Short history of the gallery
Jiri Svestka Gallery Prague was founded in 1995 by art historian and curator Dr. Jiří Švestka after his resettlement from Germany, where he was, among other things, director of Kunstverein Duesseldorf and chief-curator of Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg.
The mission of the gallery, which was one of the first private galleries in Czech Republic, has been – since its establishment – to enforce Czech and Central-European art in the international context. On the other hand, the aim is also to introduce interesting and various positions of the international art in Prague. Both of these tasks were handled successfully by the gallery.
Czech and Central-European artists who exhibited in the gallery (Katarzyna Kozyra, Markéta Othová, Jitka Hanzlová, Ioana Nemes, Dan Perjovschi, Krištof Kintera, Petra Feriancová, Rafal Bujnowski and others) has established themselves on the European art scene and also since then have had exhibitions in significant public institutions. International artists that were introduced in Prague by the gallery (Dan Graham, Doug Aitken, Robert Wilson, Siah Armajani, Ger van Elk, Juliao Sarmento, Juan Munoz, Robert Moskowitz, Jorg Immendorff, Ryan Mendoza, Tony Cragg and others) have enhanced Czech culture and set a high level for Czech contemporary art and its perception. Artist talks were arranged with every exhibition and most of the exhibitions had exceptional feedbacks in the media. The gallery was also present on many significant international fairs, for example Art Basel, FIAC, Armory show, Art Chicago, TEFAF Maastricht, ARCO.
Jiri Svestka Gallery has significantly contributed towards the growth of the art market in Czech Republic and Slovakia. Several ex-employees have established their own galleries of contemporary art.
Jiri Svestka Gallery Berlin was founded in 2009. Its agenda is focused even more on the art of central and east Europe. During the seven years of existence, the gallery has presented artists from the youngest, not well-known (Sofie Švejdová, Jan Ďurina, Andrej Dúbravský, Adéla Babanová, Mark Ther) to known and established artists of the middle and older generation (Miroslav Tichý, Leonid Tishkov, Jan Kotík).
The exhibition space in Prague was closed in 2014 in order to keep the gallery more concentrated on the resolutions and the gallery functions on regular basis exclusively in Berlin. However it has offices in Prague and in Ostrava and on irregular basis prepares exhibitions in public and private spaces, lectures, talks and advisory activities for collectors and artists in Czech Republic and Slovakia.