Musoleum Art Gallery exhibits artworks of David Cerny
Musoleum Art Gallery Museum displays a permanent exhibition of David Černý’s artwork. He became famous for his provocative art and more recently for his collaborations with major property developers.The name Musoleum is a pun of museum and mausoleum. The collection comprises many classic artworks of David Černý as well as smaller versions of some of his most famous works, like Entropa or the London bus doing push-ups. One of the rooms is dedicated to scale models of Cerny’s construction projects. The Musoleum also functions partly as a storage space because the artist’s studio became cluttered.
David Černý and Art
David Černý is known for his controversial and provocative sculptures and installations, some can be found in public places in Prague: the babies climbing the Žižkov TV tower, the upside-down hanging horse in the Lucerna passage and the Franz Kafka’s head behind the Quadrio shopping centre, the Trabant on legs in memory of the exodus in 1989 of East Germans to the West and the Entropa installation designed for the Czech EU presidency in 2009 that turned out to be quite different from what was assumed.
Musoleum Museum – what to see?
The permanent exhibition features some of Černý’s most famous works. Your visit will start on the fifth floor and leads past well-known, sometimes mini-versions, of famous works, but you will also see new works of art designed in collaboration with architects, which will adorn future buildings such as a scale model of Top Tower, a ship’s hull covered in greenery that leans against a 135 meter tall building.
In addition to Černý’s well-known works, you will find a cross-section of the artist’s entire oeuvre, from early drawings to models of architectural works that have not yet been made.
Trabant, Pistols and Einstein
As you walk down, every few minutes the tranquil air is disturbed by a load roaring that seems to be coming from deep down below. Artworks along the way include the Trabant on legs, a scaled-down version of Entropa, the four giant pistols, Albert Einstein’s face made of coloured resin, a male nude with a helicopter head, numerous depictions of genitals, and a mini model of an English double-decker bus doing push ups.
Raised middle finger
On one of the terraces you will see the raised middle finger that floated on the Vltava in 2013 pointing to the presidential palace of the then president Miloš Zeman. It was a ‘subtle’ advice to the population to vote for the right party. Now, the middle finger points to the east.
Deafeningly loud roaring
You will find the origin of the roaring in the basement. At first glance, a tableaux vivant consisting of body parts attracts your attention. When the room fills with swirly fog, severed arms and legs and a torso come to life and perform a dance macabre while roaring loudly.
Former Lihovar Distillery now an Art Gallery
The five-story building that housed the Lihovar Distillery is now Art Gallery Musoleum. The exhibition areas are located in the main building, Varna, where the boilers used for the distilling process once stood. The permanent exposition displays a large number of of Černý’s works of art. Some are replicas of works that are no longer in public places, because the statement they make is no longer relevant.
One room is reserved for rotating exhibitions of modern art by young artists. There is also a café and a viewing terrace.
The Musoleum Art Gallery is located in the Smichov district of Prague opposite the MeetFactory, an art and cultural centre run by Černý and a group of his friends. MeetFactory is also a pun. The original location was in a former slaughterhouse, but after the floods in 2003, it moved to a railway building and kept the original name.
Address: Art Gallery Musoleum, Nádražní street Smichov, in the former Zlizkov distillery in the Lihovar building.
photo: Marianne Crone