Prague Art Week, in cooperation with the Czech Centre in Vienna, is pleased to present the exhibition A Drifter’s Songs of Life and Death, which will showcase the works of seven artists depicting contemplative motifs of wandering through nature in the Czech Republic and former Austria-Hungary. The group exhibition is part of Vienna Art Week and will run from 10 to 30 November 2023.

Artists: Jiří Karásek of Lvovice, Štěpán Brož, Adam Holý, Lindal Morell, Anna Ruth, Petr Strouhal, Tereza Zelenková

Curators: Lenka and Richard Bakeš

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a collection of poems by Jiří Karásek of Lvovice, a classic of Czech romanticism and decadence. The theme of the exhibition is wandering, a journey through landscapes – be they natural, cultural, mental, or even post-industrial landscapes of intelligent machines and dangerous (insane) hyper-objects. The journey as an “escape” can be viewed as escapism from this “complicated” world, but at the same time it could also be a renewed attempt at the renaissance of man and humanity as such through transcendence, nomadism. There is only one world – be it the “real” one or the one in our most secret imaginations. American poet and philosopher R. W. Emerson, who related to nature spiritually in the example of European romanticism, encouraged creative wandering through life, saying that “every man […] is a definer and map-maker of the latitudes and longitudes of our condition.” By observing the natural world, we open up space for independent action, individuality, and awe of the world in an age of technology.


The exhibition will present works by Štěpán Brož, Adam Holý, Linda Morell, Anna Ruth, Petr Strouhal, and Tereza Zelenková as well as two original editions of writings by Jiří Karásek of Lvovice and a selection of antique collector’s items of forgotten drifters and romantics ( in one case the artwor is written on Josef Váchal) provided by Art House Hejtmánek and private collections.

Jiří Josef Antonín Karásek of Lvovice, real name Josef Karásek, (1871–1951) was a Czech poet and literary critic whose works followed in the tradition of European literary neo-romanticism of the second half of the nineteenth century, French symbolism, and decadence.

Štěpán Brož (1992) is a Czech artist who studied under Vasil Artamonov in Painting Studio I at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Brno University of Technology and the Studio of Illustration and Graphics at the Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design in Prague. He works with illustration, comics, and painting. He is a long-term collaborator with the Prague gallery Berlínskej Model.

Adam Holý (1974–2015) was a Czech photographer famous for his unconventional approach to fashion and lifestyle photography. His works tended to break down the boundaries between high and low art. Inspired by the aesthetics of the commercial sphere, he created dramatic and surprising photographs that often had an erotic or even mystical atmosphere. In his last series, he focused on landscapes. His works have been lent to the exhibition by the Polansky Gallery.

Lindal Morell (1993) is a Swedish artist who is currently working in Prague as part of the residency program at Prám Studio. She develops observations of animate and inanimate nature into narratives accentuating the interconnection between natural objects and animate beings, thus thematizing the presence and “naturalness” of our bodies.

Anna Ruth (1994) was born in Litoměřice and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. An artist and musician, she creates paintings and installations inspired by her own as well as indigenous mythology, often rooted in nature or developing its forms. The overall environment that the artist creates is enhanced by the musical backdrops of her exhibitions. She is represented in the exhibition through the Bold Gallery in Prague.

Petr Strouhal (1977) is a Czech photographer who studied painting and multimedia. His work is mostly experimental, created from used materials so that distinctively aesthetic manipulative objects emerge, which he then photographs. He is represented in the exhibition through the Prague off-space gallery Berlínskej Model.

Tereza Zelenková (1985) is an artist living in Prague. She is known mainly for her black-and-white photographs inspired by literature, mythology, and mysticism. In her work, she frequently combines photographs with her own texts, which reveal the often diverse areas of her research. She is represented in the exhibition through the Prague off-space gallery Berlínskej Model.

Several historical artworks were loaned by Arthouse Hejtmánek – family gallery and auction house located in a unique seventeenth-century building in Prague’s Bubeneč neighborhood. Since 2012 Arthouse Hejtmánek has primarily focused on the buying, selling, and appraising of art objects, but it also deals in antiques and design. It regularly prepares exhibitions of Czech artists, including “found” or forgotten artists such as Josef Kotrba.

Opening ceremony on November 11 at 6.3o pm

The Czech Center Vienna has special opening hours on the opening weekend:

Saturday, 11 November, from 10 am to 9 pm

Sunday, 12 November, from 10 am to 6 pm

More information on:

A Drifter’s Songs of Life and Death