21. 10. 2022
The twenty-fourth edition of Designblok, Central Europe's largest design and fashion show, continues beyond Prague's borders. One of the main exhibitions of this year's festival, Terra Alba - the New Wave of Czech Porcelain, organised in collaboration with the Moravian Gallery, is on display at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Brno from 21 October 2022 to 29 January 2023. Art historian Radek Wohlmuth selected works by over 25 artists, Maxim Velčovský is the architect of the exhibition, and Jana Zielinski and Jiří Macek, directors of the Designblok festival, authored the exhibition's concept.
The title Terra Alba encompasses in itself the characteristic white colour. The archaic Latin, in turn, makes us aware of the long history of porcelain production: the beginnings of porcelain production go back to faraway China, from where this luxury commodity came to Europe mainly thanks to discovery expeditions. The main purpose of the exhibition is also to map the landscape of the field. The curatorial selection focuses on the last decade and on works which reflect the present-day situation, context, approaches to tradition and feelings about life.
Terra Alba focuses on author design that brings up issues and disrupts stereotypes related to technologies, morphology, décor and meaning. "Works on display also report on our everyday life, in which issues such as ecology, sustainability, inclusion and pandemics resonate. Contemporary porcelain evokes emotions and it is also a way of communication," says Radek Wohlmuth, the exhibition curator, and adds that some of the works teeter on the edge of free art.
Maxim Velčovský has been working with porcelain for thirty years and is still fascinated by this material. Whether for its long history full of stories or the qualities that the artist tries to make use of in his work. According to Velčovský, the Terra Alba exhibition reflects the varied processes used to create works from this material, ranging from plate designs for people suffering from Parkinson's disease to purely experimental objects formed by an explosion. "My favourite project is Gabriel Vach's ordinary mugs with photographs that are 'developed' by drinking tea. Another favourite piece of mine is Antonín Tomášek's paraphrase of kitsch still lifes featuring fish in the form of plastic wrappings levitating on the bottom of seas or rivers. The Russian author Nonna Lorenz reflects on her fate as a Russian immigrant in the Czech Republic. The exhibition uncovers individual approaches and delves into sometimes seemingly insignificant details that can reveal the meanings of an object hidden at first sight," says the exhibition's architect, Maxim Velčovský.
"We are very pleased that an institution as prestigious as the Moravian Gallery has decided to show one of the main exhibitions of this year's Designblok. The architect of the exhibition, Maxim Velčovský, and the curator, Radek Wohlmuth, have made minor changes to the installation and the resulting composition looks amazing in the Museum of Decorative Arts in Brno. I would like to thank Jan Press for his constant interest in contemporary Czech design and for his cooperation," says Jana Zielinski, author of the exhibition concept and director of the Designblok festival. The Terra Alba exhibition is not located in the exhibition space of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Brno by chance. "The concept of our Art Design Fashion project views this space as open to exhibitions resulting from collaborations with contemporary designers," explains Jan Press, director of the Moravian Gallery.
The exhibition is organised on the occasion of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
MORAVIAN GALLERY IN BRNO – Museum of Decorative Arts
Husova 536, Brno-střed 662 26
21. 10. 2022—29. 1. 2023
Entrance fee: voluntary contributions
TERRA ALBA – THE NEW WAVE OF CZECH PORCELAIN
Concept: Jana Zielinski, Jiří Macek
Exhibition Curator: Radek Wohlmuth
Architect: Maxim Velčovský
Production Manager: Šimon Borecký
Graphic Design: Martina Černá
Photographs: Michaela Karásek Čejková
Exhibiting artists: Ema Auri, Michal Bačák, Jakub Berdych Karpelis, Luisa Bělohlávková, Tomáš Černý, Adéla Fejtková, Tereza Hrušková, Martina Hudečková, Prokop Chludil, Karolína Jeřábková, Veronika Velčovská Jiroušková, Joo Kawasumi, Vendula Kvíz Radostová, Nonna Lorenz, Silvie Luběnová, Monika Martykánová, Helena Patelisová, Milan Pekař, Eva Pelechová, Daniel Piršč, Matěj Polách, Tereza Sluková, Klára Šumová, Antonín Tomášek, Quynh Trang Tran, Gabriel Vach, Maxim Velčovský, Silvie Vytvarová, Dirk Wright, Lenka Záhorková, Adam Železný, Martina Žílová