Fresh Czech design showcased at Museum of Decorative Arts

Jan Kaplický - 'Bettina'

A new exhibition entitled Čerstvé! or Fresh! has just got underway at Prague’s Museum of Decorative Arts. It showcases recent acquisitions of the Museum, including glass, china, fashion, jewelry, furniture and graphic collections by prominent Czech designers and manufacturers. The exhibition is part of a larger event annual Designblok festival, which also starts today.

Daniela Karasová is one of the exhibition’s curators, who explained the choice of the title:

“There are acquisitions from the past ten years, so that’s why. Also, it is connected with the Designblok, which has just been opened in Prague and it only lasts for one week. Unfortunately, this exhibition also lasts only for a week. It finishes on Sunday and we think it’s a great pity, because there are very many things and we think it is a very well done exhibition which should last for a longer time.”

Was it worth the effort?

“Well, I hope so. For example the glass and ceramics show presents an amazing survey of recent development. There are completely unknown objects for example the series designed by Jan Kaplický, the famous Czech architect, who died recently. He is known for his architecture, but he did design as well, such as cutlery, glass and china.”

“There is also very avant-garde and beautiful fashion from small fashion studios and contemporary designers. But what is very important to me as a curator of this museum for me is that most of the objects here are not only artistic creations but you can wear the clothes, you can eat from the plates and drink from the glasses.”

So it really is applied art….

Mostly it is.

How would you say Czech design stands in comparison with western European countries?

“I think it is in quite a good position, because many of these contemporary designers who studied at the University of Applied Arts also had a chance to study abroad and some of their teachers were prominent architects from abroad, like for example Eva Jiřičná or Bořek Šípek. So they already have an idea of what is happening abroad and some of them are already working for foreign studios. Fore example the upholstery furniture by Jan Čtvrtník. He now cooperates with an Italian company and he designed for NASA, which is absolutely fantastic.”