Metamorphosis-Cubism, Czech Design and Collection Art exhibition kicked off at the Czech China Contemporary art gallery in Beijing on Saturday. Supported by the Czech government, Czech Department of Culture and the Czech Center, the exhibition coincides with the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and features furniture, sculptures and paintings by Chinese and Czechic artists.
A poster for the Metamorphosis-Cubism, Czech Design and Collection Art exhibition (Photos: Tao Mingyang/Global Times)
During the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing last week, Czech president Miloš Zeman visited China. Additionally, Czech Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Environment Richard Brabec and Minister of Culture Antonín Stanek attended the opening ceremony and visited the exhibition.
This exhibition displays some unique Czech works of cubism and design, which illustrates the development and changes of design in the country over the past century. These designs have a long history and some of them are still used today.
Approximately 80 design boutiques created by Chinese and Czechic designers provide visitors with deeper insight into the extraordinary history of Czech design and China and Czech cultural communication.
Metamorphosis-Cubism, Czech Design and Collection Art exhibition at the Czech China Contemporary art gallery (Photo: Courtesy of Czech China Contemporary art gallery)
In 1907, Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and French Sculptor George Braque launched the cubist movement in Paris. Soon, Cubism quickly influenced Prague under the leadership of Czech painters Emil Filla and Bohumil Kubista. From 1911 to 1914, Cubism led to the creation of manifold artworks. Polyline, taper and bevel become the unique features of Cubist furniture and ceramics, which are often considered by Czech designers as sculptures in and of themselves.
Czechic designer Michael Thonet's furniture TON is another path for Czech design. In the work, Michael Thonet uses curving wood to solve the contradiction between industrial production and design. Another of Thonet's works is his No. 14 chair. Launched in 1859, the famous chair is also known as the bistro chair.
"Cubist furniture is very rare," noted Huang Yaohe, the academic advisor of the exhibition. "because they are too expensive to make."
Cover image: Metamorphosis-Cubism, Czech Design and Collection Art exhibition at the Czech China Contemporary art gallery