Monday, October 15, 2012


Art Nouveau
What’s the difference between Art Nouveau and Art Deco? Not as much as you would think. Art Nouveau came first with the likes of Mucha and Horta, full of rich sinuous curves that suggest sweaty, curvaceous sex. Art Deco comes later, more geometric, industrial and austere, suggesting, maybe, more, tied to a chair S&M. 
In any case, we (three lads on our annual City jaunt) stayed in the Hotel Central, itself a place of pilgrimage for lovers of Art Nouveau. It’s façade is unapologetically ornate, with the classic, organic canopy, nouveau font, interior ironwork on railings, lift cage and windows.
Not far is the Hotel Paris, again with its curvaceous canopies and flowing lines. But for honest and pure Art Nouveau, the Hotel Europa and Hotel Marin stand side by side on Wencelus Square (actually a long thin rectangle) more interesting on the outside than inside.
The Municipal House, a huge Art Nouveau building that attempted to create a Czech revival using modernism for municipal ends. The Topic publishing house and many other buildings have Art Nouveau touches that fit well with the many Baroque and Neo-Baroque buildings.
In an interesting twist, Prague’s main Cathedral (St Vitus) has some modernist stain glass windows, including one by Mucha, that shows St Cyril inventing the Cyrillic alphabet so that the Bible could be made available to the Slavic people. Other windows by other Czech artists attempt to do similar modernist things with the medium.
Wander round to the greatest unsupported secular building in the world, and you walk into a huge hall where there is no distinction between the walls and roof. The entire structure is a Gothic, ribbed cage, but look carefully and you see that they’re sinuous ribs. This is closer to Art Nouveau than Gothic and makes you feel as though you’re inside a stone Tiffany lamp. It doesn't really work aesthetically but it's bloody adventurous.
Art Nouveau, whether in Glasgow, Paris, Brussels, Prague or Riga, brings a city to life as it treats the facades of buildings as canvases and is fearless in making them look good. I like this. It makes a city walkable. Too many buildings require you to peer into them. Art Nouveau makes you peer at them.
Cubist architecture
As a counterpoint to Prague’s wonderful Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture is its Cubist buildings. Cubist….architecture? How can you take a style of painting that re-presents things simultaneously in different dimensions and apply it to a real 3D object? Well the buildings themselves seem to be ‘cubist’ in form and ornament. They use geometric forms for doorways, pillars, windows and the structure, of the buildings themselves. The word ‘cube’ in Cubism is a bit misleading, as the forms represented in Cubist painting, and Prague architecture, are polygons, many-angled shapes and slants. This is interesting as Prague’s cubist buildings do look different from different angles and use 3 dimensional form to create this effect. The different facets of the facades mimic the painterly effects of a Picasso or Braque, but in from not re-presentation. Although one could argue that the building itself is being re-presented as you walk past or view it from different perspectives.
Rondo Cubism
If you want to see the most bizarre and puzzling building in Prague, forget Gery’s dull Ginger and Rogers and head west to see the Czech Legionnaire’s’ Bank. It takes circles, squares (hence the term Rondo Cubism) and socialist motifs to create something you can’t really love, as it’s too crowded and clashing a composition. I’ve never seen anything like it.
What’s of interest here is the Czech rush to modernism after 1910 on the back of their increasing independence from the Hapsburg Empire. There are two aspects to this. First, they looked not to Germany for their inspiration; second, they wanted to do something that was their own. It’s no accident that the great Arty Nouveau movement in Prague happened at the same time. Similarly in Glasgow, Vienna, Brussels and Riga, one can see in these movements an attempt by more regional cities to assert and differentiate themselves from Paris and London.
Kafka
At the same time Kafka was producing novels and short stories that still cut a modernist sabre through traditional virtues of work, law and the certainty of knowledge. Kafka is everywhere in central Prague but of course he is nowhere. On mugs, mouse mats, fridge magnets and tee-shirts, his face is everywhere but few visitors have read his work. Coming back to Modernism, my own view is that Kafka’s work has little to do with the streets of Prague, Judaism or historical context. Kafka was breaking with the past not reinventing it. Like Cubism, he was stripping the form of the novel and short story down into a formal representation of the subject, free from the realm of normalised perception. Stories told from the perspective of a dog, mole or insect look at our human predicament from almost cubist perspectives. The Castle and The Trial are stripped bare and leave the imagination to build interpretations on to the text. Kafka is not replete with meaning, he’s replete with the power to let you bring meaning to the text.
Art


