The title of the exhibition has been borrowed from the refrain of a song by the Finnish Baroque group, which in ironical hyperbole captures the essence of art competitions. The whole refrain goes: "Up for grabs, don't hesitate when Chalupecký's giving, as the win is not for everyone". The band, comprised exclusively of fine artists, has two laureates of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award - František Skála and Jiří Černický - in its line-up. The award, granted since 1990 to artists under thirty-five, gained importance as being the only prize that has been continually awarded throughout the modern history of Czech art. Running without interruption for more than a quarter of a century, the story of the award and its winners provides a unique insight into the history of art and society during this period. The laureates have already spanned three generations of artists. Many of the first awardees were teachers to some of the winners from the most recent years. The award has also seen many changes in the creative work itself which could be simply summed up as going from postmodernism to postinternet. As with any institution of some influence the Jindřich Chalupecký Award has had its share of critics who maintain that it is instrumental in distorting the picture of contemporary art. Such arguments are as difficult to rebut as they are to prove. Thanks to its concept the Magnus Art collection presented in the exhibition offers an excellent opportunity to verify similar statements made in relation to the history of the Jindřich Chalupecký Award. While the works by all the award laureates have been purchased retrospectively, the selection comes exclusively from the particular period when the artist received the award. The chronological approach of the exhibition installation respects the original concept which makes the Magnus Art collection unique in the context of contemporary public, private and corporate collections.
Magnus Art Collection