The Search for a Masterpiece

Curator: Tomáš Kolich

This exhibition features more than 200 paintings from the collections of the Hradec Králové Gallery of Modern Art as it celebrates its 70th anniversary. The works on display range from the late 18th century to the present day. The exhibition explores how the canon of Czech (and Czechoslovak) art history chimes with the tastes of contemporary audiences. In pursuit of this aim, the curatorial selection consciously brings together works by well-known painters with pictures by less celebrated, half-forgotten, provincial and even entirely anonymous artists. Unlike run-of-the-mill gallery projects, which naturally involve works that have been culled and critiqued by generations of art historians and critics, here we present visitors with a broad palette of artistic and technical quality that more faithfully reflects the reality of human creativity and gallery collections.


White Cube

Ivan Vosecký | Truth

Curator: Vjera Borozan

The art of Ivan Vosecký tends to defy any straightforward reading and interpretation, probably because, in its own peculiar way, it exposes the ambiguities and contradictions of the art world and the broader world we live in. Although the artist’s works may come across at first blush as overly blunt, elemental or provocative, they almost always delve into fundamental questions about our existence.


Black Cube

Adéla Babanová | Let’s Talk about Eva

Curator: Tereza Stejskalová

How are an artist’s life and the ebb and flow of her work connected? How does art intersect with interpersonal relationships? To what extent does gender influence an artist’s “career” and the fortunes of her work? Why do we still buy into the romantic myth of the genius whose incomparable work is inevitably derived from an existential struggle and suffering? How does this myth inform cultural relations and shape social contours, i.e. the bedrock out of which all art grows? What role does the media play in the forging of such heroic myths? These and other fundamental questions are posed by Adéla Babanová’s Let’s Talk about Eva (Promluvme si o Evě).



Traces of Bronze and Stone: Josef Václav Škoda

curator: Jan Florentýn Báchor

Josef Václav Škoda (1901–1949) was an important interwar sculptor with close ties to Hradec Králové and the city’s surroundings. His works for the public space helped to shape an important era in the city’s history thanks to which Hradec Králové came to be called the “salon of the republic”.



Tomáš Svoboda | SILENT DISCO

Visual artist Tomáš Svoboda’s multimedia installation Silent Disco (2023), created specifically for the main lobby of the Gallery of Modern Art in Hradec Králové, tries to answer the question of what key factor has influenced Czech society over the past three decades.



Eugenio Percossi | Music Box

The Christmas holidays overlap in time with the original celebration of Dies Natalis solis invicti (The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun), when the ancient Romans celebrated the winter solstice. This feast was a week full of various social and religious rituals. During one of these, the Saturnalia, children were given dolls, families presented each other with decorative candles, and people played a role-switching game in which slaves could act like free citizens while their masters served them. All we have to do is add Baby Jesus to the Saturnalia, and voilà: we have today’s Christmas.