Bechyně Castle is a prominent cultural monument built in the 16th century in the Czech Republic. With its character and refined surroundings set in a beautiful landscape, it is an ideal place for meeting and debating cultural heritage, its significance and modern development. Based on this heritage in 2021, we initiated a new tradition that provides an opportunity for professional, critical and creative dialogue, making use of the decentralized position of the location. 

The long-term goal is to make Bechyně Castle into a cultural destination for international exchange in the field of contemporary art and its discourse. The annual program featuring contemporary art exhibitions and a sculpture park held in cooperation with renowned gallery institutions, thematic symposia and short-term residencies will create space for independent curators, artists, gallerists and representatives of cultural institutions to meet in South Bohemia, and for the general public to view the work of leading international and Czech artists. Besides building a cultural and artistic pro- gram within the region of South Bohemia, we think and work in the supra-regional context. 

2023 edition In Collaboration with galleria continua:

Galleria Continua is a leading international contemporary art gallery, which was founded in San Gimignano (Italy) in 1990, by three friends: Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi and Maurizio Rigillo. Occupying a former cinema, Galleria Continua established itself and thrived in an entirely unexpected location, away from the big cities and the ultramodern urban centres, in a town – San Gimignano – steeped in history. This choice of location provided scope for the development of new forms of dialogue between unexpected geographies: rural and industrial, local and global, art from the past and the art of today, famous artists and emerging ones. Galleria Continua was the first foreign gallery with an international program to open in Beijing, China in 2004, and in 2007 launched a new site for large-scale creations – Les Moulins – in the Parisian countryside. In 2015 the gallery embarked on new paths, opening a space in La Habana, Cuba, devoted to cultural projects designed to overcome every frontier. In the course of almost thirty years Continua has created a strong identity which remains faithful to a spirit of perpetual evolution and committed to developing the public’s interest in contemporary art. That identity is grounded in two values – generosity and altruism – which lie at the heart of all its dealings with artists, the general public and its development as a whole. Galleria Continua is all about a desire for continuity between ages, aspiring to have a part in writing the history of the present and between different and unusual individuals and geographies. In 2020, its 30th anniversary year, a new space in Rome at the St. Regis Rome was opened with a calendar of didactic activities and artist residences. In the same year, a space in Brazil was also opened: Galleria Continua São Paulo, inside the Pacaembu sports complex. In January 2021, a new exhibition space was inaugurated in Paris, in the Le Marais neighborhood.  In November 2021, a temporary space inside the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai opened with a solo exhibition by Anish Kapoor before becoming a permanent space in the summer of 2022.

Zhanna Kadyrova
Exhibition view Galleria Continua Paris, France

Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA.
Photo: Oak Taylor-Smith.


The art season 2023, opening on June 3 and lasting until the end of September, is created in cooperation with curator Lucie Drdová and the leading global Galleria Continua with an excellent portfolio of established names in the contemporary art scene. The exhibition concept of the upcoming edition of the sculpture park and contemporary art exhibitions at the historical building of the granary accentuates topics linking art to the contemporary realities of the world around us. In the light of the essential socio-political events of the past and the current year, questions of human existence and integrity, human rights, and primarily freedom in many respects of the word will be addressed. 

The curatorial selection of artists explores the rich relationship between art and politics, focusing on works that are both formally innovative and politically outspoken. The thematic concept reflects the uncertain aspects of our current existence, including threats to essential traditions, institutions, and relations. Art does not operate in the field of politics and cannot stop the growth of non-democratic movements and tendencies. Yet artistic testimonies can navigate us and serve as indirect guides to our lives and our grasp of the world. 

The unique artistic practices of the selected artists – Chinese-French sculptor Chen Zhen (1955– 2000), Bulgarian conceptual artist Nedko Solakov (*1957), Italian artistic duo Ornaghi & Prestinari (Valentina Ornaghi *1986 and Claudio Prestinari *1984, working as a duo since 2009), Brazilian sculptor Ana Maria Tavares (*1958), Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova (*1981) and local representatives, including one of the most prominent figures in contemporary Czech art Jiří Kovanda (*1953) and sculptors Krištof Kintera (* 1973), Matěj Frank (*1989) and Tereza Štětinová (*1987) – revolve around subjects such as national identity, trespassing of borders, mapping, mobility, statehood, economic migration, and political and cultural alienation. Their works highlight a general approach to artmaking and a notion of art’s social function as embracing both pleasure and critical thinking. 

The central work for the sculpture park is the sculpture titled Back to Fullness, Face to Emptiness by Chinese-French artist Chen Zhen which was exhibited at Biennale Arte 2009 in Venice. The centre of the metal globe symbolizing the world (fullness), which is surrounded by chairs from various countries, features a Chinese text in red neon listing human rights. Only these and a good conscience (emptiness) can serve as a guide towards a future of hope and peace. 

The building of the granary presents the exclusive collaboration of two leading artists, providing a brilliant commentary on the world around us, whether literally in the form of sharp and witty stories, or as subtle yet smart conceptual interventions, Nedko Solakov and Jiří Kovanda. Under the title Together they will present their solo installations with mutual “inconspicuous” interventions. 

  • Nedko Solakov, The Leader, 2010, Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA. Photographer: Oak Taylor-Smith
  • Chen Zhen, 2009, Back to Fullness, Face to Emptiness. Courtesy: GALLERIA CONTINUA Copyright: © ADAGP, Paris Photographer: Ela Bialkowska.
  • Zhanna Kadyrova, Palianytsia, exhibition view Galleria Continua Paris, France. Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, Photo by: Oak Taylor-Smith.
  • Ornaghi & Prestinari, Uscire dal Guscio, 2020. Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, Photo by: Claudio Corfone.
  • Ana Maria Tavares, Secrets of the Crystal Waters, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA.

Watch videos from our past editions:

Sculpture Park, Bechyne Castle, Edition 2022, In cooperation with König Galerie, Berlin.
Sculpture Park, Bechyne Castle, Edition 2021, David Cerny