Brutalist building sculptures by artist Krištof Kintera installed in Prague’s Klárov

Seven miniature versions of Prague’s Communist-era brutalist buildings have been installed in a park outside the Malostranská Metro Station. The site-specific project, featuring seven illuminated sculptures cast from concrete, was created by Czech artist Krištof Kintera for Kunsthalle Praha. I discussed the installation with its curator, Christelle Havránek, who says it is a continuation of their first exhibition, called Kinetismus.

Krištof Kintera | Photo: Ian Willoughby,  Radio Prague International

“Kinetismus was the first exhibition at the newly opened Kunsthalle Praha. It referred to the original function of the building, which was an electricity transformer station.

“So in the framework of this collective exhibition we approached Krištof Kinetra and asked him if he would agree to produce a new work in the outdoor space in front of the building. It was really up to him to decide how he would approach our request.

“He decided to threat the theme of brutalist architecture, which is quite a controversial topic, because these buildings are not always loved by Prague inhabitants, although we can see a renewed interest in this architecture in recent years.”

Can you tell us a little bit more about the buildings? Are they all still standing in Prague?

Photo: René Volfík,

“One of them, an apartment building, was never built. Another one, Hotel Praha, was demolished, and some of the others are threatened to be destroyed.

“So the exhibitions is also about the evolution of these buildings in recent history, about how they were impacted by ideologies and also about they work or doesn’t work in social context.”

Photo: René Volfík,

The exhibition is called Building Sculptures and Girl with a Dove. What does the title refer to?

“Girl with a Dove is a sculpture that is located in the park in front of the Kunsthalle. When we were preparing to open the exhibition venue, we were really interested in working with this outdoor space, but we didn’t know how.

Photo: René Volfík,

“When Kryštof Kintera visited the park, the first thing he saw was this unique standing sculpture from the 1950s and it really influenced his thinking about the installation.

“In a way, it could be compared to the Statue of Liberty. He gave her a very dominant position, creating a miniature city around her. So the girl really influenced the whole project.”

Why will the opening look like?

Photo: René Volfík,

“It will be open really to everyone. It’s in the city centre, so we want people to come and enjoy the lighting of the sculptures. It’s important to say that light is a very important part of the installation and it is also related to the idea of kinetic art, which was the original idea of the collective exhibition.”

So that means the best time to visit the exhibition is after 5 p.m., when it gets dark.