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About the Award

Jindřich Chalupecký Society

Initiated by playwright and writer Václav Havel, artist Theodor Pištěk, and poet and artist Jiří Kolář, an annual award for young Czech artists was founded in Lány, Czechoslovakia, May 27, 1990. The award’s name is in honor of Jindřich Chalupecký, leading art and literary critic, essayist and philosopher, who, toward the end of his life, consented to an award bearing his own name:

Jindřich Chalupecký Award

The award winner will receive 100.000 CZK to realize an exhibition and publish a catalog in the following year, during which the winner spends a six-week scholarship in New York as part of the Residency Unlimited organized by the Trust for Mutual Understanding. The institution helps the prize winner to make important contacts abroad. During his stay he or she may exhibit his or her works in the Czech Center in New York.

The award commemorates the life-time achievement of Jindřich Chalupecký who initiated unofficial, avant-garde art activities in former Czechoslovakia. At the same time, he worked to preserve Czech art's independence, on the one hand, and its affinity with the tradition of both Czech and European modern art on the other. Chalupecký's aim was to connect groups and individuals of all generations and of different worldviews to prevent the ongoing spiritual and moral decline. Despite his old age and his expert knowledge, he remained open to new, nascent tendencies and always supported young art. That is why the award is dedicated to young artists; to enable the most talented and most original ones to directly experience the world of contemporary art. The founders of Jindřich Chalupecký Society wish to promote contemporary Czech art and preserve the memory of the man who dedicated his life to its cause.

Administrative Board of Jindřich Chalupecký Society

Karina Kottová, Head of Board

Lenka Lindaurová

Charlotta Kotíková

Tomáš Pospiszyl

Michal Pěchouček

Ondřej Horák

Ondřej Stupal

Jindřich Chalupecký Society:

Lucie Drdová, Ludvík Hlaváček, Ondřej Horák, Charlotta Kotíková, Karina Kottová, Lenka Lindaurová, Dan Merta, Michal Pěchouček, Tomáš Pospiszyl, Jan Svoboda, Jiří Šetlík, Dana Tomášová, Tomáš Vrba


Rules for Conferral of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award

Jindřich Chalupecký Award is designed for visual artists living or active in the Czech Republic who have achieved the age of maximum 35 years by 31st December of the calendar year in which the Award Finals take place. Czech citizenship is not necessary.

Jindřich Chalupecký Award is conferred for an extraordinary artistic achievement in visual arts. It is designed for the emerging generation of artists whose work has the potential to gain recognition in the context of both Czech and international art scene and which embodies, both in its contents and form, an exceptional attitude. The Award is granted to artists working in any media, with respect to interdisciplinary overlaps and other current tendencies in contemporary art.

The artists who were among Chalupecký Award finalists in the past yet did not win the laureate title, may apply repeatedly.

Jindřich Chalupecký Award is announced as a competition and it is up to the artists themselves to apply. Along with that, visual arts experts may nominate artists via the email address info@cjch.cz. Thus nominated artists will be invited by the Jindřich Chalupecký Society representatives to join the competition. The applications are accepted online through the works.io platform. Jindřich Chalupecký Society offers assistance in case of technical problems concerning the application process.

The jury of experts of Jindřich Chalupecký Award 2015:

Holly Block is a director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York since 2006; between 1985 and 1988, she served as curator, executive director and arts administrator at the same institution. Holly Block also worked as co-commissioner for the Department of State for the 2003 Cairo Biennial where she introduced artist Paul Pfeiffer. In 2013, Block was appointed co-commissioner of the United States Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale and presented the work of artist Sarah Sze.

Jiří Kovanda is an artist and lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and at the Faculty of Art and Design at Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. Kovanda is an autodidact renowned for his emotive performances on the unofficial art scene in the 1970s. Later he took up the media of painting, collage and object. His ironic and intentionally “non-artistic” approach greatly revived the Czech scene primarily in the 1990s. After 1989, he was often invited to international exhibitions and is one of the few Czech artists of his generation to have become real global stars. As a lecturer and artist, he is also respected by the youngest generation. In the past year, he has exhibited his work in Los Angeles, New York and Paris and participated in Istanbul Biennial.

Alexandra Kusá is an art theorist who studied in Bratislava. In 1991, she and Petra Hanáková prepared the exposition Slovak Art for Free for the Slovak Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale. She worked as chief curator of the modern and contemporary art collections of the Slovak National Gallery and as chief curator of the Moravian Gallery in Brno; currently she is a director of the Slovak National Gallery. Besides, she also lectures on the history of 20th century art. She has curated a big exhibition of 1950s art which has introduced socialist realism in the Slovak National Gallery for the first time.

Gunnar B. Kvaran is a director of the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo since 2001; before he headed similar institutions in Reykjavík. He was the commissioner of the Icelandic Pavilion at Venice Biennale in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1990. In 2013, he was chief curator of Lyon Biennial. He has curated a whole range of remarkable exhibitions – Uncertain States of America, Yoko Ono, Jeff Koons, Ólafur Eliasson, Jeff Wall, Matthew Barney, Charles Ray, Cindy Sherman and others.

Pavlína Morganová is an art historian and curator. She works at the Department of Art Theory and History and at the Academic Research Centre of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. She has written the book Czech Action Art (1999 and 2009) and the study on action art in the catalog of the exhibition Action, Word, Movement, Space (Prague City Gallery, 1999). She has contributed to the anthology Czech Art 1938–1989 – Programs, Critical Texts, Documents  (along with Jiří Ševčík and Dagmar Dušková; Academia, 2001). She has curated the exhibition Insiders / The Unobtrusive Generation of the 1990s (The Brno House of Arts and Futura, 2005). She is the author of the Artscape project mapping the Czech art scene of 2007. She published a book on conceptual artist Lumír Hladík in 2011.

Marek Pokorný is a visual art critic, curator and art manager of the Ostrava City Gallery PLATO. He has worked as art director of the Moravian Gallery in Brno and was a candidate for the post of the director of the National Gallery in Prague. He has published a whole range of studies; in 1995, he founded the Detail magazine for visual arts, the first magazine to deal with the post-November art scene. He has curated a whole range of exhibitions in numerous Czech galleries.

Marina Shcherbenko lives and works in Kiev, is a curator and consultant at Bottega Gallery and Shcherbenko Art Centre. She deals with contemporary art and has prepared several projects of contemporary Ukrainian artists for international presentation. She also organizes educational programs for young artists at Bottega Gallery and heads the MUHi competition supporting young artists.


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