A waterfall mural can now be seen cascading down a building in Prague’s Žižkov district

The mural by Patrik Hábl is meant to beautify the district and draw attention to the transience if time and nature

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 13.07.2020 12:34 (updated on 13.07.2020)

A mural depicting a giant waterfall can be seen in Prague’s Žižkov district. Czech artist Patrik Hábl on July 11 completed 40 meter tall and 8 meter wide mural called Waterfall (Vodopád) on a nine-story panelák on the corner of Kubelíkova and Táboritská streets, near Olšanské náměstí.

The artwork is part of the current Landscape Festival, taking place throughout Prague 3 until September 30. Hábl’s work, which will remain even after the festival, is meant to draw attention to the unstoppable flow of time, transience and the natural element.

“For me, it was not only a new challenge and a stress test of how to sensitively enter the public space, but also how to handle more than 300 square meters of vertical painting from a height of 40 meters. Seven years ago, I painted on a similar surface on the main road to I.P. Pavlova, but with my feet on the ground. This time everything took place in a large abyss below me,” Hábl said in a press release.

He told daily Mladá fronta Dnes that rainy weather on July 11 slowed the project down. “It turned out well, it was a marathon. It rained a lot in the morning, so we lost some time, but then we managed to catch up. I worked in complete darkness,” he said.

The first step was to paint the entire background black. Streaks of white paint were then added on top to depict water flowing down from the building’s roof.

Originally he wanted to have the black-and[white waterfall on a school, but the district thought it was too gloomy for children. The panelák near a busy transit hub was found as an alternative.

Waterfall by Patrik Hábl / via Raymond Johnston

District representatives are pleased with the artwork. “I am glad that such a cultural event as the Landscape Festival is taking place again here in Žižkov. And I welcome the fact that Prague 3 will be able to be proud of the work of renowned artist Patrik Hábel, which will remain here even after the end of this year’s festival,” Prague 3 Councilor Pavel Křeček (STAN), responsible for culture and strategic planning, said.

Hábl is represented both in state galleries and in private collections at home and abroad. He is one of the most visible representatives of Czech non-brush painting of his generation. His projects during the past five years have attracted attention not only in the Czech Republic, but also in Germany and Japan.

He became the first living Czech painter whose works repeatedly appear in the world selection of contemporary art at auction house Sotheby’s. Hábl’s spatial installations have recently become part of Palác Drn, and the renovated Palác Špork, both projects of architect Stanislav Fiala.

waterfall
Waterfall by Patrik Hábl / via Raymond Johnston

The Landscape Festival includes 40 different works of art, installations and interventions in the public space of Czech and foreign architects and artists. Its aim is not only to diversify the urban environment during the summer months, but also to highlight the potential of this part of the city and to show the possibilities of improving the quality of life in cities, including adaptation measures to climate change.

The creation of the Waterfall mural was supported by the capital city of Prague and the Art for the City program, whose guarantor is the Gallery of the Capital City of Prague.

The festival is organized by the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery with the support of the Prague 3 district.