Čtyři dny | Four days

Ludvík Kysela and the functionalist department store

A lecture by Jakub Potůček on the site of this year’s festival

/ Lecture, Festival program 2013
  • Monday Aug 23 / 17:00, Palác U Stýblů
Price: 50 / 30 CZK

Modern art would be nearly unthinkable without the phenomenon of busy urban boulevards. Since the late 19th century, its evolution has been significantly influenced by these boulevards’ captivating atmosphere. However, more than during any previous era, these arteries of the modern city reached the peak of their contemporaneity with the rise of the avant-garde in the 1920s, for whose supporters they were a symbol of modernity and a stage for endless encore performances of dramatic events with an existential subtext that practically forced man to “loiter on the streets and gape” (F. X. Šalda). The boulevard was fascinating in its colours and cafés, the glowing light of shop windows and the neon of advertising, or the sounding horns of automobiles. It was simply an environment filled with a multitude of stimulating impulses that architecture succeeded in taking advantage of to the maximum possible extent. The type of architecture that most reflected this new poetic beauty alongside the constructivist tendencies of Purism was the department store. In his lecture, Jakub Potůček will take a look at its genesis and its creative minds – in particular architect Ludvík Kysela (1883–1960), creator of some of the era’s most captivating department stores.