After a wipe out in their main gallery, where we did come across a ginger Christ, we came across a few good pieces hidden away. Prague may be short on quality art galleries. but it's not short on public art. 
Conclusion
We visited the Café Louvre where Kafka and his friend Max Brod hung out, until Brod was banned, which prompted the ‘Brod-banned’ quip from Ronnie. Almost as Good as Ken’s, when in reply on to an Italian waiter’s ‘Bueno’, said U2. I laughed -the waiter was bemused. I suppose that’s the joy of these trips – the laughs. You don’t go to Prague for the food. You can go to Prague for the beer. You should really go for the architecture (and maybe Kafka but only if you’ve read him). We walked for four solid days, ate reasonably well, and found a lovely local, tourist-free pub with good, cheap beer and plenty of atmosphere, where we supped every night. My third time in this city but I’ll be back.

15 Comments:

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Junda Xu said...

20150630 junda
burberry outlet
tory burch outlet online
ray-ban sunglasse
pandora jewelry sale
coach outlet online
louis vuitton
hollister kids
true religion sale
oakley sunglasses sale
michael kors bags
oakley sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors handbags
tory burch handbags
cheap ray ban sunglasses
toms outlet store
oakley outlet
cheap soccer jerseys
louboutin
toms shoes for women
ray bans
coach factory outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
kate spade handbags
coach outlet
michael kors outlet
prada outlet
toms shoes sale
kate spade bags
true religion jeans outlet
nike blazer pas cher
michael kors
replica watches rolex
michael kors handbags
football jerseys
cheap jordans free shipping
cheap snapbacks hats
cheap oakley sunglasses
gucci belt
ralph lauren polo shirts

 
At 7:11 AM, Blogger Junda Xu said...

20150630 junda
burberry outlet
tory burch outlet online
ray-ban sunglasse
pandora jewelry sale
coach outlet online
louis vuitton
hollister kids
true religion sale
oakley sunglasses sale
michael kors bags
oakley sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
michael kors handbags
tory burch handbags
cheap ray ban sunglasses
toms outlet store
oakley outlet
cheap soccer jerseys
louboutin
toms shoes for women
ray bans
coach factory outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
kate spade handbags
coach outlet
michael kors outlet
prada outlet
toms shoes sale
kate spade bags
true religion jeans outlet
nike blazer pas cher
michael kors
replica watches rolex
michael kors handbags
football jerseys
cheap jordans free shipping
cheap snapbacks hats
cheap oakley sunglasses
gucci belt
ralph lauren polo shirts

 
At 3:18 AM, Blogger lina123 Chen said...

chenlina20150706
michael kors outlet
cheap jordans
louis vuitton outlet
oakley sunglasses
abercrombie fitch
michael kors outlet online
abercrombie store
cheap toms
coach factory outlet
michael kors outlet
michael kors
louis vuitton outlet
beats by dr dre
kobe bryant shoes
longchamp outlet
air max 95
mont blanc pen
michael kors uk
ray ban glasses
retro jordans
michael kors outlet
ray ban outlet
christian louboutin outlet
toms wedges
coach outlet
longchamp sale
ncaa jerseys
michael kors outlet online
burberry sale
gucci handbags
jordan retro 11
michael kors
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors outlet online sale
chi flat iron
michael kors outlet
retro 11
louis vuitton outlet
christian louboutin sale
michael kors outlet

 
At 3:12 AM, Blogger Xiaozhengm 520 said...

