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The evident artistic expression and the perfectly executed composition are the basis for Ilja Bílek’s work. His technically complicated objects that consist of perfectly cut and glued parts take entirely advantage of the capacities of the material glass: its transparency and its light reflections. Ilja Bílek likes contrasts; thus he combines opaque glass with transparent glass or flat forms with three-dimensional forms, eventually forming well-balanced glass plastics. Since 1995 he has been working as the professor of the glass studio at J. E. Purkyne University in Usti nad Labem.
Bohumil Eliáš jun.
The artist’s education as a classical sculptor becomes apparent in his work. For him glass is an equivalent material that he uses together with other sculptural materials, such as bronze, metal or stone etc., thereby taking advantage of the transparency and the reflection of glass for his artistic expression. Bohumil Eliáš jun. also includes materials in his objects that he found in nature, making his work very varied and rich.
Bohumil Eliáš sen.
The main focus of Bohumil Eliáš work was the painting of glass. Another important part of his glass sculptures consisted of glued, painted and etched glass plates which were subsequently layered upon each other. He thereby created a fascinating visual appearance into the interior of his glass objects.
In her objects made from molten glass Eva Vlčková combines the austere architectural form with smooth, round shapes, and thereby achieves a special tension. The translucent reflections that softly shine through the surface additionally shape the inside of the objects. By this the artist succeeds to soften the severe architecture and to give her objects soft, feminine contours.
Contrary to most other Czech glass artists Jan Fišar completed a classic sculptural education; this can still be clearly seen in his glass objects. A part of his objects consisted of complicated compositions of slumped, sunken and cut hollow glass, a technique being unique in the world. The uncommitted design of his “baroque” glass sculptures convinced through the instancy of the expression and the originality of the dynamics. With his work Jan Fišar on the one hand expressed philosophical messages and on the other hand he solved with them unique technological problems.
Initially Ivana Houserová took advantage of the optical characteristics of glass for her objects. She composed the perfectly cut parts to geometrical forms, thereby determining the object’s internal space. Through the kinetics the objects showed an additional tension. The artist’s present objects are based on the elementary form of a circle or a triangle that give an almost mystical impression due to the expressive surface and the warm colors.
Jan Exnar combines in his melted glass objects the sculptured form with a perfectly cut surface. To shape the forms he makes use of the transparency of the glass and its strong colors. The effects of the light on the cast and cut forms of Jan Exnar’s glass objects transform them into fascinating, permanently changing monumental sculptures.
This artist belongs to the generation that no longer profited by Prof. S. Libenský’s education who had prevailed over the Czech glass arts scene for years. His successor, Prof. Vladimír Kopecký, had a different approach, as he used glass only when he needed it for his artistic message. One of his students, Jana Voldřichová, uses different materials for her art, such as the wood of lime trees, bronze and glass. She also employs various techniques, painting, casting and engraving to render message.
For several years, this artist worked as a professor at Toyama Institute of Glass Art in Japan. He uses the tension within the objects for his artistic meaning. His main focus therefore is on the inner space and he uses the structure and hollow spaces within the object to let it come to life. His philosophy has been formed by his long stay in Japan which is also reflected in the perfectly geometrically cut forms of his objects, sometimes combined with other sculptural materials.
Krystof Rybak, born 1979, studied at the Academy for Applied Arts in Prague. His glass objects reflect the development of the younger generation of glass artists. Abstractions give his objects, that were made out mould melded glass, an incomplete, almost unfinished appearance. His independent objects are full of irony and liveliness. Sometimes the artist combines various materials with each other, in order to underline the artistic statement.
Libenský / Brychtová
This renowned artistic couple belonged to the initiators of modern glass. In the more than 40 years of his pedagogical activities, Prof. Libenský educated several generations of Czech glass artists who form today an important part of the worldwide contemporary glass art. By creating their monumental cast glass plastics, Prof. Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová claimed right from the beginning the artistic appreciation that is usually being accorded to a sculptor or a painter in the free arts scene.
The artist’s large objects, that demand great efforts of time and patience and that take him months to create, are full of a plastic and pictorial force that clearly reveals the tension between the dimensions and the fragility of the material glass.
The principal theme in my glass objects as well as in my paintings is always the human being with its traces and imprints that are hidden within the world’s labyrinth. I find inspiration in the forms that were created by nature itself and through its unlimited possibilities. My objects are made by melting in the oven, similar to bulging lava. I then work radically on the cooled down surface by using big grinding stones or fine touches of other tools.
This artist belongs to the young generation that is constantly searching for new methods in glass art. She likes to combine glass with other materials and creates her sculptures in glass as well as in Stone. Her latest installation »The Feast« was awarded with the Special Jury Award at Coburg Glass Prize 2014, Germany.
His poetic way to look at nature forms Jaroslav Matouš objects in a particularly individual and original manner and philosophically demonstrates the vulnerable connections of our environment. Just as important to him are the details in nature which are not visible at first sight and which get an important and dominant meaning in his objects. The subtle colorfulness of the glass and the additional use of fine wires and glass beads simultaneously emphasize the fragility of nature.
Her work consists of architecturally constructed, impressively simple glass plastics made out of cast glass. Her search for the balance between the definite form and the initial idea made her to form architecture out of glass. The consequence is that the titles she chooses for her objects only consist of numbers or letters.
Petr Vlček’s compact objects consist of geometric constructions made from molten glass. They resemble mysterious, communicative signs and seem as though one could communicate by them with alien civilizations. These signs develop on the objects’ surfaces through the interplay of light and shade, or they develop as a result of the object’s construction itself.
This artist’s imaginative world can be seen through his glass sculptures. He takes advantage from his technological experiences with melted glass. It is through the harmony of the design and color and by additionally working on the object, that Jaromír Rybák achieves a strong expressiveness in his work. A central motive of the abstract themes in his work mainly is the symbolic of life and death and the four elements.
Ivana Šrámková seeks her inspiration from indigene people or from the antiquity. For her monumental sculptures the artist partially renounces the strong characteristics of the material glass and takes instead advantage of its colourfulness, whereby the translucency of the glass is limited, due to her manner of modelling the object’s surface. She expresses her own philosophy in her sculptures of human beings and animals.
After his initial cast glass objects which showed traces of hand shaping, this artist is meanwhile creating very accurate and well-defined glass sculptures. The design of Vašíček’s large objects is often geometric with polished surfaces with a rich variety of shapes and textures. The artistic meaning is specified by the explicit design of the exterior and the interior of the sculpture.
During recent years the artist specialized in the painting panes of flat glass. By putting these painted glass panels one above the other, she achieves a tension within her objects that lives through the contrast between the geometrically and horizontally arranged flat glass panels. It is through the observer’s movements that perpetually new three-dimensionalities arise, that are entirely illusive and that make the objects appear alive.