Place: The Kinsky Palace Stables
Exhibition curator: Zuzana Novotná, Collection of Prints and Drawings of the NG
Exhibition catalogue: Zuzana Novotná (ed.)
Co-authors of the catalogue: Eva Bendová, Lenka Bydžovská, Helena Musilová, Lenka Pastyříková, Anna Pravdová, Tomáš Sekyrka, Karel Srp, Tomáš Winter
Place: The Kinský Palace Stables
Duration: 30 May – 24 August 2014
In 2010, the National Gallery in Prague received an unexpected bequest in the form of more than twenty works of art by the foremost artists of Modernism. The unique convolute originates from the collection of Doctor Alena Žižková-Lind (1926–2009), who initially planned to bequeath it anonymously but, upon the advice of her friends, eventually admitted its ownership in her will. Her intention was only discovered during the probate proceedings after her death. The magnanimity of such an act is not seen too often, and the National Gallery in Prague thus decided to exhibit Ms Žižková-Lind’s collection not only with concern to its unique character but also out of gratitude for such a generous gesture. The appreciation brought to the Gallery not only ensues from the physical presence of the works but also from the ethical dimension of the donation itself. Alena Žižková-Lind followed in the tradition of the great donors, which is not very common nowadays.
The unexpected donation of paintings and works on paper is rather homogeneous in its contents and reveals the collector’s fondness for artists with links to France, among them the Surrealists Toyen and Jindřich Štyrský, Josef Šíma, Jan Matulka, the painter of Bretaigne, Jan Zrzavý, Rudolf Kremlička, František Tichý, František Muzika and the Spanish artist Honorio Garcia Condoy. Some works have retained a note on their interesting provenance or the place of their display. For example, the drawing by Preisler came from the collection of the psychoanalyst and Surrealist Bohuslav Brouk and the Kremlička drawing originates from the property of Rudolf Špála, brother of the leading Czech painter Václav Špála. The drawings by Jindřich Štyrský and the paintings by Toyen are known to have been exhibited in 1938 and 1945 in the prestigious Topič Salon in Prague. The works by Oto Janeček and Jindřich Wielgus provide the collection a unique character as a secret in the life of Alena Žižková-Lindt which is inappropriate to reveal.
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