Czech Architectural Cubism on display
The style was a short episode in history but unparalleled globally
29 October, 2011
A very interesting exhibition of the Czech architectural cubism was unveiled at the gallery of the Czech Cultural Centre, BTA released. The exposition is held within the framework of the Week of Architecture in Sofia 1-6 October.The Czech architectural cubism was a short episode in the history of architecture, but is however unparalleled globally. The exhibition mounted by the Prague-based Jaroslav Fragner Gallery represents just 15 surviving cubistic buildings.The show focuses on the central period of 1911-1914 and the ideas of prominent cubists and their works: Pavel Janak, Josef Gocar, Vlastislav Hofman, Josef Chochol and Emil Kralicek. The 33 panels feature also cubist design, unimplemented projects and the developments after 1918. Architectural photographer Ester Havlova made the black and white photos, curator of the exhibition is Zdenek Lukes and Dan Merta composed the text.Cubism is one of the exciting new artistic styles of the twentieth century. It was the merit of Picasso that it came into existence in France, but shortly it spread to other countries including Bohemia and Moravia. Cubism gained ground both in artistic branches and in architecture and design due mainly to Pavel Janak, who formulated the theoretical basis of the so-called architectural Cubism. He and a few others designed many buildings as well as interiors, furniture and craft objects in this quaint style in 1911-1914 and then shortly after WWI. Architectural Cubism, however, did not achieve a prominent position either in Czechia or elsewhere. One of the main problems was the fact that, despite their theories, Cubists - with a few exceptions - only managed to create a Cubist building exterior, while their interiors were conventional.
Emil Kralicek. Diamant (Diamond) building in Prague.
Josef Chochol. Residential building.