In the Beauty of Ornament


Tititi figurines: Adolf Loos visiting 'In the Beauty of Ornament' exhibition with his wife.

Do young people think about their roots? Do they think about their ancestors, how they lived, what they thought about, what they were striving for, what they wanted to leave behind, and what they wanted to pass on to their children? Which traditions did they keep alive, what were their customs and how these permeated their lives? And what about the young generation today…? Does ornament have its place in the contemporary world? Does it have – or can it have – its place in contemporary lives? 

These questions are asked by the exhibition ‘In the Beauty of Ornament’, which takes ornament as its primary object of exploration – a folk motif employed in multiple ways and techniques. With the help of the Moravská krása Foundation Fund, the exhibition was organised by the prominent Czech architect and designer, Helena Dařbujánová.

‘In the Beauty of Ornament’ presents the treasures of Moravian folklore alongside the work of contemporary designers who resonate with the ornament theme.

The exhibition opened last year at the Holešovice Market in Prague. Now, it is moving to Prachatice (Czech Republic) and will later be transported to the USA. The exhibition will be presented at the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library in Iowa for half a year before moving to the Czech Center in New York and subsequently to Washington.

In Prachatice, the exhibition will be presented in the Neumannka Gallery from the 29th of March to the 29th of May 2024.

The exhibition presents invaluable items of cultural heritage: the gallery of Moravian ornament, blueprint or indigo dying (‘modrotisk’), embroidery, and the collection of works by artist and illustrator Kornelia Němečková. Alongside these works, the exhibition presents the work of contemporary artists who resonate with the theme of ornament, as it is only with the means of contemporary design and art that the cultural heritage of the past can be connected with the present moment. The excellent items featured in the exhibition include works by Zlatka and Hanuš Lamr, Johana Němečková, Alžběta Jungrová, Natálie Repkovská, Helena Dařbujánová, Cindy Kutíková, Veronika Jiroušková Velčovská, Barbora Kolerusová, Michal Bačák / pro Křehký, TYFORMY, PORIGAMI, Tititi, Jan Plecháč & Henry Wielgus, Master&Master.

“Our main theme is ornament, not as a crime, but as an inspiration, a secret language of our ancestors, a life story, as joy and beauty,” describes Helena Dařbujánová, the exhibition curator.

Photo: Pavel Matoušek

How are Tititi figurines made?

Tititi is a brand founded in 2019 by Tereza Talichová, which has since managed to establish itself in the field of contemporary Czech design for children. It focuses on the author’s painted wooden figurines, personifying in an individual form a number of different types of people, artists or dramatic characters from theatrical or literary works, viewed through a playful lens and with attention to detail.

Each of the figures is first created by turning the body of the figurine from wood (spruce, oak, linden). Except for exceptions, it is a symmetrical, vertical shape, individualized according to the designed profile (silhouette) and then finished with an original painting