Sculpture by the Sea is delighted to announce that a showcase of 10 acclaimed Czech and Slovak artists will exhibit at this year’s Bondi exhibition in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which marked the ending of over 40 years of totalitarian Communist rule.
The showcase will join over 100 sculptures from around the world on Sydney’s breathtaking 2km Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2019, the world’s largest annual free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition, running from 24 October – 10 November.
“It is an honour to work with the Czech and Slovak artists to present this showcase in celebration of the end of a dreadful period of their history. I lived in Prague for a few years shortly after the end of communist rule. It was a time of wonderful, lively freedom. During this time, I ‘got’ the drama and theatricality of sculpture thanks to an exhibition staged by Vaclav Fiala. This led directly to the first exhibition of Sculpture by the Sea. Twenty three years later and 30 years after the revolution we are celebrating together in a happy go lucky exhibition on the coast of the lucky country, something the artists would not have been allowed to do 30 years ago.”
Set to be a highlight of the showcase, and exhibition as a whole, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2019 will feature a work by Czech Republic’s most infamous and controversial artist, David Černý, who famously painted the Monument to Soviet Tank Crews memorial in Prague pink in 1991 and was later arrested for hooliganism. Černý’s rebellious act will be reborn in Marks Park, as a large scale steel sculpture titled Pinktank Wrecked.
Alongside Černý, the Czech and Slovak artists to exhibit are:
- Vacláv Fiala, recipient of the major prize at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi in 2004 and 2005 returns to exhibit Tower of Jan Palach, a monument to Prague-born Jan Palach who set himself on fire in protest to the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union during the Prague Spring in 1968, demanding abolition of censorship and a halt to the distribution of Zprávy, the official newspaper of the Soviet occupying forces.
- Viktor Freso, Slovakian artist who has exhibited internationally and been represented in many public and private collections, including the National Gallery in Prague. Freso will exhibit Angry Boy, a large white figure that deals with the boundary emotions and consciously raises debates about stereotypes of perception of art and values of artistic operation.
- Jakub Geltner, the previous SxS Bondi, Cottesloe and Aarhus artist will exhibit a large orb of satellite dishes, Complex Nest, that have a become symbolic part of the cultural landscape.
- Monika Horčicová, a young Czech artist whose work explores themes of infinity, will exhibit a 4m high resin ‘tripod’ structure of a skeleton that will act as a visitor from another universe looking at us from above.
- Krištof Kintera, a Czech artist with works held in private and public international collections including the Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Boston; and Prague City Gallery. Kintera brings Lay Down and Shine to Bondi, a disassembled streetlamp exploring the routine of verticality.
- Jana Kroftová, graduate in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, will exhibit a 2.2m tall gold, fibreglass statue called Golden Age in the tradition of antique sculpture, which is strong but old as a metaphor of European culture.