In Prague, a Showcase for Artists and Professors

The New York Times

Murdered garden gnomes in a Baroque palace in Prague? No, that’s not the premise of some bizarre television show. It is one of the 350 works on view at the Artbanka Museum of Young Art (, whose exhibition space showcases the work of graduate students and professors at Czech art academies.

“We wanted to show young art in context,” said Irena Satkeova, manager of Artbanka. “It brings value and you can see the quality of young art is really high.”

Artbanka, opened last summer, also buys pieces from art school graduates and rents them out to companies, government offices and other institutions. It then puts its rental income toward buying more art. “We want to support new artists financially, but also give their work a chance to be seen by the general public,” Ms. Satkeova said.

The work is colorful, provocative, amusing and unexpected. There are the slaughtered gnomes, by the sculptor Jana Smelikova’s, and collages of found objects by Professor Vladimir Skrepl.

“The cultural tradition here is more dramatic than visual; people think there are no nice new paintings or sculptures,” Ms. Satkeova said. “We want people who might not normally go to a gallery to see original Czech art on display.”