As the Czech Republic’s bustling capital city, Prague is the country’s main destination for history buffs, foodies and partygoers. It’s also home to the best contemporary art galleries in the country, including the cutting-edge DOX in Holešovice and David Černy’s MeetFactory.
Located in a beautiful historic building in the heart of the city, Museum Montanelli is one of the Czech Republic’s few private museums. Operated by the DrAK Foundation – founded by Czech entrepreneur and art collector Dr Dadja Altenburg-Kohl – the museum opened its doors in 2009. Since its establishment, it has garnered an impressive reputation as one of Prague’s premier destinations for contemporary art. Mainly exhibiting the work of emerging artists who are lesser known in the Czech Republic, the museum’s inaugural exhibition featured works by 21 international female creatives, including German installation artist and film director Rebecca Horn and American surrealist painter and sculptor Dorothea Tanning.
A private non-profit arts institution, the FUTURA Center for Contemporary Art is a three-floor gallery space located in Prague’s Smíchov quarter on the west bank of the Vltava River. Since its founding in 2003, the gallery has presented numerous group and solo exhibitions featuring works by names such as New York City-based conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner and Romanian multimedia artist Mircea Contor. FUTURA also operates an artist-in-residence programme in Prague and in Brooklyn, New York.
Located on a bend of the Vltava River in the charming neighbourhood of Holešovice, the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art was established in 2008 to put Prague on the map as a contemporary art hub. DOX has since become a popular destination for art lovers, presenting over 100 exhibitions so far, and ranking among the country’s most forward-thinking galleries. The space focusses on the unconventional and the thought-provoking, often addressing contemporary social issues. DOX also presents a series of guided tours, lectures, panel discussions, performances and educational programmes.
Located in the heart of Prague’s bustling New Town, Leica Gallery Prague opened its doors in 2002 and continues to exhibit a vast selection of photographic works. Presenting six to seven exhibitions a year, the gallery strives to increase awareness of contemporary photography and is a regular participant in the Czech and Slovakian art fair Prague Photo. The gallery premises include an exhibition hall, a café and a bookshop selling photography publications. Leica has exhibited the work of renowned artists such as Helmut Newton and documentary photographer and photojournalist Sebastião Salgado.
Named after directors Olga Dvorak and Petr Sec, Dvorak Sec Contemporary comprises 800 square metres (8,611 square feet) of stylish exhibition space across two floors, designed by local firm Konsepti. Established in 2005, the gallery focusses on emerging artists from the Czech Republic, Great Britain, USA and Germany. Dvorac Sec gave American artist Paul Brainard his first solo exhibition in the country and has displayed the work of Jakub Matuška, who blends elements of street art with surrealism. In addition to the central gallery space, Dvorak Sec Contemporary also operates the private Gallery Art Factory, which works to develop the Czech art market.
Founded in 2001 by the world-renowned Czech sculptor David Černý, MeetFactory is a not-for-profit contemporary art centre with an international outlook. The space’s main mission is to encourage a dialogue between genres, simultaneously making contemporary art more accessible to the public. Based in a former 1920s glassworks factory, MeetFactory is comprised of three spaces – the MeetFactory Gallery, which presents originally curated exhibitions, Kostka Gallery, focussing on solo shows by new and established artists, and the Wall Gallery for large-scale street art. MeetFactory also runs an international artist-in-residence programme, the biggest of its kind in the Czech Republic.
Located in the fashionable neighbourhood of Žižkov, Hunt Kastner is operated by two members of Prague’s expat community: Canadian Camille Hunt and American Katherine Kastner. Focussing primarily on young and progressive artists, the gallery represents members of both the local and international community. Hunt Kastner is also instrumental in promoting local art abroad through private collectors from overseas and regularly takes part in international art fairs like Frieze London and LISTE.
Galerie 35m2 is named after its size; entered through a picturesque courtyard in Žižkov, this petite space is split into two small rooms measuring just 35 square metres (377 square feet), but nevertheless presents a comprehensive programme of 11 exhibitions each year. The gallery is operated by curators Michala Pěchoučka and Petry Steinerové, whose mission is to work with young artists and recent art school graduates with an emphasis on painting, photography, installation and conceptual art.