January 29, 2015
NEW YORK, New York, January 29, 2015 – The Center for Architecture will present the exhibition Prague Functionalism: Tradition and Contemporary Echoes, opening on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 6:00 pm.
Though Prague is most famous for its Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings, modern architecture became highly prestigious in interwar Czechoslovakia. The architectural avant-garde, increasingly supported by the middle class, designed a broad range of structures in the 1920s and 1930s, from tenement and family houses, to administrative buildings, schools, and even churches. “Prague was one of the most important centers of modern architecture and design in Europe during the interwar period, comparable with the Bauhaus in Germany or the architecture of the Dutch De Stijl group,” said exhibition curator Zdeněk Lukeš. “World famous architects like Adolf Loos and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe took part in projects, along with many Czechoslovak colleagues including Jaromír Krejcar, Kamil Roškot, Oldřich Tyl, Adolf Benš, and Bedřich Feuerstein.”
Following the communist putsch in 1948, the style fell into misuse; however, the Functionalist tradition has been continuously resuscitated, modified, and adapted by contemporary Czech architects. Today, the avant-garde’s legacy places an emphasis on austerity, elementary shapes, and a respect for structural logic.
Prague Functionalism will showcase architecture from the interwar period and contemporary projects inspired by these designs. The exhibition presents photographs and drawings of buildings both built and unbuilt, with texts by architectural scholars and researchers. It will also include models of historic and contemporary buildings and several reproductions of Jindřich Halabala furniture designs manufactured exclusively by Modernista.
Originally presented at Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Prague, this will be Prague Functionalism’s U.S. premiere and the first major exhibition at the Center for Architecture to focus on Eastern European design.
Members of the press are invited to the exhibition opening and related programming. Please contact Camila Schaulsohn for press passes.
Thursday, February 12, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Curator’s Tour of the Exhibition with Zdeněk Lukeš
Friday, February 13, 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Contemporary Design in the Czech Republic
Wednesday, April 15, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
This event will take place at the Czech Center New York, 321 East 73rd Street, New York
Functionalism beyond Prague
Thursday, April 30, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday, May 9, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Guided Exhibition Tour
Thursday, May 14, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Curators: Zdeněk Lukeš, Petr Kratochvíl, Dan Merta, Dominik Herzán, Josef Vomáčka, and Petr Pištvěk
Graphic Design: Tomáš Brichcín (Studio Novák & Balihar)
Exhibition Architect: Jiří Příhoda
Czech Partners: Prague City, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Municipal District Prague 6, Czech Center New York, and Modernista
Prague Functionalism at the Center for Architecture was made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors:
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)
About the Center for Architecture
The Center for Architecture is a destination for all interested in the built environment. It is the public-facing affiliate of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, which provides resources to both the public and building industry professionals. Through exhibitions, programs, and special events, the Center aims to improve the quality and sustainability of the built environment, foster exchange between the design, construction, and real estate communities, and encourage collaborations across the city and globe. As the city’s leading cultural institution focusing on architecture, the Center drives positive change through the power of design. For more information, please visit www.aiany.org.