Ladislav Sutnar Gallery is named after the Pilsen-native, Czech-American designer Ladislav Sutnar (1897 – 1976) and is a vital segment of the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art.
The gallery functions as a catalyst of new ideas that mirror the art and design activities of the faculty, and introduces research-oriented projects of international relevance.
The gallery program includes the annual International Photography Symposium & Exhibition and the Graphic Price of the Year, as well as, unique solo exhibitions and curated group shows with members of the faculty and international guests. Highlights of the past two years are Figures: Zdeněk Fránek; The World of Tomorrow: Ladislav Sutnar; Butterflies don’t live in the ghetto; Chimera; Imagestructure: Jaroslav Vančát; Philip Pearlstein: Graphic Design in War and Peace: 1940s and 50s; Boundaries, poetics of conflict; Czech Heroines: Renáta Fučíková; Shapes (with Steven Heller and School of Visual Arts, NYC) and Extypo: Rostislav Vaněk.
The exhibition programme of the Ladislav Sutnar Gallery is directed by curator Jan Van Woensel and dean Vojtěch Aubrecht.
Selected Exhibition projects
Philip Pearlstein: Graphic Design and Drawings
The exhibition entitled "Philip Pearlstein, in War and Peace: the 1940‘s and ‘50‘s. Graphic design and drawings" offered an exceptional perspective on the work of this renowned artist.
In 1949, at the age of 25, the now famous painter Philip Pearlstein worked for Ladislav Sutnar in New York. Between September 2019 and February 2020, curator Jan Van Woensel planned several telephone conversations and in-person meetings in which Mr. Pearlstein shared his experiences as an assistant working in the Sutnar office. He had started in the field of design and picked up his basic design skills in the U.S. Army during World War II. Then, in a New York City that didn’t yet have a well-established art scene, he gradually became a celebrated painter. At 96 years of age, Philip Pearlstein’s first exhibition in the Czech Republic displayed a selection of reproduced sketches and graphic design works from the 1940’s and ‘50’s. Parallel to this unique exhibition was the release of the publication “Telephone calls”, which offers remarkable insight into the early developments of the artistic career of Mr. Pearlstein, who talks warmly about his employer and friend Ladislav Sutnar.
The exhibition was also an opportunity to present the 1949 publication Transport, next half century (1951–2000), the result of a close collaboration between the Czech-American designer Ladislav Sutnar and the famous designer and theorist Buckminster Fuller. In a way, Transport was also the beginning of the remarkable current project: Philip Pearlstein joined Sutnar Office as a new draughtsman at the time the publication was being prepared and the drawings for it was his first task. In December 2019, the Incubator Gallery presented an exhibition featuring students’ works based on this rare and little-known book and also its recent re-edition in Czech initiated by dean Josef Mištera and curator Jan Van Woensel.
Zdeněk Fránek: Figures
The architect and university teacher Zdeněk Fránek was born in the Moravian town of Boskovice. After his studies of architecture at the Technical University in Brno, he worked at the municipal architecture department in the town of Blansko and in 1989 he founded the Fránek Architects studio. Currently he works on various projects and publications and teaches both in the Czech Republic and abroad.
His exhibition at the Ladislav Sutnar Gallery presented personifications of various objects such as sighted houses, living trees, inhabitable stones, talking plants and other commonplace things.
Butterflies don´t live in the Ghetto
January 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The commemorative exhibition “Butterflies Don’t Live in the Ghetto” displayed artistic interpretations of 27 brave victims, Czech Jews who had perished in Auschwitz, in the form of original artworks created by the students of the Studio of Photography at the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art. The exhibition, which took place simultaneously at the Ladislav Sutnar Gallery and the Old Synagogue in the center of Pilsen, included also a special commemorative event.
The exhibition “Butterflies Don’t Live in the Ghetto” served as a meeting point for the peaceful commemoration of all victims of the Second World War and, through the works of young artists, called for tolerance, peace and brotherhood in the politically tense world of today.
