Sculpture Line puts art on the street

The third year of the festival places modern art across the city

If you noticed a few works of modern art suddenly on the streets of Prague, you have stumbled across Sculpture Line, a project now in its third year. There will be 18 sculptures in Prague and three more in the suburb of Dolní Břežany in Prague–West. This year, Plzeň in West Bohemia is also participating.

Most of the works are already in place, and they will be up until the end of September. The idea was inspired by similar projects in New York and other cities.

The works are in a variety of styles. Each location was specifically chosen to accent the sculptures. An app to guide people through the sculptures is available for iOS and Android.

“The open-air exhibition project Sculpture Line is a unique opportunity to present sculptures and art objects to both citizens and visitors of the Czech capital in an attractive setting. Prague itself provides the best exhibition place, be it frequented areas or less-expected locations, both in the center and outskirts of the metropolis,” the organizers state on the event's website.

“Works of art by leading local and international artists interact directly with the city and invite you for a walk of discovery. The aim of the festival is to enrich the public space, offer a new view of the architectural context and, hopefully, become a new tradition. We invite you to take to the streets where art awaits you. Join the Line, enjoy the Line!” the organizers add.

While the locations are numbered and presented as a line, people can see the works in any order. One of the most prominent spots is náměstí Republiky, which will have two pieces. Stop number one on the line, Mixed Feelings by British sculptor Anthony Cragg is a festival highlight. Stop two is already in front of Kotva department store. Dvaja by Slovak sculptor Andrej Margoč looks a bit like a large purple chess piece or a spinning top.

Another highly visible one was just installed is Octopus by Slovak sculptor Viktor Paluš. The gold-colored octopus seems to be floating in the Vltava river at Masarykovo nábřeží in Prague 2. It is sure to feature in the background of lots of selfies.

Another good photo opportunity is provided by Swiss sculptor Marc Moser's Avarice, a giant pair of gold-toned pliers in front of the Dancing House.

One piece that proved controversial is Rugged Stand by Czech artist František Skála. The piece is not only a tall sculpture that looks like an elf's house in a fairytale, it also serves coffee and snacks. The piece, made from a 300-year-old oak tree trunk, will be in Malostranské náměstí, which last year was closed to parking and made into a public space. Some local businesses objected to the sculpture, but permission was finally granted.

A piece that already has been a hit over social media is The Hand, a giant white hand in front of the Park office complex in Chodov. People who work in the area were quick to pose in front of the hand, which looks like it is about to flick away or crush whoever is in front of it. The piece is by Czech artist Monika Horčicová.

The same office complex has some metal balls that look like something a giant cat would play with. They are the work of Czech sculptor Ondřej Oliva.

Other works take a bit of seeking out. Famous Czech sculptor Olbram Zoubek, born in 1926, has a set of figures called Girl, Boy, Woman, Man, located in front of a clinic on Kartouzská 3274/10 in Prague 5. He also has a work called Rector at the New Town Hall at Karlovo náměstí.

His work is well-known to Praguers, as he designed the Memorial to the Victims of Communism at the base of Petřín hill.

More works in Prague are at or will be at the Fransiscan Garden at Jungmannovo náměstí, the park at Vyšehrad, the Ministry of Culture at Maltézské náměstí, the Botanical Garden at Trója, the office building at Budínova 2464/2b in Prague 8–Libeň, the bobsled run in Prague 9 and at Jiřího z Poděbrad in Prague 3.

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