Beseder Gallery

Date: 05.08. - 02.11.2021

Kurt Gebauer as you (probably) don't know him
5.8. - 2.11.21

Although Kurt Gebauer is best known as a sculptor, this exhibition, on the occasion of his 80th birthday, features his yet unseen paintings created from the 1950s to 1970s, as well as paintings on canvas from the last two years.

The exhibition can be approached as a certain circuit that begins and ends with water - a popular theme that has accompanied Gebauer continuously to this day. He considers water to be a source of joy and positive attunement, which must be transferred to the canvas and through it to the viewer. He is mainly inspired by floating and bathing figures. Swimmers, hardeners and all sorts of other water scenery are most often captured at the swimming pool in Hradec nad Moravicí, near the Žimrovice weir, and especially at the Džbán swimming pool in Prague, where they go swimming almost every day.

Right at the entrance to the Beseder restaurant connected to the gallery, we find two small swimmers from the 1960s. Then, around the Nižbor dancer and portraits from the 50s to the 70s (including one self-portrait from the time of studies), we get to the gallery “living room”, which is dominated by Gebauer's wife Libuše alongside their first-born son Žanda. Before Gebauer started sewing and stuffing his Libuše, he liked to paint her, for example alla Modigliani.
In this historic corner with television, a documentary will be on view until the end of the exhibition, the premiere of which will take place on the day of Gebauer's 80th birthday: 18.8. at 18:00. You will learn in it about his creative process of painting, the exhibited paintings and the fact that he is actually more of a painter than a sculptor, but almost nobody believes him.

He has been very fond of painting with his own playfulness and ease since early childhood, but there has been little time for it so far. The artist is fascinated by creating works for a public space that can be seen by a large number of people. Whenever such an opportunity arose, he was engulfed. Many sculptures and installations have been created throughout the Czech Republic and around the world, such as the statue of Mozart in Brno, the Heart on Václav Havel Square or the Caterpillar of Early Capitalism in Kulaťák, Dejvice.

It is also interesting, that Gebauer does not have his own studio and paints on his balcony, from which he has a direct view of Václav Havel's villa. He perceives the very act of painting as a special synergy with nature, in which it is important to stop at the right time, when it gets dark, it starts to rain or the art process is disrupted by another, unpredictable reality. So, it is not only himself who paints, but the whole symbiosis of circumstances and nature over which we have no influence. "If we strive for it, we usually just ruin it and mess it up," the author himself describes his unusual creative process, the outcome of which you can see for yourself.

Curator of the art exhibition: Lucie Remešová
5.8. from 18:00
Opening with a concert by pianist Marina Kantor and violinist Ludmila Pavlová.
Afterparty in Beseder restaurant:
Duo Panka

18.8. from 18:00
Premiere of the documentary on the day of the 80th birthday.
About the authors own creative process of painting and exhibited artworks.

A rich accompanying program will be prepared for the entire duration of the exhibition:
launching of the catalog, artist talks, lectures, concerts, etc.
We will gradually publish more info here, on our websites and social networks.



Kurt Gebauer (August 18, 1941, Hradec na Moravicí) is a Czech academic sculptor, a Renaissance man, a tireless creative spirit, and inspirer.

He studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Brno, the School of Sculpture and Stonemasonry in Hořice v Podkrkonoší and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. In 1965 he completed an internship with Professor Otto Herbert Hajek in Stuttgart and in 1972 with Professor César Baldaccini at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was a stonemason and has been working as a freelance sculptor since 1969.
From 1990 to 2012, he was the head teacher of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, in 1990 he was appointed associate professor and in 1992 professor at the Studio of Universal Sculpture. Today he is a professor emeritus. Since 2018 he has also been a professor at the Department of Art Education and Culture, UWB in Pilsen.

A typical feature of Gebauer's work is playfulness, humour and exaggeration, an effort to arouse emotions by deviating from the well-established and predictable order of public space, which he has been cultivating and managing for six decades. He explains his life mission with the ambiguous exaggeration of the "municipal sculptor".
His hard-to-class concept of live figuration confused not only the political censors of the pre-November regime, but also the art scene itself. Whether they were dwarves parodying social absurdity, sewn and stuffed swimmers floating through the air, girls' figures in motion or various spatial installations celebrating nature.

Gebauer is undoubtedly a great figure of the Czech 20th century, who does not change history by force, but by storytelling, gentle humour and deep humanity.
Among Gebauer's most famous students is David Černý, who is undoubtedly one of the most prominent figures on the contemporary Czech art scene. Černý himself calls Gebauer his "father" and refers to him in many ways. He is very closely connected with our gallery, as he designed a crossing footbridge in the form of a locomotive, which in Lihovarská Street will connect the gallery complex with the opposite high-rise building.