About the project
The Artwall Gallery was inspired by an American artist Barbara Benish, who at the end of the 90s came up with the idea to use the space on the Letná wall for contemporary art. The wall, which originally served as a space for communist propaganda, remained empty after the fall of the regime. In 2000 Benish finally revived the abandoned wall with her project “Flower Power” supported by the Centre for Contemporary Arts Prague.
Benish’s project created a great wave of interest among Czech artists. Many of them wanted to present their art in this public way. It was not until 2005 when David Walliker, another foreign artist living in Prague, managed to gather the necessary funds for the implementation of the idea. It was in 2005 that Artwall Gallery, under the organizational management of the Centre for Contemporary Arts Prague, started its regular operation. The curator of the project in this period was Ludvík Hlaváček.
Shortly thereafter in 2008, the Artwall Gallery was terminated by a ban ordained from City of Prague Municipality. Between 2005-2008 the Artwall Gallery presented 15 exhibitions of both Czech and foreign artists, among them: Lenka Klodová, Mirella Bentivoglio, Martin Zet; and the groups Pode Bal and Guma Guar.
It was the "Collective Identity" project by Guma Guar that led the City of Prague Municipality, the official owner of Letná wall, to withdraw from the leasing contract in 2008. “Collective Identity” was a visual satire on 2016 Prague Olympic Games advertising campaign, which was led by the City of Prague. The management of municipality wasn't able to bear the criticism and closed the entire gallery down.
In 2011, after changes in the City of Prague Municipality management, Artwall Gallery was brought back to life. This time the gallery was under the patronage of Prague's Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda. Now, the gallery management is ensured by c2c Circle of curators and critics, which works with the full support of the Center for Contemporary Arts Prague, the former administrator of the gallery.
Project Artwall aims to support social impact of contemporary art in a non-gallery environment. This goal is based on the nature of the gallery's dominant location, which ensures effective communication with the public. Due to the number of drivers and passengers who daily pass through the embankment, Artwall is one of the most visited Czech galleries.
Foto © 2005-6 Martin Polák (3x)