9/14/2018 – 10/7/2018

Cecil Beaton:
Photographer of Queens

The mission of Museum Kampa is to support the relationship between local and foreign visitors and fine art, introduce modern and contemporary art to the public, and contribute to the awakening and strengthening of cultural values and traditions. Museum Kampa was established by the prominent Czech-American collector and philanthropist Meda Mládek, who is the founder of The Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation, which is one of the most sought out gallery institutions in Prague. Furthermore, the Museum maintains one of the most significant collections of art of the 20th century, overlapping the 19th and 21st century, in the Czech Republic.

The heart of the collection is the original Jan and Meda Mládek collection, which focuses on works by František Kupka and Otto Gutfreund, as well as artists of the so-called unofficial scene, whose often uneasy lives inside the socialist Czechoslovakia were made easier with the couple’s help. Despite all her interest and knowledge, Meda Mládek was reliant on local mediators, and since the art scene in the classical sense was practically non-existent, they could not cover everything in terms of information; for example, the majority of artists who worked out of Prague escaped Mládek’s attention. Nevertheless, this basic collection is incredibly valuable both artistically and culturally.
Next to the additions to the basic collection, the current acquisition politics focuses on artists that somehow escaped Meda Mládek’s attention, mainly because they worked outside the capital. The works of artists that left to exile after the violent end to the Prague Spring are currently in focus – the works of art worth mentioning are e.g. the collections by František Kyncl or Tomáš Rajlich. Among other significant acquisitions of the current year, we may find e.g. the collections by Karel Adamus and Jiří Kubový, both representing conceptual artistic creation, or the expressive and subsequent strictly geometric approach of Pavel Rudolf from Brno. Other remarkable works are the surrealistic pieces of the almost forgotten poet and painter Milan Nápravník who had emigrated, too. An exceptional work of art is the acquisition of the painting from the 1980’s by one of the most outstanding painters of today, Jan Merta. Another extraordinary collection is the series of space drawings – sculptures by Jitka Svobodová. The current artistic creation of the ´classics´ of our scene is represented e.g. by the large watercolours by Milan Grygar.

The exhibition New in 2018 presents the selection of this year’s acquisitions, showing the variety and the scope of the Museum Kampa, among others. Other interesting works, like e.g. other works by Milan Grygar or Jitka Svobodová, can be seen within the permanent exhibition of the Museum Kampa in Moravský Krumlov.

curator: Helena Musilová