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Exhibition at Prague’s National Gallery presents artists-prophets

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Prague, July 21 (CTK) – The exhibition entitled “Artists and Prophets”, which maps the artistic developments in German-speaking Europe at the end of the 19th century, was presented to journalists on the National Gallery’s (NG) premises in the Trade Fair Palace in Prague yesterday.
The exhibition to be held on July 22-October 18 will offer more than 350 artifacts by various artists, including Egon Schiele, Frantisek Kupka, Johannes Baader, Heinrich Vogeler, Joseph Beuys, Joerg Immendorff, Fidus (Hugo Hoppener), Friedrich Schroeder-Sonnenstern, Heinrich Vogelerand and Friedensreich Hundertwasser, as well as valuable documentary material from 1872-1972.
The pioneering artists and self-appointed prophets, who were not only religious opponents, but also social revolutionaries, fundamentally influenced modern European art.
The exhibition was first presented in a modified version in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The Prague display more focuses on Czech artists, such as Frantisek Kupka (1871-1957).
Curator Pamela Kortova has prepared it in cooperation with the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt and the NG.
Unlike Frankfurt, the NG has not gained some exhibits, mainly on paper, but it presents other unique artifacts, for instance, Kupka’s crayon drawing Meditation and a beautiful self-portrait by Schiele, curator Veronika Hulikova told CTK.
The work of these artists is for the first time shown in a broad social and historical context, mainly in connection with the “prophets” that had a significant influence on their artistic creation.
These charismatic personalities, such as Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach and Gusto Graeser who promoted harmony with nature, are now almost forgotten, but they were very popular in the avant-garde circles at the end of the 19th century.
Diefenbach became the first German artist-prophet in 1882. He strongly influenced Schiele, who often depicted an artist as a tormented prophet, and Kupka’s work in Paris.
The exhibition opens with Diefenbach’s 68-metre-long silhouette entitled “Per aspera ad astra” that expresses his idea of the prophet’s role and his belief in harmony and peaceful world.

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