The exhibition commemorated these particular Holocaust victims: Hanička Bradyová, Jakob Edelstein, Pavel Friedmann, Bedřich Fritta, Petr Ginz, Pavel Haas, Karel Hartmann, Oskar Hekš, Camill Hoffmann, Ottla Kafka, Franz Peter Kien, Gideon Klein, Margita Koretzová, Hans Krása, Egon Ledeč, Fritz Löhner-Beda, František Mořic Nágl, Ludwig Pollak, Grete Reiner, Rafael Schächter, Malva Schalek, Adolf Strauss, Robert Stricker, Viktor Ullmann, Ilse Weber, Fritz Weiss, Rudolf Wels.
The World of Tomorrow
The group exhibition The World of Tomorrow brought together original artworks of the influential Czech designer and artist Ladislav Sutnar (1897–1976) with the work of exceptional talents from the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art. The Ladislav Sutnar Gallery presented works created by the faculty’s teachers and students including Vojtěch Aubrecht, Dagmar Dolíhalová, Renáta Fučíková, Julie Hojdová, Volha Huseva, Bedřich Kocman, Radovan Kodera, Jan Korabečný, Adéla Kristejnová, František Steker, Ladislav Sutnar, Marie Syrovátková, Benedikt Tolar, Ondřej Zámiš and Vojtěch Liebl.
The project’s title refers directly to the pivotal 1939 New York World Fair for which Ladislav Sutnar designed an exhibition of Czechoslovak prosperity. Today, The World of Tomorrow announces the arrival of a new generation of artists with a playful sense of grandeur to the contemporary art scene.
The 2019 exhibition takes the multidisciplinary discourse of the 1939 exhibition as its impassioned undercurrent. In New York, Ladislav Sutnar displayed outstanding works of Czechoslovak visual art, design, illustration, crafts, fashion, architecture, poetry, science, industry and cultural heritage in one of his much-celebrated non-hierarchical spatial compositions. Eighty years later, The World of Tomorrow paid homage to this historically significant exhibition by reassigning the Fair’s title to the presentation of an ambitious and promising group of up-and-coming artists who are active in diverse creative fields. A display of remarkable artistic skills, invention, technique and design, the exhibition aptly links the past and the future.
The World of Tomorrow is both a unique display of extraordinary art in a Gesamtkunstwerk-inspired exhibition design by curator Jan Van Woensel and a celebration of the unparalleled progressive vision of the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art.
Before reaching its final destination in New York, the travelling exhibition was presented at the Nová síň gallery in Prague and in various galleries in Tel Aviv.
The group exhibition Shapes followed publication of the books Shapes I and Shapes II, the results of successful cooperation between the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art and the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York. The books represent continuation of Sutnar´s 1969 project, when he designed the book The World of Shape. The book was supposed to act as a natural guide for children and adults through the world of diverse shapes that surround us. However, the idea to focus the attention of both small and grown-up readers, or rather viewers, on the stories of shapes was very revolutionary at the time. Sutnar failed to publish his work, which remained in the form of a model. “Ladislav Sutnar left a legacy and set the course in graphic design history that continues to inspire designers today”, says Steven Heller who led the students at the School of Visual Arts. Young artists and designers from both art schools created new artworks that speak the language of Ladislav Sutnar in a current context.
To celebrate the ongoing cross-Atlantic collaboration, the Ladislav Sutnar Gallery hosted a group exhibition entitled Shapes in which curator Jan Van Woensel translated the designed artworks in physical artworks to establish an atmospheric experience that supports the progressive vision of Ladislav Sutnar.
Artists: Tereza Benešová, Yaxu Han, Julie Hojdová, Jakub Ivanovský, Jiayue Li, Milica Lovisková, Julia Marsh, Matěj Matouš, Monika Nehasilová, Klára Plicová, Elena Pokaleva, David Polcar, Ladislav Sutnar, Sarah Tamani, Yun Tang, Michaela Tišerová, Rostislav Vaněk