Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Prague - House of the Black Madonna

This was a really interesting collection of Czech Cubist work displayed in the House of the Black Madonna; a Cubist building designed by Josef Gocar. The last memories that I have of Cubist work are from my GCSE's being told to copy Picasso and Georges Braque so it was refreshing to see some Cubism away from high school. I found myself much more interested in the metal work and furniture in the exhibition; the paintings just sort of passed by without much interest. I really liked the sculpture work by Otto Gutfreund (below) I found the hollow eyes and cheeks of his faces fascinating and I was in awe of the way that he had turned a piece of metal into something with so much character.

The few pieces of furniture that were dotted around the 3 floors were wonderful, I loved the severe shapes and angles that were applied to such mundane things as dressing tables - it was really beautiful design. The top 2 floors were probably the most compelling, they housed more simple graphic drawings of architectural plans and some of the detailed drawings that were used to plan out the Cubist paintings. It made me appreciate the precision and the organisation of the paintings whereas before I think I just dismissed them as distortion without any real thought. The collection also contained a number of African masks which seemed to be out of place but were fantastic, it made me want to look into more tribal and cultural based art work, maybe during my next project.

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