Hours extended for Richter and Skála exhibits

Due to high demand two National Gallery venues will be open later and on Mondays

Demand has been high for the Gerhard Richter and František Skála exhibitions, and both will close Sept. 3. They are so popular that the hours have been extended at the venues that are hosting them.

“We are extending the opening hours of the Wallenstein Riding School and the Kinský Palace to 8 pm due to great visitor interest. Both exhibitions will also be open daily, including Monday,” National Gallery director Jiří Fajt announced.

Some 53,000 have seen the František Skála: Riding School exhibition at the Wallenstein Riding School (Valdštejnská jízdárna) since March 10, and 43,000 have seen a retrospective of Gerhard Richter at Kinský Palace (Palác Kinských) since April 26.

The František Skála exhibition at the Riding School focuses on the artist’s work since 2004. The installation has various pavilions or solitary monumental works, light installations and works done specifically for the site. Skála works with found objects, among other things. He said that he seeks to create museums withing museums. The unifying element is light, which Skála explores in various forms. “On a practical level, the light makes it possible to see the exhibits, but it is also a tool for understanding them; it can shine through materials and 'enlighten' the viewer. Most of the space will be illuminated with artificial light, sometimes imitating natural sunshine,” the National Gallery said in its description.

The František Skála exhibition is also linked to the temporary cafe called at Prastánek (Rugged Stand) at Malostranské náměstí. It is carved from a single tree trunk and stands six meters tall. “The Rugged Stand seeks to serve as a meeting point, a center of unexpected interaction, a place to refresh the visitor both physically and spiritually. It resembles urban kiosks … but unlike them, it is not an industrialized shop, but an organic handmade structure. The Rugged Stand brings nature gone wild and architecture gone wild to the tourist plantation of the Lesser Town. Its values are nonpragmatic,” Skála said.

The retrospective of German artist Gerhard Richter is the first in Central and Eastern Europe, and presents more than 70 works done by the artist during the last 60 years.

“The exhibition presents all facets of Richter’s oeuvre: the iconic portraits of his daughters Betty and Ella painted from photographs, paintings that reflect everyday life as well as historical and topical social issues, mountain- and seascapes, monochrome gray paintings, expressive abstract compositions, a series of computer-processed geometric Strips, and his famous Color Charts,” the National Gallery states, adding that parts of his Atlas are also included, among additional works.

The works are in chronological order, following the development of the artist's themes. “Richter always experiments and seeks out a new vocabulary of stylistic expression,” the NG states.

After the exhibition in the National Gallery in Prague the Gerhard Richter's cycle of paintings Birkenau will be seen in the Reichstag building in Berlin.

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