The Art of (Self-)Marketing. The Artist in the Clutches of the 19th Century Art Trade

01/03/2024 - 02/06/2024
exhibition hall "13"
Autor: 
Eva Bendová, Marie Fiřtová, Vít Vlnas
Kurátor: 
Marcela Štýbrová

The strategies an artist can adopt to raise funds for their independent work developed significantly during the 19th century. The relationship between commissioners and the artist, the relationship between the artwork and the audience, and the market mechanisms themselves were changing. The decisive role of the original patrons was taken over by collectors and public and private commissioners (in the form of art competitions), exhibitions, art dealers, publishers or associations.

The exhibition does not aspire to illustrate the transformation of the art field in all its complexity. Its authors deliberately leave aside questions of collecting or patronage and focus on the relationship between artist and audience and the artistic strategies themselves, which were dominated by the desire to attract and sell. Advertising played (and still plays) a key role in this, as did non-artistic professions, either based on traditional craft activities or applying new technologies such as reproduction techniques or illustration. How did art, and artists in general, enter the advertising scene? What did art advertising look like, and how did art become advertising?

The exhibition focuses on three essential issues of the complex 19th-century art scene: first, how advertising could influence art; second, how artwork was profiled as advertising through the various means of multiplication; and finally, in which ways artists entered the market environment outside of public commissions or collecting. Critiques of the market environment and capital were also an integral part of artistic expressions, particularly of the fin de siècle period.

Works by key figures of early modern art, such as Norbert Grund, Josef Navrátil, August Bedřich Piepenhagen, Václav Brožík, Vojtěch Hynais, Josef Václav Myslbek, Luděk Marold and František Kupka will be displayed.

The exhibition is held as part of the 44th year of the Pilsen Interdisciplinary Symposium on Art Trade and Capital in Czech Culture of the 19th Century, taking place from February 29 to March 2, 2024 in the lecture hall of the Museum of West Bohemia in Pilsen.