Time, Time, Time… in 19th Century Art

23/02/2018 bis 06/05/2018
výstavní síň „13“
Eva Bendová, Vít Vlnas
Ivana Jonáková

This exhibition was created in connection with the interdisciplinary symposium traditionally held in Pilsen. The title for the 38th year is: Understanding the Second; Time in 19th Century Culture. The exhibition displays important chapters in the extensive and fundamental problem of human perception and depiction that radically changed during the 19th century. While at the turn of the century time was still perceived cyclically through the course of natural cycles, the division of the liturgical year, and the work cycle. By the end of the century, time was being observed as a linear course, the modernist development of “from beginning to end” towards “better and more perfect”.

Many themes, such as the depiction of the cycles of day and night, persist, although they change stylistically through the centuries. Issues of time perception and visualization were emerging anew as a result of industrialization and shifts in social conditions. For example, there was an emphasis on everyday life, capturing the momentary actions and experiences of a given situation, bringing with it new sensuality in imaging and artistic opportunities, such as the promotion of the sketch to the status of definitive artwork.

Without claiming to exhaust the subject, the exhibition studies variations in the imagery of allegory and the cyclic perception of time in monumental Czech paintings, as well as the imagery of abstract time on a symbolic level, often referring to the ending of human life and death itself (Chronos, Sphinx). The exhibition also investigates the stylistic transition of Czech art during the century in question, as well as the transition of the human, the individual, through the irrefutable cycle of youth, maturation, old age, and ultimately death. The final part of the exhibition emphasizes the depiction of the moment, the perception of the second, along with everyday acts such as the observation of the weather and atmospheric transitions in the landscape, and always in sketch and composition – snapshots with the ability to “capture” a second in time.

Visitors encounter artworks by famous Czech artists, such as Josef Mánes, Mikoláš Aleš, Jan Preisler and František Bílek, as well as unexpected, less known works.

Besides The Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen, works have also been loaned from the National Gallery in Prague, Prague City Gallery, the Museum of Art Olomouc, the Gallery of Fine Art in Roudnice nad Labem, the Gallery of Fine Art in Ostrava, etc.