Fall for art in Prague: Must-see exhibits and openings not to miss in 2023

This autumn offers a cornucopia of architecture, design, and exhibitions that bring color and light to the Czech capital.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 22.09.2023 13:00:00 (updated on 25.09.2023) Reading time: 7 minutes

Fotograf Festival Hypertension23
Sept. 21, 2023–Feb. 11, 2024

The thirteenth edition of the Fotograf Festival, curated by Monika Čejková, explores the impact of technology on our identity and human experience, plus the transformation of our bodies in the digital age, highlighting the role of text, images, and moving images. The festival will feature an exhibition at the Trade Fair Palace, showcasing the work of Lynn Hershman Leeson's alter ego, Roberta Breitmore. Additionally, a site-specific installation in a public space, created in collaboration with Shumon Basar, and a group exhibition at Fotograf Gallery curated by Tina Poliačková will be presented.

Prague Art Week
Sept. 21–24

This year's Prague Art Week presents the best of the city's galleries and art museums. Over 30 art spaces around the city will participate with new exhibitions, performances, tours, literary performances, film screenings, and an educational program. Highlights include shows at the National Gallery Prague, Fotograf Festival, SUMO Prague, and Galerie Smečky, as well as an exhibition of a progressive private collection in a former bank building.

Prague Art Week begins Sept. 21
Prague Art Week begins Sept. 21

Prague tomorrow? City and the river
Sept. 22–Dec. 17

Prague's Vltava River is gaining attention for urban planning and investment. An exhibition at the Center for Architecture and Urban Planning (CAMP) showcases twenty-five projects along the river. Visitors can explore a scale model of the river, learn about upcoming projects, and delve into the history of the Vltava. The exhibition is based on documents by the Institute of Planning and Development of Prague.

Windows of St. Vitus Cathedral
Sept. 22–Dec. 31

The Cathedral of St. Vitus in Prague will host an exhibition showcasing its magnificent stained glass windows. Created over a span of a century (between 1865 and 1969), the windows were designed by renowned artists, showcasing a variety of styles and impeccable artistry. The exhibition also highlights the intricate details of the windows, often unseen from below. With all 23 chapels and individually placed windows presented in a spectacular format, visitors can admire the stunning beauty of these masterpieces.

Lustr Festival
Sept. 21–26

The 10th annual Lustr festival will bring together ten illustration and comics festivals from all over the world. Illustrators, comic artists, and curators from Hong Kong, Spain, Slovenia, Belgium, Germany, Taiwan, France, Greece, and Hungary will celebrate the survival of these festivals through the pandemic era. Highlights include a recapitulation of top Czech talent from past Lustr festivals, an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of illustrator duo Tomski&Polanski, and the premiere of an exhibition by David Böhm and Jiří Franta.

EDITOR'S PICK The National Gallery Prague will present works from 19th-century Prague and Vienna in their exhibition Watercolor between Prague and Vienna, starting Sept. 22 at Veletržní palác. Used for landscape, architecture, portraiture, and more, watercolor was a popular technique at the time. The gallery has works by Austrian artists like Rudolf von Alt and Josef Kriehuber as well as Czech painters. The exhibition will trace the evolution and connections between the two art centers from the Biedermeier period through the turn of the century, and the mutual influences between artists in Prague and Vienna.

National Gallery
Watercolor between Prague and Vienna is at the National Gallery from Sept. 22

Architecture Day Festival
Sept. 29–Oct. 5

The festival, with participating locations across the Czech Republic, takes visitors to unusual places as well as well-known buildings. These include an exhibition in Prague dedicated to the Czech Architecture Prize, which presents 31 realizations nominated by an international expert jury in this year's shortlist, as well as many other events.

free entry days

  • On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, the National Gallery Prague offers free admission to the collection exhibition: 1956–1989: Architecture for all for the 13th year of the Architecture Day Festival.
  • On Oct. 28, which is Independent Czechoslovak State Day, you can visit for free The National Museum; the Straka Academy; The Senate of the Czech Parliament; the exhibitions Old Masters, Old Masters II, Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe 1200⁠–⁠1550, 1796⁠–⁠1918: Art of the Long Century, 1918⁠–⁠1938: First Republic, 1956– 1989: Architecture for All, 1939–2021: The End of the Black and White Era at the National Gallery Prague; the National Museum of Agriculture Prague; as well as the Straka Academy
  • Nov. 17 is the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day. On that day, you can visit The National Museum for free. The exhibitions Old Masters, Old Masters II, Medieval Art in Bohemia and Central Europe 1200⁠–⁠1550, 1796⁠–⁠1918: Art of the Long Century, 1918⁠–⁠1938: First Republic, 1956–1989: Architecture for All, 1939–2021: The End of the Black and White Era at the National Gallery Prague. The Kramář villa is also open.

Designblok Prague International Design Festival
Oct. 4–10

The 25th annual edition of Designblok will include three exceptional venues: the National Gallery Prague’s Trade Fair Palace, the gardens of Prague Castle, and the Museum of Decorative Arts. Numerous shops, studios, and showrooms throughout the city will also participate. Expositions at Designblok are divided into Superstudio and Openstudio. Superstudio showcases furniture, lighting, and home accessories from Czech and international manufacturers, while Openstudio features exhibitions by designers, students, and schools showcasing prototypes and small-batch productions.

