Photo: © Futura/Flickr
When it comes to art spotting in Prague, many of the coolest galleries are tucked away from the major tourist sites and blockbuster museums. The city’s most creative art hubs are changing the face of the industry, with intriguing collections ranging from the works of emerging Czech artists at Hunt Kastner to provocative pieces at Futura Gallery and cutting-edge photography at Leica Gallery Prague. Next time you visit, add a few of these trendy spaces to your itinerary.
Leica Gallery Prague
Exhibition space, gallery, bookshop, café and art school all rolled into one, Leica Gallery Prague in the New Town is a stylish dedication to photography. Discover local and international talent through edgy, thought-provoking exhibitions, browse the impressively stocked bookstore (you’ll be tempted to leave with a photographic print under your arm), or while away an hour or two in the café, gazing at the skilfully curated pop-up exhibition walls. Not just for professionals, aspiring photographers can join workshops to hone their skills behind the lens under the guidance of a local expert.
For a chance to see just how cool the contemporary Czech art scene is, Hunt Kastner in the hip Žižkov neighbourhood is the best place to go. Spotlighting emerging talents from across the country, the exhibitions here star young and progressive artists such as Tomáš Vanêk and Michaela Thelenová, and curators work closely with collectors to offer visitors a rich, varied rotation of cutting-edge art.
Dox Centre for Contemporary Art
This is a gallery that takes its art very seriously. Provocative conceptual exhibitions leaning strongly on photography and installation are curated alongside choreographed performance art, creating one of Prague’s more high-brow creative spaces. Its wider appeal comes in the form of a giant steel and wood zeppelin-shaped structure that straddles its rooftop—the Gulliver Airship is Dox’s newest permanent exhibition space, dedicated to reading and literature.
This trendy independent art hub is one of the coolest places to see art in Prague. Delightfully quirky, Futura Gallery has a captivating creative energy and consistently good exhibitions, inspiring art enthusiasts with its three floors of art and a fabulous itinerary of collective shows and solo exhibitions by leading local and international contemporary artists. Before you leave, be sure to swing by David Černý’s Brownnosers, a provocative interactive work in the gallery’s permanent exhibition that pokes fun at Czech politics.
Fans of sculpture should veer off from the crowded Castle District to visit the gracious Villa Bílek, which was designed and constructed in 1910 as a home studio by wood sculptor František Bílek. All grand columns and imposing brickwork, the gallery itself is an architectural pleasure, while the gardens and interior are liberally scattered with Bílek’s sculptures and hung with his early sketches. Much of his original, self-designed furniture remains inside, offering a generously intimate insight into this creative genius’s personal life.