The new permanent exhibition of post-war art in Trade Fair Palace
The new permanent exhibition of post-war art will be based on two main principles of approaching artworks. The first approach, represented by the main stream of the exhibition, presents the artworks as bearers of artistic and spiritual values in and of themselves. Through paintings, sculptures and works on paper, the exhibition attempts to show how post-war art followed from surrealist currents, and introduces the Paris school as well as the new poetic of the modern life. Aside from individual artists, the exhibition will follow the forms and specifics of Czech abstraction, the return to geometrical and figural ways of expression, the fundamental changes in understanding art towards conceptual expression, the ways of relating to nature and the new comebacks of painting and sculpture in the 1980s. The artworks will be presented not only according to the main artistic tendencies but also based on inner affinities among individual artworks and other kinds of connections.
Running parallel with this main stream of presenting artworks, the second approach will draw on the contemporary understanding of an artwork as part of a social and cultural milieu. With the aid of various staging methods and audiovisual means, the exhibition will present important themes of the period in several special sections created in collaboration with an external team of experts (the themes include, but are not limited to the exhibition activity in the 1960s, the world Expos, art in public spaces, action art, design of publications and posters, the underground of the 1970s and 1980s).
This way, the exhibition offers several levels of engagement depending on the visitor's interest. Based on artistic reflection of contemporary events, the exhibition outlines historical developments beginning with the short and colourful post-war period via the traumatic break in February 1948 and continuing into the era of darkness in the 1950s, the gradual liberalization, which culminated in the 1960s cultural eruption, and then into another era of darkness and inertia, only weaker in intensity and against a new backdrop. The body of artworks from the collection of the National Gallery in Prague will be complemented with loans from local and international institutions and private collections.