his signature impressionistic oil painting style. Using the garden at his in-laws home near Příbram as his muse, he produced a series of Impressionism and Art Nouveau inspired canvases. He’s best known for his garden paintings, which should encourage you to hang on until the trees begin to bloom in Prague.
Museum of Decorative Arts, through March 30
Jewellery making has always featured heavily among Czech and Slovak designers and this special exhibition showcases some of the more recent talent. The main part focuses on the metalwork and jewellery activity at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, specifically the work created at Studio S+M+L_XL METALWORK and JEWELLERY. Work on display ranges from actual wearable objects to concept pieces that just show some creativity. There’s also a smaller exhibition of young contemporary Czech and Slovak designers.
National Museum’s New Building, through May 11
Ah, who can resist a good scandal? Check out what disgraces the media have been following since the country was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Historical scandals from the First Republic through to the Velvet Revolution are portrayed, especially focusing on how the media created personalities in the various eras. On display are newspaper reports and written materials, audio and video recordings and exhibits documenting the lifestyle throughout the period as well as items from a variety of famous, popular and unpopular personalities. The exhibition is part of the broader Money show also on display here, which looks at the history of currency in a number of cultural contexts.