The Andy Warhol exhibition at the Central Gallery in Prague was one I was quite excited to visit. Consisting of three floors, the gallery featured an artist per floor with surrealist artist Salvador Dalî and the Czech painter Mucha on the other two levels. The Andy Warhol floor had numerous white-walled areas in which framed prints of his work hung. Some areas consisted of accordion-style display boards that zigzagged in several different rooms. Each room had descriptions beside, and some had exciting vinyl writing description about his life.
There was one vastly different room, which consisted of a disco ball lighting a dark room, this room showcased three backlit photos done by Warhol. The room had a whole atmosphere and invited you to sit and read a lengthy wall description. The room overall had the best impact; the presentation made you want to learn more about the pieces and the gallery showed off his work appropriately. However, one issue with this room was how difficult it was to get a decent picture the room was far too dark while the backlit images were too bright. As a result, any photo documentation wasn’t able to pick up the impact. (Figure 1)
The rest of the exhibition was extremely disappointing, and the lighting was the main issue. This gallery space relied on both natural window lighting and over-head lights in most rooms. Although this isn’t inherently an issue like Johnson explained: “a combination of daylight and electric is common in many museums” (Johnson, J. 2005) – the problems laid with the positioning of work concerning the two lots of lighting. “Adequate light coverage and proper aiming angles that avoid shadows and reflected glare are just a few issues that the lighting designer must address during almost every installation” (Clinard, D. 2002). The glare on all the frames of work made viewing Warhol’s work incredibly tricky and showed it off in a terrible way. (Figure 2)
This exhibition would benefit from trying to diffuse the light better across the room, especially when this is a permanent collection.