Artlist is an online database that maps the development of modern and contemporary Czech fine art from the second half of the 20th century. Artlist is a unique project that allows free and online searches of authors and their works, including the artist's biography and catalog, and a detailed description of his work.
Dukelských hrdinů 500/25a, 170 00 Prague 7, Czech Republic
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Name of collection
Provenance and cultural activities
Artlist.cz was created as a non-profit project of the Center for Contemporary Art Prague and was launched in 2006. Artlist is a database that maps the development of contemporary Czech art in its various manifestations (artists, spaces, concepts, exhibitions, etc.) from the mid-20th century, with special emphasis on the period after 1989, and it contains valuable information about many artists who worked in Czechoslovakia during the communist era. The database aims to serve as a free resource not only for professionals, but also for the public, both local and international - the database is systematically built in both Czech and English. Artlist is also intended to be a selection database. Every expert representation of individual passwords is decided by a professional council composed of theoreticians and art historians, represented by the editorial board. Membership in the editorial board has a limited term of three years. The main emphasis in the creation of the database is on the image and documentation, which should be user-friendly, and everyone should be able to quickly orientate themselves in the database. The aim is also for the database to document the current projects and creations of a younger generation of artists.
Artlist does not seek to be an encyclopaedia of contemporary Czech art, but rather a moderated signpost and a report on the development and current forms of art in the Czech Republic. The database is still in development and is far from complete. The public has the ability to nominate artists for inclusion in the database. These suggestions are always discussed by the editorial board.
The Artlist database is useful for the study of cultural dissent, and also because it makes accessible information about artists who worked in the former Czechoslovakia, systematically and in one place, together with information on their activities, artistic creations and often also includes an example of their work and references for more information and literature. Artists included in Artlist were often active even during socialism. The collection thus includes profiles of nonconformist artists and dissidents who were more or less openly critical of official culture and state socialism.
The history of Artlist dates back to the 1990s. The Soros Center for Contemporary Art was founded in 1992 and one of the Center's projects was the documentation of contemporary Czech art. This was done according to the pattern of Artispace, a New York organization, in two ways: firstly by using Artisfiles, where each artist could provide documentation (information about himself as an artist, information about his works, exhibitions, etc.), and secondly by providing detailed documentation of Czech artists, created by experts. And it was clear that if the necessary technique became available, all this documentation would become electronic. After some time, between 2005 and 2006, the Center tried to put everything in electronic form. Nowadays, the electronic form is basically a questionnaire that is somewhat unified. Previously, processing was somewhat looser. From the beginning, the documentation progressed slowly, mainly due to financial issues, and the Center was able to process about a dozen profiles a year.
Artlist's content is constantly being refreshed and is currently focused on new and young artists, as well as adding interesting locations. It is, for example, devoted to galleries that do not exist anymore, but played an important role in their time, such as the Gallery Na Bidýlku in Brno, etc. In 2016, an active collaboration with the Artyčok internet art platform began, and artists' profiles in Artlist began to be linked to their video profile in the Artyčok database, where, for example, there was footage from exhibitions.
Description of content
The Artlist website is divided into several categories that make it easier to search. The researcher can choose from the following categories: Artists, Groups, Theorists, Spaces, Keywords, Works, and Artlist Contributors. In the Artists category, there are almost 700 artists' profiles. For each of them, the name, date and place of birth, and possibly also the date of death, as well as keywords, are available. Longer text can be found in the About Artists section, with more detailed information, including a professional CV, a list of exhibitions and a list of monographs, catalogues and other publications. Photos of works of art are also an integral element. The same applies to the Groups section, where 39 artistic groups are included. Each group has an artist associated with it from a database that has been active in it.
Somewhat shorter records are in the Theorists category, which currently has 65 people. Spaces then collects information about 120 exhibition venues; both state institutions, such as different galleries, and alternative venues. The category Keywords then make it easier to find specific artists or groups.
The most comprehensive category Artworks. Here the researcher will find hundreds of different works from the artists who are included in the worksheet. The list is sorted by name, author and year of origin. Each work always has a year of creation, and most importantly a photograph of the piece.
- cartoons & caricatures: 10-99
- graphics: 100-499
- paintings: 1000-
- photos: 500-999
- sculptures: 500-999
- video recordings (including oral history recordings): 500-999
- voice recordings (including oral history recordings): 10-99
Date of founding
Place of founding
Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
Elektronické informační zdroje současného umění. (2009, January 7). Retrieved from https://ikaros.cz/elektronicke-informacni-zdroje-soucasneho-umeni
Kateřina Novotná: Redesign vybrané www stránky – ARTLIST (2010) - http://digilib.k.utb.cz/bitstream/handle/10563/12534/novotn%C3%A1_2010_bp.pdf?sequence=1
Lenka Střeláková: Elektronicky indexované umění, Literární noviny, roč. XXII, No. 18 (5. 5. 2011), p. 13.
Author(s) of this page
- Vrtálková, Anna
Artlist - databáze současného umění: Artlist - Umělci. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.artlist.cz/
(c) VIZUS.CZ s.r.o. 17 | 3.0.000, 15.01.2016 13:45:39. (n.d.). Databáze ARTLIST na Facebooku. Retrieved from http://www.culturenet.cz/aktuality/databaze-artlist-na-facebooku/n:6845/?type=1&news_id=6845
Hlaváček, Ludvík, interview by Vrtálková, Anna , October 11, 2017. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection