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Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art (Sbirka Moderního a Soucasneho Umení)

Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art (Sbirka Moderního a Soucasneho Umení) (20)

The Veletrzní Palace is an old trade fair centre that currently houses the modern and contemporary art collection of the National Museum. The building, designed by Oldrich Tyl and Joseph Fuchs, was built between 1925 and 1929 and with its elegant glass and concrete structure is a good example of rationalist architecture.

In 1974, part of the structure of this palace was devoured by flames in a big fire and had to be rebuilt. Since its restoration, in the mid-90s, it has housed a considerable representation of the best artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Here there are works by Picasso, Van Gogh and Gauguin, to mention just a few.

Take your time to wander calmly through the spacious rooms bathed in natural light, because on show here are some examples of the main European artistic currents of our times: expressionism, cubism or surrealism are just some of the tendencies that are reflected in the gallery.

Of particular note is the collection of French art in this centre, with works by Delacroix, Courbet, Rodin, Braque and Matisse.

There is not only painting, however, at the Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art: architecture, photography and drawing also have their place here.

Another section is the sculpture. On show here are works by Arístides Maillol and Frantisek Bílek. One of the more curious pieces you will see in this centre is the sculpture entitled “Torso”, from 1936. It is by the Czech Zdenek Pesanek, the Standard bearer of kinetic art who in this work explored the relationship between sculpture and neon lights. You can be assured that it is a frankly curious combination.

The Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art does not forget Czech artists either, whose works represent extensive portfolios. Make sure you don’t miss the beautiful painting “Sunset in Hradcany”, by Jakub Schikaneder from the early 20th century. Its author was able to create in his painting part of the magic of the Prague sunset.

You will also see works by the modernist Mikulas Ales and by Jan Zrzavy, outstanding representative of modern Czech art.

If you know how to appreciate modern art with its peculiarities, you simple must visit the “Big Meal” painting by Mikulas Medek, an artist who, in his career, covered the path between surrealism and abstract art.

A final representation is to see the painting “The Virgin”, one of the most well-known works by Gustav Klimt and one of the most stunning examples of his chromatic, rich and vivid style.

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