Czech Baroque exhibition opens in the Municipal House

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Since April this year a large project called the Glory of the Baroque in Bohemia has been under way in the Czech Republic. The Prague National Gallery is presenting four major exhibitions in Prague, but there are also many accompanying events from various cultural spheres. One of these is a new exhibition of photographs by Vladimir Uher. Alena Skodova was at the opening ceremony and brings back this report:

The exhibition is called "Gems of Czech Baroque Architecture in the Photographs of Vladimir Uher" and it examines Baroque buildings from all over the Czech Republic through the lens of a classic artist of Czech photography. The main theme is architecture understood as a living and dynamic three-dimensional work. Dr. Vit Vlnas from the National Gallery in Prague feels that the exhibition is a significant project:

"This exhibition plays undoubtedly a major role, the whole project The Baroque in Bohemia - that means art, culture and society in the 17th and 18th centuries, is accompanied by many and many events in Prague itself and in districts, it's exhibition, concerts, theatre performances and so on, andthis exhibition of photographs by Mr. Uher plays a major role, it has a very prominent site - the Municipal House of the city of Prague, and also Mr. Uher is a living classic of photography in Bohemia."

Vladimir Uher is a major figure in Czech photography, and for many years now he has been the head of the photography department at the State Institute for the Reconstruction of Historical Towns and Buildings. Several books containing Mr. Uher's photographs document his interest in architecture, focussed mainly on the Baroque period. I asked the 76 year old artist what it is about Baroque architecture that attracts him so much?

Mr. Uher told me it was quite simple: it's the Baroque shapes that had always excited him more than anything else. But has he ever tried photographing buildings of other architectural styles?

"Yes, of course, I have taken many photos of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance buildings, but there's only one style I love ardently, and that's the Baroque. I have no system for selecting what I will take pictures of, I simply go, look around and when something excites me, I cannot walk away without photographing it. I always rely on my feelings - all in all I think it's an emotional reaction, visually-emotional, not intellectual."

Mr. Uher uses his own home-made cameras - also on display at the exhibition in the Municipal House - which will last till September 16th.