Galerie moderního umění
v Hradci Králové

White Cube

Jan Šafránek | Café Kubišta

curators: Petra Příkazská, Anna Horák Zemanová

The exhibition presents a cross-section of the work of a native of Hradec Králové, a painter and world traveler who transformed his fascination with the visible world and its absurdist poetry into an inimitable painterly celebration of human society. Through key works from various decades (from the 1960s to the present day) – further complemented by an extensive set of drawings – visitors to the exhibition can follow the gradual crystallization of the artist’s visual poetry.



Tapping the Egg: Columbus Then and Now

curator: Vjera Borozan

The story of Christopher Columbus, his epochal voyage, and his “discovery of a new continent” are among the founding myths of modern Western civilization. This story, based (among other things) on the study of historical sources, has found a place in history and geography textbooks. Many historical and adventure novels, paintings, prints, sculptures, films, operas, and plays have been dedicated to Columbus. His popularity grew especially in the 19th century and reached a peak at the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), which celebrated the 400th anniversary of his “discovery”. The public image of Columbus began to change in the 20th century, especially after the Second World War, when anticolonial struggles produced new geopolitical and economic relationships. Gradually, all the things that had long been ignored and suppressed began to bubble to the surface of what had been a grand and triumphant story.



Josef Wagner

curator: Kateřina Křížkovská

The landscape under the Krkonoše mountains in the north of the Czech Republic is not only scattered with Baroque monuments, large and small, but is also home to a stonemasonry tradition which continues the legacy of the 18th century sculptor Matyáš Bernard Braun, and his followers. The name Wagner is synonymous with this tradition, and first appears in parish registers in the regions of Jaroměřsko and Královévodsko as early as the 18th century.



Ladislav Jezbera | Ego

curator: Judita Kožíšková

The monumental and decorative Foyer of the Hradec Králové gallery used to be the entry hall of a bank. This space inspired Ladislav Jezbera to create an installation reacting to the monumentality of the entry hall as well as to the noble material used in its grandiose decoration – marble. The black-and-white annealing of the five-meter-long polyester blocks, from which he created three independent objects, is supposed to imitate the structure of the marble. Even the industrial mode of production used to create the blocks reminds one of the process through which marble forms in nature, including the accidental mixing of light and dark particles. The artist thus knowingly works with similarity and contrast between the marble paneling of the Foyer and the economically more accessible artificial material, the overproduction of which by “egocentric” humans is overwhelming the planet. It is as if, with their monumentality, the statues seek to compete with the entry hall. In the end, however, their “mimicry” causes them, rather, to blend into the space while also architecturally completing it and expanding the ways we can perceive it as spectators. The statues are ecologically and economically gentle – the borrowed, prefabricated polyester will be returned to the manufacturer after the end of the exhibition to be recycled.