Cz

If I Were as Beautiful as Dionysos

15.06. – 29.09.24

If I Were as Beautiful as Dionysos

An Encounter with Jan Zrzavý

15.06. – 29.09.24

Curators: Miloš Doležal & Martin Herold

Artists: Jan Zrzavý & Jiří Bašta, Dominik Běhal, Václav Boštík, Josef Čapek, Dominika Dobiášová, Mary Durasová, Igor Hosnedl, Giorgio de Chirico, Libuše Jarcovjáková, Jiří John, Zsófia Keresztes, Šárka Koudelová, Bohumil Kubišta, Jan Merta, Ivan Meštrović, Otakar Mrkvička, Odilon Redon, Miroslava Večeřová / Architects: O+M Studio (Ondřej Čech a Monika Matějková)

The painter Jan Zrzavý was one of the national classics, whose artistic language helped to name, both intuitively and consciously (in times of national danger), the identity of Czech culture. Author of frequently reproduced South Bohemian and Vysočina landscapes, illustrator of Erben’s Bouquet and Mácha’s May, set designer of Libuše and The Devil’s Wall. And yet this painter, whose work was exhibited many times and who did not go through any art school, often fled from Bohemia to Italy and France in search of Gothic and Renaissance, light and sea, fearing his native Vysočina. He used to be a loner in the midst of a crowd of admirers and carried the sting of otherness in him since childhood. He wrestled with his body and his homosexual orientation, seeking ways out of his curse and finding them in the art and spiritual worlds.

We invited not only those who worked in contemporary circles related to Zrzavý, but also contemporary artists who are influenced by Zrzavý’s work, work on similar themes and ask similarly pressing questions. We have selected from a wide range of artists – Zrzavý’s fluidity remains strong and inspiring to this day.