SUMO 2020 | The Odd Year

4 – 6 September 2020 

International gallery co-op Prague 2020

The first edition of SUMO, a three-day showcase of contemporary art, will begin the first weekend of September 2020 in Prague, Czech Republic. Hosted by nine local art venues, the project emphasizes international cooperation with an expansive program comprising exhibitions and events curated together with institutions invited from abroad.  

The main program, which takes the form of several shared exhibitions, was prepared by nine unic Prague galleries of contemporary art in collaboration with foreign partners. Individual exhibitions will showcase works by international artists including the American artist Mel Odom, Austrian painter Kiki Kogelnik, who lived and worked in New York, Austrian artist Anna Schachinger, and Paris-based artist Chloé Poizat. Exhibitions will also include works by notable Czech artists such as Ján Mančuška, Vladimír Houdek, and Romana Drdová.

The opening weekend will include presentations of exhibitions by individual galleries and a public program featuring performances, lectures, and guided tours as well as meetings between curators, theoreticians, artists, gallery owners, collectors, and the general public. Exhibitions and their accompanying events will be open to visitors for the following six weeks according to the programs of individual galleries. SUMO is a project organized by the Alliance of Contemporary Art Galleries. 

Lucie Drdová, director of the Alliance of Czech Contemporary Art Galleries, summarizes its interests: “Members of the Alliance and the cooperating initiative projects strengthen the international presence of artists from the Czech Republic and support the development of the contemporary art scene.” 

SUMO will open with the vernissages of the individual exhibitions showcased as part of the international overview of contemporary art. These vernissages will take place simultaneously on Friday, 4 September from 4 to 10pm at two main locations in Prague – the Žižkov and Letná neighborhoods. This year visitors can attend exhibitions at the following Žižkov galleries: A.M. 180 Gallery with guest gallery 22.48m2 (FR) and the City Surfer Office on Bořivojová Street in collaboration with the Fonda Gallery (DE) where as part of Saturday’s program an author’s reading will take place along with the exhibition opening of Ján Mančuška: A Gap. Other exhibitions in Žižkov include Sigurdur Gudmundsson: Journey of Being at hunt kastner in cooperation with the galleries Meyer Riegger (DE) and i8 (IS), an exhibition at lítost in collaboration with the Romanian gallery Anca Poterasu, and the group exhibition The Unremarkableness of Disobedient Desire in collaboration with the galleries Croy Nielsen (AT) and Vin Vin (AT) at the Lucie Drdova Gallery on Křížkovského Street. 

The evening gallery openings and accompanying program in Letná will begin at Berlinskej Model in Holešovice, hosting the Berlin gallery Horse & Pony and the exhibition Fantasy Finery. For Friday evening, the Polansky Gallery has prepared the performance Taxon One, which will take place at 9pm in Stromovka Park.  ZAHORIAN & VAN ESPEN will present work by artists Anna Schachinger and Juliana Goodman in collaboration with the Austrian gallery Sophie Tappeiner. The SUMO program will also include two lectures entitled “The Aesthetics of Reality” on Saturday, 5 September at 6pm at CSU Prague. The lectures will deal with topics related to the contemporary function of the development industry as well as parametric architecture and its influence on our experience of space. 

The SUMO project emphasizes gallery collaboration and aims to connect the Czech and international contemporary art scenes. This first year of the project involves international collaboration between nearly twenty galleries despite conditions in the beginning of 2020 being rather unfavorable. This fact is ironically highlighted by the project’s subtitle: The Odd Year. The collaborative activities of the participating galleries therefore attempt to increase awareness of the current situation and the development of the Prague gallery scene within a European context. At the same time, SUMO attempts to deepen understanding of the activities of private and non-commercial galleries and their significance in supporting contemporary art. 

In a time of worldwide instability, we are attempting to provide the most up-to-date and innovative artistic statements within the framework of a local initiative,adds Lucie Drdová, speaking for all participating galleries.

The SUMO project is organized by The Alliance of Czech Contemporary Art Galleries.

The Alliance of Czech Contemporary Art Galleries is a partnership  of contemporary art galleries whose primary principle is to act as a platform from which we can more formally initiate cooperative projects, share ideas, and initiate discussion about how we can most effectively work together to help cultivate an original, high-quality art scene that will be mutually beneficial for us all. 

The first year of SUMO 2020 will see the participation of the following Prague galleries hosting international participants:

A.M. 180 | 22.48m2 (FR)

Berlinskej Model | Horse & Pony (DE)

City Surfer Office | Fonda Leipzig (DE)

Foundation and Center for Contemporary Art Prague | Faculty of Architecture, Estonian Academy of Arts University of Westminster (EE, GB)

hunt kastner | Meyer Riegger (DE), i8 (IS)

Lucie Drdova Gallery | Croy Nielsen (AT), Vin Vin (AT)

lítost | Anca Poterasu Gallery (RO)

Polansky Gallery | exhibition, screening, performance

ZAHORIAN & VAN ESPEN | Sophie Tappeiner (AT)

event SUMO | The Odd Year

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