Čtyři dny | Four days

Beauty and Art

  • Thursday Oct 12 / 18:00, Karlín Barracks
Price: 50 Kč (v rámci vstupného na výstavu)

For this discussion, we have invited young emerging artist Marie Tučková, author of the exhibition Médium: Figura and curator Sandra Baborovská of Prague City Gallery, artist and theorist Petr Dub, and curator Michal Novotný (Futura Gallery, Karlin Studios).

The discussion is moderated by journalist Petr Fischer, editor-in-chief of Czech Radio Vltava.


It is a seemingly banal topic. What do people understand under the concept of “beauty” in art, and why do they demand it? Do they even have the right to ask artists to make only beautiful art? And what do artists themselves understand under the term “beautiful art”? Are they even interested in beauty?

Nearly 155 years since the Salon des Refusés in Paris and 100 years since Duchamp’s incendiary Fountain, public opinion continues to turn against works of art that are not straightforward, easily understood, and perfectly executed in terms of technique. The public vocally rejects art that is provocative or arouses a sense of uncertainty or even disgust. Comments on social networks often reveal the viewpoint that art today possesses no measure of quality and that it is a self-contained space for madmen, rich slackers, fashionable druggies, and conceptual exhibitionists; and as a result “pseudo-artists producing derivative caricature” naturally arouse ill will and loathing.

Contemporary art demands that the interaction, comprehensive thinking, an ability to see the big picture, and cultural education. In the Czech Republic, the chasm between artists and majority society would appear to be insurmountable. Perhaps it is the result of a lack of contact with artistic developments in the rest of the world during the communist era, combined with the subsequent 25 years during which the Czech art scene had to come to terms with an excess of freedom and the emergence of market principles. How to equalize the mutual sense of mistrust between contemporary visual artists and a confused public that feels offended by their art? How to get audiences to think about and understand the deeper meaning of a work without patronizing them or forcing on them the view formulated by the curator?


In Cooperation with Prague City Gallery.