Czech and Slovak Architecture
Oct. 10–Nov. 30

The largest retrospective of architecture in Czechia and Slovakia in over 50 years, which takes place at the Prague Castle Riding School, the exhibition celebrates the 30th anniversary of their independence. Featuring over 500 important architectural works, spanning from the late 19th century to the present, it will showcase the changing physical appearance of cities and landscapes over the past century. The exhibition will also include architectural models, photographs, facsimiles, and other documents.

Signal Festival
Oct. 12–15

The 11th Signal Festival will feature 20 light-based installations across various venues, the largest gallery zone in the event's history, as well as works by renowned Czech artist Jan Kalab and Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. A special ticket grants access to seven installations in the new gallery zone, including pieces by Spanish studio Playmodes and Norwegian-Portuguese collaborative Entangled Others.

Ksawery Komputery Flux
Ksawery Komputery Flux

Oct. 19, 2023–Jan. 21, 2024

The Co-Extensive exhibition at Rudolfinum explores the impact of images on our everyday experiences. It discusses how the pervasiveness of images can flatten our perception of reality, and examines the influence of minimalism on contemporary art and the development of image forms that blur the lines between reality and illusion. Artists like Ann Veronica Janssens, Michał Budný, Larry Bell, and Jaromír Novotný offer different perspectives on the relationship between space and image.

Petr Brandl: The Story of a Bohemian
Oct. 20, 2023–Feb. 11, 2024

The solo exhibition of the works of Brandl, a significant Baroque painter, will open in the Waldstein Riding School in October. It will present Brandl's monumental canvasses, portraits, genre paintings, and newly uncovered masterpieces. The exhibit will also highlight the life of Brandl, who was permanently in debt due to his fondness for luxury and the noble lifestyle. He repeatedly ended up in prison over his debts but still became the highest-paid artist of his time, thanks to his singular style which shares certain parallels with Dutch painter Rembrandt, according to art historians.

Petr Brandl
Petr Brandl: The Story of a Bohemian at Waldenstein Riding School from Oct. 20

Treasures of World Philately
Oct. 28–Nov. 5

Organized by the Prestige Philately Club Prague in cooperation with the oldest philately club, the Austrian Vindobona, and the most prestigious philately club in the world, Club de Monte-Carlo, the exhibition showcases 60 philatelic rarities, including a set of rare stamps, letters, and other exclusives at the Municipal House. These include the Terezín block of 25 from 1943, Amundsen's letters from the South Pole, Czechoslovak Post 4-strip overprints from 1919, colonial stamps, a commemoration of the centenary of hyperinflation in Germany in 1923, and a letter that traveled 100 days around the world.

Elmgreen & Dragset: READ
Nov. 16, 2023–April 22, 2024

The internationally acclaimed Danish-Norwegian artist duo, Elmgreen & Dragset, will hold an exhibition at Kunsthalle called READ, which will make us question our relationship with physical books and knowledge in the age of digital media. Designed as a minimalist version of a modern public library, it will include sculptures and performances, as well as new works by Elmgreen & Dragset, alongside works by other artists, mainly from Kunsthalle Praha’s collection.

Miniature Portraits
Until Dec. 31

The Lobkowicz Palace in Prague will display a set of 70 portrait miniatures, with a unique collection of Renaissance and early Baroque portraits. The exhibition aims to showcase this hidden treasure through several examples. The permanent exhibition includes miniature portraits of Zdenek Vojtěch, the first prince of Lobkowicz, and his wife Polyxena, as well as the artistically valuable miniature of their relative, Kryštof Popel of Lobkowicz.

Behind the words
Until Feb. 11, 2024

The exhibition Behind the Words at DOX explores the connection between art and literature, showcasing unique examples of creative thinking about literary culture and the way we understand the world. It invites viewers to see the world of words through the eyes of art, explores contemporary visual artists' responses to literary culture, and raises questions about the importance of stories, the relationship between author and reader, and the impact of new technologies on the future of books in the digital age.

Outside of Prague

A comic adaptation of Kafka's Castle
Until Nov. 1

The exhibition at Opava's Kupe features expressive black and white prints that were presented for the first time in 2020 as part of the Frýdlantsko Franz Kafka festival. The exhibition metaphorically illustrated surveyor K.'s futile pilgrimage to the castle, which stands on a hill in plain sight from the installation site. The exhibition features the work of Jaromír 99 and Lukáš Horký, who are well-known comic book artists and photographers respectively, presented as large-format prints on the walls and on the floor of the building.

There is no Tesla like Tesla
Until Dec. 31

The Technical Museum in Brno is commemorating the 80th anniversary of physicist Nikola Tesla's death with an exhibition that showcases the history of the former national enterprise Tesla and features a wide range of electrotechnical components and products. Visitors can explore the world of electricity and see Tesla devices from the museum's collections, as well as interactive exhibits and educational programs for both students and the general public.

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