Years of Disarray 1908-1928. Avant-gardes in the Central Europe

FRI |21. 9. | 10 A.M. – 6 P.M. | MUSEUM OF MODERN ART | ENTRY 100 / 50 CZK
Opening of the exhibition to the public

František Kupka, Josef Čapek, Władysław Strzemiński, Anton Jaszusch and László Moholy-Nagy – these are just a fraction of the artists whose work shall be on display for visitors to the Olomouc Museum of Modern Art from 20 September this year in the exhibition Years of Disarray 1908-1928. Avant-gardes in the Central Europe. This is the largest exhibition project in the Czech Republic commemorating the transformative era of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the establishment of successor states in the works of Central European artists, and in its significance also transcends the borders of our country. In addition to Olomouc, the exhibition will progressively travel to Krakow, Bratislava and Pécs.

Twelve sections will trace the metamorphoses of Central European art and its perception over two of the most tempestuous decades in the history of art, furthermore linked with the advent of the avant-garde. 

The main themes that shaped art one hundred years ago included new technologies. Their precipitous advance – the arrival of automobiles, aeroplanes, telephones or the introduction of production lines into industry however brought not only positive developments, which was demonstrated in its full force by the First World War. The reflection of technologies in art will be the theme of a part of the exhibition with a characteristic title – The City and the Machine. This shall commemorate for example Karel Čapek’s famous play R.U.R.

The Great War, at the time the largest military conflict in the history of humanity, was also dramatically reflected in the art of the time. During the war many painters spent time in trenches at the front, fierce battles in the Italian Alps or Galicia, some were taken prisoners of war, and all of this was projected into their work. For this reason the Olomouc exhibition devotes an entire section to works reflecting the war. 

Of key significance for Central Europe is the year 1918, as a fundamental turning point in the structure of the region. With the end of the war came the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and new nation states were established. This had a marked impact on the external and internal life of the population of Central Europe, and was also reflected in the fine arts. The dissolution of the Habsburg monarchy influenced the communication of artists, affected their personal and political stances, and contributed to a transformation of themes and the birth of new formal approaches.

The atmosphere of the time is evoked by the projection of film material from the time from the cities of Central Europe, including the pre-war era, footage from during the Great War, and especially civic life in a peacetime atmosphere.

The relationships between the artists of the time, now newly divided by borders, shall be illustrated by magazines, books, posters or photographs. This part of the exhibition shall be located in the Cabinet of the Museum of Modern Art. The exhibits will be divided into five sections. They are presented to visitors through the typography of poetry or visual language.

Visitors are also offered a better understanding of the events of that era by the clearly demarcated timeline, which they will find in the Salon.

The conference room will be transformed into a cinema. Visitors will be able to reach this via the part of the exhibition devoted to film of the time, and can look forward to clips from films by Charlie Chaplin, Sergei Eisenstein or Viking Eggeling originating from the period of 1908–1928.

The exhibition project Years of Disarray 1908-1928 is held under the patronage of the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani and the ministers of culture of the Visegrad 4. The exhibition in Olomouc ends on 27 January 2019, and shall then travel to the Polish city of Krakow.


Todays opening hours

Archdiocesan Museum Olomouc 10 AM - 6 PM
Museum of Modern Art 10 AM - 6 PM
Archdiocesan Museum Kroměříž closed

Saturday | 5. 12. 2020

Today is open

Pokladna otevřená út–ne 10-18 hodin, Rezervace na
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