Salm Palace reopens with big modern exhibition

Works on loan include pieces by Warhol, Basquiat, Haring, Golding and Stella

The National Gallery in Prague has re-opened Salm Palace (Salmovský palác) at Hradčanské náměstí as a venue for international anc Czech modern art.

The first exhibition, called Dimensions of Dialogue, is highlighted by a large-scale piece Levitation by Jean-Michel Basquiat, a cycle called Sunset and a silkscreened portraits by Andy Warhol, and a colorful untitled piece by Keith Haring. Works by Frank Stella, Nan Golding and other international artists are also included along with Czech works. The exhibition, which covers two whole floors, runs until Dec. 1, 2019.

The exhibition is the first installment in a series titled Salm Modern. The NGP plans to present exhibitions of modern and contemporary art from around the world alongside Czech works.

The NPG expects to organize exhibitions in roughly yearlong cycles, in collaboration with galleries and museums from Europe and abroad.

This first exhibition, a;so called Salm Modern #1, is a collaboration between the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD), the Sammlung Hoffmann Berlin and the National Gallery Prague (NGP). It presents artworks from the Sammlung Hoffmann’s gift to the SKD, many of which have never before been seen outside Germany in such breadth and scope.

This spring, the SKD received the art collection of Erika and Rolf Hoffmann, with works from the 1910s till the present. The approximately 1,200 artworks include drawings and paintings, photographs, prints, sculptures, and film and video-art from both little known names and world-renowned figures.

“In this exhibition, which was inspired by the title of the famous film by Jan Švankmajer, we try to highlight the Dimensions of Dialogue between artworks produced in different generations, languages and media. I find this all the more important when today’s reality is no less surrealistic than what that eerily jesting film portrays. I am very glad of the opportunity to continue and expand the dialogue which my husband and I began with artists from our generation 50 years ago. And I am curious to see what the artists and audiences in Czech Republic will have to contribute,” Erika Hoffmann said.

Marion Ackermann, director general of the SKD, said that the donation from Erika Hoffmann in March 2018 gave the SKD an invaluable asset of modern and contemporary art. “Shortly afterward followed the invitation from [NGP director] Jiří Fajt to present a selection of works from the collection alongside works produced by Czech artists. As the SKD and the NGP formed a long-term collaborative partnership in 2017, I am all the more delighted that this wonderful mutual effort has already come to fruition a year later in a joint and above all extraordinary exhibition project,” Ackermann added.

Fajt said that due to the partnership and friendly relations between the NGP and the SKD, the gallery has a unique opportunity to present this internationally significant collection for the first time in the Czech Republic to local and international audiences.

“The exhibition at the Salm Palace is based on a dialogue between world-renowned artists and Czech artists in particular. I personally hold the generosity of both Erika Hoffmann as well as Marion Ackermann and her team in high esteem. I hope that the local and international audience will appreciate the results of our work,” Fajt said.

At the Salm Palace audiences will have the chance to see works by, among others, Marina Abramović, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Monika Bonvicini, Günter Brus, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Olga Chernysheva, Dan Flavin, Isa Genzken, Antony Gormley, Keith Haring, Thomas Locher, Frank Stella, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jean Tinguely, Andy Warhol and Franz West from the Sammlung Hoffmann’s donation to the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Czech artistic production will be represented by the works of Josef Bolf, Jiří Černický, Zdena Kolečková, Stanislav Kolíbal, Krištof Kintera, Jan Nálevka, Ivan Pinkava, František Skála, Vladimír Skrepl, Richard Stipl, Kateřina Šedá, Adriena Šimotová and Jan Švankmajer.

Last year, the SKD and the NGP formed a collaborative partnership. The two institutions celebrated the beginning of their partnership in winter of 2017 with the Culture Train Praha – Dresden // Dresden – Praha. The institutions are planning further collaboration in exhibitions and research for the coming year.

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