The Art of the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries
The exhibition “Czech Modernism I, 1890-1930” presents works of Mánes, Navratil, and Purkyně; artists from the “National Theatre generation” (Aleš, Ženíšek, Myslbek, Hynais, Schikaneder et al.); the creators of Art Nouveau and symbolist vision (Mucha, Pirner, Bílek et al.); and the founders of Czech modern art (Slavíček, Hudeček, Preisler, Švabinský et al.). One of the most important parts of the permanent exhibition is an extensive collection of works by František Kupka, capturing his independent journey from symbolism to abstraction.
The exhibition “Czech Modernism II, 1900-1930” is devoted to monographic profiles of Emil Filla, Bohumil Kubista, Antonín Procházka, Otakar Kubín, and Otto Gutfreund, and captures the coherence of expressive tendencies as it competed with the clear, constructive rigidity of Cubism. A separate space is reserved for Cubism in architecture, design and applied arts, as a significant Czech speciality. Works by the group of artists know as the Tvrdošíjní (the “Hardnecks”) (Jan Zrzavý, Václav Špála, Josef Čapek, Rudolf Kremlička) formed at the beginning of the First World War. The exhibition of Art Deco style in the respirium is deserving of special attention.
In the third section of the exhibition “Czech Modernism III (1930 and later)”, the works of Jan Štyrský and Toyen are displayed, manifesting their creative journey to the poetics of surrealism. Imaginative creativity in the 1930s is represented by works by Janoušek, Šíma, Makovský, and others. The 1940s are represented by the works of Rykr, Černý, Diviš, and others. The modernism of the 1950s is represented by the work of Medek, Fáry, Sekal and others. The remainder of the exhibition maps art trends from the 1960s to the present.
The exhibition of Czech Contemporary Art acquaints the viewer with architecture, scenography, design, and selected works of art from 1980 to the present.
A collection of French art represents a significant, representative collection of painting and sculpture by Rodin, Delacroix, the French landscape painters Corot and Rousseau, impressionists Monet, Pissarro, and Renoir, and artists who opened the way for modern art: Cezanne, Gauguin, van Gogh and Seurat. Furthermore, the unique Cubist works of Picasso, Braque and artists working primarily in the Parisian setting of the 1920s and 1930s - Derain, Chagall, Bonnard, Vlaminck, sculptors Despiau, Laurens and others.
The exhibition "International Art of the 20th and 21st century" presents largely the work of Austrian and German artists from the 1940s (Klimt, Schiele, Pechstein, Schmidt-Rottluff, Kokoschka) and the German-Czech artists (Orlík, Hablík, Brömse, Kopf), as well as the excellent expressionist works of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. Russian avant-garde paintings are represented by Lentulov and Falk. Spanish artists are represented by paintings by Miró, Dominguez, Bores, Clavé, Tàpies, and the sculptural works of Henry Moore and G. Manzúa. More recent acquisitions from the 70s due for example the works of L. Fontana, A. Perilliho, M. Raysse. Notable among recent purchases and donations after 1989 are works by Buffett, Beyuse, and Vautier, as well as a group of paintings by the New New Painters and the Chinese artist Qia Ga.
Alfons Mucha - The Slavonic Epic (long-term exhibition till 31. 12. 2016)
Alfons Mucha created this monumental cycle of twenty large paintings between 1912 and 1926. With these works, he wanted to summarize the history of Czechs and other Slavic nations. For the first time in history, all twenty paintings are on display in Prague. The current installation is based on the content of the original layout of Mucha’s Slav Epic and the sequence of the various topics. The images are arranged chronologically by images that are shown to them.