2015-10-9 xiaozhengm
Toms Shoes Sale Clearance
Authentic Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet
Coach Coupons In Coach Outlet Store Online
celine bag
canada goose outlet
Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Outlet
Authentic Montblanc Pens Sale Online
Cheap Real Louis Vuitton Handbags
Michael Kors Outlet Handbags Wholesale
Jordan Retro 13 Pink And Grey
louis vuitton handbags
coach outlet
true religion outlet
Canada Goose,Canada Goose Outlet,Canada Goose Jackets,Canada Goose Sale
Red Bottom Shoes Christian Louboutin
Louis Vuitton Outlet High Quality
Coach Factory Outlet Online Authentic
Louis Vuitton Outlet Quality Handbags
michael kors outlet
Coach Factory Online Outlet Cheap Purses
cheap jerseys
ugg boots
Ray Ban Outlet Store Online
nike free run 2,nike free runs,nikes,nike air max 95,nike high tops,air force 1,nike pegasus
Outlet Michael Kors Online
ugg boots outlet
michael kors uk
Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM Monogram
michael kors outlet online

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger chenlina said...

chenlina20151206
hollister co
ugg boots on sale
uggs outlet
ugg boots
replica watches
running shoes
louis vuitton handbags
canada goose jackets
uggs outlet
hollister co,hollister jeans,hollister.com,hollister ca
michael kors outlet
abercrombie kids
prada handbags
lebron 11
timberland outlet
the north face outlet
official coach factory outlet
ugg slippers
ugg boots outlet
louis vuitton outlet stores
uggs on sale
cheap air max
michael kors outlet
coach outlet online
ugg clearance
ugg sale
coach factory outlet
louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton handbags
jordan concords
kids uggs on sale
the north face
canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet online
timberland outlet
ugg sale
ugg boots on sale
abercrombie kids
uggs outlet
adidas uk
as

 
At 6:03 AM, Blogger chenlina said...

chenlina20151218
canada goose outlet
mont blanc pens
nike air max
celine outlet
adidas superstars
coach outlet
oakley outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
prada handbags
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
uggs sale
michael kors outlet online
ray ban sunglasses
cheap nfl jerseys
ray ban sunglasses
ugg outlet
hollister co
instyler max
adidas originals
louis vuitton outlet
ugg boots
coach factory outlet online
michael kors outlet
christian louboutin outlet
canada goose jackets
burberry outlet
coach factory outlet online
coach outlet
timberland outlet
jordans for sale
louis vuitton handbags
kevin durant basketball shoes
abercrombie and fitch
ray ban sunglasses outlet
tory burch outlet
cheap ugg boots
toms shoes
gucci shoes
louis vuitton outlet
as

 
At 8:29 AM, Blogger 柯云 said...

2015-12-24keyun
air max 95
chanel bags
oakley outlet
soccer shoes
nike air max
ray ban sunglasses
ugg clearance outlet
canada goose outlet store
ugg boots on sale
cheap rolex watches
louis vuitton outlet
coach factory outlet
fitflop clearance
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet
louis vuitton
louis vuitton
gucci outlet
michael kors outlet online
nike free 5.0
canada goose outlet
ralph lauren
ugg outlet
ugg boots clearance
air max 95
ugg sale
coach outlet store
ugg outlet
jordan concords
oakley sunglasses wholesale
beats by dre
ralph lauren outlet
coach outlet
lebron james basketball shoes
canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet
jordan 11 concord
coach outlet
coach outlet store
michael kors outlet

 
At 1:03 AM, Blogger ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.02
coach purses, louboutin, converse pas cher, north face, replica handbags, longchamp, abercrombie and fitch, timberland, nike huaraches, true religion jeans, longchamp, vans pas cher, true religion outlet, sac burberry, polo ralph lauren, nike free pas cher, hogan outlet, air max, ray ban pas cher, michael kors, new balance pas cher, nike trainers, sac longchamp pas cher, michael kors uk, nike blazer, hollister, ray ban sunglasses, true religion outlet, nike tn, lululemon outlet online, nike free, true religion jeans, air max, michael kors pas cher, nike air max, mulberry, hollister, ralph lauren, nike roshe, nike air force, oakley pas cher, sac guess, coach outlet store online, air jordan, sac hermes, vanessa bruno, air max pas cher, michael kors outlet, polo lacoste, north face, nike roshe run pas cher

