Jindřich Chalupecký Award 1990

In 1990, a jury of Czech artists and art theorists nominated four finalists for the 1st edition of the leading Czech award for artists under 35. They were artists who significantly influenced the Czech art scene in the 1990s. Their works were presented at the collective exhibition of Jindřich Chalupecký Award 1990 at Václav Špála Gallery.


The finalists of the 1st edition of Jindřich Chalupecký Award in 1990 included Jan Ambrůz, Vladimír Kokolia, Jan Příhoda and František Skála Jr.

Award Holder

Jindřich Chalupecký Award 1990 went to Vladimír Kokolia. His work was convincing for its authenticity, spiritual potential and expressive means. “If we accept that through art man creates a completely independent, self-contained space, which he shapes exclusively with his own creative power and imagination, then Vladimír Kokolia's art carries within itself dimensions spread between the distant and profound worlds of the human psyche, between the existential tension given by man's life and his environment, between ephemeral and permanent elements, between emotional and rational components,” says Head of Jury Mahulena Nešlehová in the catalogue for the 1st edition of the Award. The award holder received CZK 100.000 for an exhibition, publication or a creative project of his choice and a six-week residency in New York. Honorable Mentions went to Jan Ambrůz and František Skála.


The Head of the Jury of the 1st edition of Jindřich Chalupecký Award was visual arts critic and theorist Mahulena Nešlehová. The jury further included sculptors Jiří Beránek and Karel Pauzer, painters Zdeněk Sýkora and Václav Boštík, painter, graphic designer and sculptor Adriena Šimotová, curator of the Czech Painting collection of the National Gallery Ivan Neumann, visual artist Michael Rittstein, and poet Jiří Valoch.


The collective exhibition of Jindřich Chalupecký Award 1990 was held at Václav Špála Gallery. “I turned the gallery’s first floor into a darkroom, the upside-down image of Národní třída was projected inside. I was hoping that people would imagine their own images in the semi-dark. I believed that images existed even if you could not see them. This is why I rejected photo documentation as cowardice. Besides hanging canvases on the walls, I also used the camera obscura to project images on top of other images. The painting called Into Thin Air is actually just half an image,” says Vladimír Kokolia about the exhibition.

Award Ceremony

The award ceremony of the 1st edition of Jindřich Chalupecký Award was held at Václav Špála Gallery in 1990. The artists were masked and Honorable Mention holder Jan Ambrůz did not attend the event.