Saturday, May 2, 2015

Form Meets Functionalism in Prague - A Flashback

This is what happens when I have more on the "to do" list than hours in a day, I flip through photos and discover blog posts not yet born.  My own set of virtual "frozen embryos"......although Sofia Vergara is dealing with a much, much worse conundrum.  This flashback takes us to Prague (of course) Summer 2014.  

The Prague National Gallery is a series of locations and also known as Národní Galerie v Praze.  This particular gallery is off the beaten path and one of my favorite spaces, if only for the fact that it looks nothing like the standard issue neoclassic architecture, typical of Vienna and Prague galleries.  Veletržní Palác was constructed in 1925, a functionalist building of clean lines and light, originally an exhibition hall for machinery.  It burned in 1970 and was given a new lease on life when selected to house the National Gallery's collection of 19th and 20th Century art, as well as Alfons Mucha's "Slav Epic".  Eight floors of art, architecture, design, graphic and applied arts, this gallery is paradise for lovers of the avant-garde.

As you can see above, the practically empty Gallery is a place for wandering and taking photos.  I'm sharing a very small fraction of the treasures on display.  If you are going, plan for a very full day and grab the audio self-tour.  It is worth the trip to share space with these masterworks and their stories.

A selection of Breuer and Thonet

Bohumil Kubišta "Fakir Taming Snakes" 1915

Otakar Kubín "Figure" 1912-1914

Pavel Janák and Vlastislav Hofman glazed ceramics 1911-1914

My collection of reproductions waiting for more.....

Pablo Picasso "Violin Glass Pipe and Anchor, Souvenir of Le Havre" 1912 (Pavel Janák cubist frame)

Le Corbusier "Nude Woman" 1934

Cezeta 502 Scooter 1961

Gustav Klimt "Lady with a Muff" 1916-1917 (last displayed in Vienna in 1926 and presumed lost, from private collection)  Take that, Vienna!

Edvard Munch "Sea Shore Landscape" 1907

Frank Gehry "Dancing House"  1995

Frank Gehry "Dancing House"  Prague 2014

Jonáš Czesaný "Veletržní Palác" 1972

Now, where is that "to do" list?

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