 
At 1:06 AM, Blogger ninest123 said...

gucci outlet, cheap uggs, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, chanel handbags, oakley sunglasses, longchamp handbags, ray ban sunglasses, prada outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin shoes, burberry outlet, louboutin, nike shoes, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren, uggs, louis vuitton outlet stores, louis vuitton handbags, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, air max, prada handbags, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses cheap, ugg boots clearance, longchamp handbags, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin, polo ralph lauren outlet, uggs outlet, tiffany and co, ugg outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, air max, ray ban sunglasses, rolex watches, michael kors outlet online sale, jordan shoes, replica watches, tiffany and co

 
At 1:08 AM, Blogger ninest123 said...

vans, valentino shoes, nike roshe run, jimmy choo outlet, bottega veneta, iphone 6s plus cases, iphone 6 plus cases, oakley, vans shoes, converse, nfl jerseys, lululemon outlet, giuseppe zanotti, iphone 5s cases, iphone 6s cases, mont blanc, mcm handbags, air max, wedding dresses, birkin bag, north face jackets, north face outlet, beats by dre, timberland boots, mac cosmetics, air max, louboutin, ferragamo shoes, ghd, s6 case, soccer jerseys, hollister clothing store, insanity workout, p90x, babyliss pro, abercrombie, iphone cases, reebok outlet, asics running shoes, chi flat iron, new balance shoes, abercrombie and fitch, ray ban, ipad cases, instyler, gucci, iphone 6 cases, baseball bats, herve leger, soccer shoes, ralph lauren, celine handbags

 
At 1:10 AM, Blogger ninest123 said...

links of london, karen millen, canada goose, moncler, louis vuitton, canada goose, ugg pas cher, moncler, ugg boots, sac lancel, sac louis vuitton, moncler, juicy couture outlet, juicy couture, canada goose, canada goose, moncler, swarovski crystal, ugg, canada goose uk, canada goose jackets, hollister, doke gabbana, pandora charms, louis vuitton, barbour, supra shoes, canada goose, pandora jewelry, ugg, swarovski, thomas sabo, wedding dresses, canada goose outlet, toms shoes, moncler outlet, converse shoes, pandora charms, rolex watches, pandora jewelry, moncler, louis vuitton uk, barbour, marc jacobs, montre homme, moncler, ugg, moncler, sac louis vuitton, coach outlet store online
ninest123 16.02

 
At 5:11 AM, Blogger Xiaozhengm 520 said...


2016-4-21 xiaozhengm
toms shoes
coach factory outlet
jordans for sale
nike air force 1
hollister
louis vuitton outlet
jordan concords
christian louboutin sale
michael kors outlet
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors outlet
coach outlet store online
ray ban sunglasses discount
adidas shoes
coach outlet
kobe bryant shoes
gucci outlet
toms shoes
air jordan retro
cheap oakleys
ray ban sunglasses
coach factory outlet
air max 90
pandora jewelry
michael kors outlet
polo ralph lauren
jordan 6
asics shoes
pandora jewelry
rolex watches outlet
air jordan pas cher
nike trainers
adidas trainers
louis vuitton bags
adidas originals
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors handbags
gucci handbags
kate spade handbags
kate spade

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Mie Helal said...





You have made some really good points there
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/thermal-insulation-companies-12.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/thermal-insulation-companies-11.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/thermal-insulation-companies-10.html
http://www.prokr.net/2016/09/thermal-insulation-companies-9.html

 
At 7:42 AM, Blogger Paweł Nwrot said...

forina pure

 
At 2:03 AM, Blogger raybanoutlet001 said...

gucci shoes
eagles jerseys
sac longchamp
nike huarache
nike shoes
ray ban sunglasses
cheap basketball shoes
jordan 4
fitflops
cheap jordan shoes
207.7.27

 

Post a Comment

<< Home