Overpressure. A curated selection of the best work by Academy of Art, Architecture and Design
Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, ulice 17. listopadu 2, Prague 1
25. April 2018 - 17. June 2018
Building on the historic partnership between the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague (UPM), a selection of the best work by UMPRUM students over the last academic year will be presented at UPM’s newly renovated premises.
Overpressure is an exhibition featuring 24 works by UMPRUM students. All of the school’s studios will be represented, including the English-taught Visual Arts programme and the Department of the Theory and History of Art. The title of the exhibition has been chosen to reflect the ethos of UMPRUM, a place that generates a never-ending flow of creativity, where students are encouraged to interrogate and reject existing concepts, push the boundaries and embrace current social topics. Curators of the exhibition Roman Vrtiška and Vladimír Žák explain: “Free and independent thinking, by its very nature, releases an unstoppable and regenerative form of energy. We call this concept overpressure. The term also succinctly describes the atmosphere within our school, which is why we’ve chosen it as the central theme for our annual exhibition this year.”
The selected works will be presented as part of an installation that reflects the structure of the school, its departments and studios. The halls will be pervaded by a collection of blue living objects and feature a textile wall, displaying information about the exhibition and the school itself. The principle behind the visual design for the exhibition is to foreground objects that pulsate with the overpressure of creative energy and reveal how they simultaneously expand and contract.
The curators selected from a long-list of 80 works recommended by UMPRUM’s individual studios and departments. The focus was on selecting objects that would be both meaningful and arresting, while also being immediately clear and understandable to the viewer. Highlights of the exhibition include Amálie Koppová’s irrigation wall, Tomáš Němeček’s plan for a utopian asylum town, Dareka Zahálka’s electric bus and Anna Ročnová’s hand fans, which combine natural materials and extracted oils. The exhibition will also feature team projects, such as Brewery Studio, a project by students of the Studio of Type Design and Typography.
“Overpressure, the title of this exhibition, not only refers to the way in which energy stimulates creativity, but also reflects the school’s interest in moving beyond the creation of fine art toward embracing the problems we face as a society, reflecting the needs of its citizens and responding to the pressing ecological issues of our day,” says Johana Lomová, one of the exhibition’s curators.
The exhibition will also be complemented by a catalogue, with graphic design by UMPRUM students Cindy Kutíková and Jiří Mocek. As well as giving detailed descriptions of the individual works on show, it will provide information on the creators themselves and contextualise the partnership between UMPRUM and UPM. As part of an unorthodox approach to introducing the artists, the catalogue will also feature photographs by Peter Fabo of individual students paired with the subjects that inspired them.
About the UMPRUM and UPM Partnership
The partnership between the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague (UPM) enjoys a long history that dates to the establishment of both institutions in 1885. The mutual ties developed over many years and were heavily influenced by key social, historical and political events.
Last year a memorandum of partnership was signed between both institutions in an act that cements the togetherness and mutual support of both organisations. In keeping with tradition, UMPRUM’s students now return to present their work at the newly renovated Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague after a seven-year absence.
Helena Koenigsmarková, Director of UPM, speaks about the importance of the partnership: “The Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague (UPM) has always regarded the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) as an important partner. The close links go back to the year of the founding of both institutions, which, far from being a random occurrence, constituted part of a new concept of state under the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy.”
Prof. Jindřich Smetana, Rector of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, adds: “Keenly aware of a shared historical belonging and of our respective cultural, educational and scientific roles in the fields of fine art and industry, both institutions last year signed a memorandum toward establishing closer links. Being invited back to stage such an important event in our school’s calendar at UPM represents an important step towards the fulfilment of that partnership.”
Curators: Johana Lomová, Roman Vrtiška, Vladimír Žák
Installation: Petr Hák, Roman Vrtiška, Vladimír Žák, Catalogue: Johana Lomová
Production: Vojtěch Kočí, Šárka Váňová
Implementation: Extended Production, s.r.o.
Graphic design and visual design: Cindy Kutíková and Jiří Mocek
Photos: Peter Fabo
About the Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design in Prague (UMPRUM)
The Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design in Prague was founded in 1885. Throughout its existence it has ranked among the best educational institutions in the country. It boasts a number of successful graduates who have gone on to become respected professionals, garnering acclaim beyond the Czech Republic. The school is divided into the departments of architecture, design, fine arts, applied arts, graphic and theory and history of art. Each department is divided into studios according to their specialist area. The studios are all led by leading figures of the Czech art scene. Twice a year the school opens to the public for a presentation of student work, entitled “Artsemestr”. Each year the school organises over 15 exhibitions, half of which are shown abroad. Prague UMPRUM is the only Eastern European school that figures in the indices of prestigious European and world art schools.
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