The period before the Second World War in Czechoslovakia was artistically the most powerful of the whole 20th century. The requirement of the application of art to everyday life enhanced the significance of mass culture, which was to combine the aesthetic and ethical criteria and impact the general public as much as possible. Družstevní práce (Cooperative Work), founded as a publishing house in 1922, was the most successful supporter of these efforts and the most prominent cultural institution of pre-war Czechoslovakia. Družstevní práce and its branch Krásná jizba, founded in 1927, strived by their production of publications and other printed materials, interior decoration items and objects of everyday use (made of glass, porcelain, metal and fabric) to achieve mass spread of the new lifestyle.
The progressive visual style, which represented Družstevní práce, promoted its ideas and propagated its goods, was created by Ladislav Sutnar in collaboration with his kindred spirit Josef Sudek. The exhibition focuses on the connection between photography and new typography expressed by promotional printed materials, journals, calendars and books. The exhibition will also feature selected pieces from the valuable collection of Josef Sudek’s blow-ups designated for Sudek’s first solo exhibition held in 1932 in Krásná jizba, and selected display panels made by Ladislav Sutnar in 1934 for his exhibition at the same venue. The works by these two personalities will be supplemented by works by other artists from the circles around Družstevní práce – Emanuel Frinta, Antonín Pelc, Jaroslav Šváb, Adolf Hoffmeister and Toyen.
The exhibition will include utility items from the production of Krásná jizba – drinking and dinner services by Ladislav Sutnar, metal tableware by Bohumil Južnič or a carpet by Antonín Kybal.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication dealing about the history of Družstevní práce and its editorial activity in the cultural and social context of the 1920s and 1930s.
Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
17. listopadu 2
110 00 Prague 1