by Adam Štěch
Founded in 1885, Prague's Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design is the most progressive art school in the Czech Republic today. Nestled among the ateliers and studios of prominent Czech artists and designers in the center of Prague, the school is housed within a neo-Renaissance palace built in the 1880s by František Schmoranz and Jan Machytka. Now through 9 November 2012, 30 of the most impressive graduation projects by students in all departments, as selected by curators Tereza Bruthansová and Maxim Velčovský, are on display for "Exhibition 2012" at the city's DOX Center for Contemporary Art.
Bruthansov, an art and design curator and theorist, worked with Velčovský, the venerable Czech designer and porcelain conceptual artist and head of the AAD porcelain and ceramic studio, to select a range of graduation and semestral work in architecture, design, fashion, illustration, painting, sculpture, textile and conceptual and new media arts.
The installation for the exhibition was created by Velčovský himself. "It is one long white wall where all the exhibits meet together in the simple compositions," he says. "It remains to me something like a wall of fame, which is a dream of every art student." His typical conceptual and ironic style echoes in the system of shelves resembling the famous wall sculptural pieces by Donald Judd as well and some other small details throughout the space.
The highlights of the exhibition include Archimeidon processual-based glass pieces by Jakub Petr from the glass department. Produced by the rotation of the raw glass, Petr has created performative-inspired bowls of pure and natural shapes. The sculpture is formed directly in the furnace while the mold is rotated under temperatures of 1,000°C.
Two young jewelry designers from Czech jewelry designer Eva Eisler's atelier, K.O.V., are also represented in the exhibition. Janja Prokić presents flower jewelry inspired by Shamanism, influenced by her Serbian roots as well as her love for the flora and fauna of nature. Kateřina Vorlová presents a series of jewelry made out of chalk. "I'm interested in the relationship that takes place between the object, body and space," says Vorlová, describing her process of experimental exploration. "You could say that it is a tool for intimate performance, where the body's movement affects their appearance and durability, while the object leaves its mark on the body and clothing," she adds.
The industrial design department is represented by the work of Karel Matějka of Tobyšlo creative studio and Daniel Gonzales' collection of cast iron "Jumbo" kitchenware. Matějka has designed a series of industrial-looking ice axes for ice climbing and tourism brand Nahory. Gozales' monumental and organically formed kitchen goods were created in collaboration with the traditional iron cast company Stará Huť, and illustrates Gonzales's love of cooking and food.
From the fashion department comes a collection of wooden and leather shoe designs by Marie Petráková,, for the Spring/Summer 2012 haute couture collection of French fashion designer Anne Valerie Hash.
The visual style and catalogue of the exhibition are designed by Matěj Činčera, student of Studio of Graphic Design and Visual Communication and also co-founder of OKOLO collective.
"Exhibition 2012" is showing at DOX now through 9 November 2012.
Images by Ondřej Přibyl.