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"I paint so that I wouldn´t have to say anything. I hope that my paintings will say everything for me." Jiří Petrbok

Veletržní Palác Recalls the Year of 1968 by Photographs of Koudelka and Petrbok´s Paintings

Eva Ledecká
21.Aug 2018
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1 minute

Dnes je to přesně 50 let, kdy do naší země vtrhla okupační vojska. Tato událost, která českým obyvatelům udělala na životech nesmazatelný šrám, se dnes připomíná na různých místech po celé České republice.

Today it´s been exactly 50 years that our country was stormed into by occupying troops. This event, which left an indelible mark on lives of the Czech nation, is today recalled at various locations throughout the Czech Republic.

Josef Koudelka, Invasion 68

The Prague National Gallery in Veletržní palác presents a unique exhibition on the occasion of this anniversary. The first exhibition are photographs of Czech photographer Josef Koudelka - Invasion 68, bringing testimony from Prague at the time of the occupation. The fight for freedom, moments of suffering and oppression in one part of the exhibition are accompanied by archival footage of Jan Němec, while the dark surrounding area and authentic sound tracks offer a truly unique insight into the times into which few Czechs would like to return.

Jiří Petrbok, Burning Heart

A couple of floors below, at the mezzanine gallery, you can acquaint yourself with paintings of Czech artist, Jiří Petrbok, within the framework of the exhibition Burning Heart. Here you will find mainly paintings which have never been exhibited, where the common denominator is "home". Jiří Petrbok was at the time of the invasion only six years old and perceived the whole situation in the family circle, through members of the family. Classic family however translates into the great family, which is our country. What did Petrbok jokingly say about his paintings?

Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 10 Záběhlice
Prodej rodinného domu, Praha 10 Záběhlice, Praha 10

"I paint so that I wouldn´t have to say anything. I hope that my paintings will say everything for me."

The paintings in the Burning Heart exhibition relate, according to Jiří Petrbok, to any totalitarian regime throughout the world. In his paintings we can see irony and sarcasm, but as the curator Otto M. Urban noted, this is a multi-layered work, where the outer film of irony conceals serious topics.

Visit the exhibition Invasion 68 of Josef Koudelka, which is held to 6. January 2019 and the exhibition Burning Heart of Jiří Petrbok, held to 2. December 2018.

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Národní galerie - Veletržní palác
Dukelských hrdinů 47 170 00 Praha Česká republika
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