La Rotation – Contemporary Czech glass

The La Rotation exhibition offers an overview of the works of seven glass artists, all sharing a common passion for creativity, perseverance and artistic excellence. All have made use of archetypal motifs of the kind that have inspired artists for centuries. In so doing, their works transcend those barriers that separate most people in their daily lives – be they geographical, political, economic, creed-based or gender-based.  Indeed, artistic archetypes ultimately serve to unify us all; and their universal significance is intuitively sensed by us too.

We can all distinguish the meaning of the circle, of spinning, and of the cycle of life. Such circular motion symbolises a cycle representing ascent and descent. Time measured through the motion of the hands of a clock also traverses in a circular motion. The years are charted according to the sign of the Zodiac.  Buddhist geomatic mandalas connect man to the cosmos. The planets are in circular orbits around the Sun. And molten glass, too, on the tip of a blowing pipe rotates so as to ensure the smoothest and simplest possible end form known to man. Such spheres, once depicted by alchemists, symbolise both the head and the rose.

Set within the oldest church in the French city of Orléans, and amidst the rays of light penetrating through Gothic glass windows, we find the works of seven glass artists that are at play with our collective subconsciousnesses.

About the authors:

Vladimíra Klumpar and Zdeněk Lhotský are among the most experienced glass artists  displaying works at Galerie Kuzebauch. Both reside and have their own workshops in the Železný Brod area, including glass-melting furnaces and cutting equipment; both are also the pupils of noted Professor Stanislav Libenský and graduates of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM) developing traditional fused glass sculptures, each in their own particular way.

Zdeněk Lhotský is skilled in realising sculptures of unusual scope,  as evidenced, for example, via a monumental glass sarcophagus designed for the Danish royal family. The artist also devotes considerable energies to developing his own “Vitrucell” glass material.

Vladimíra Klumpar is inspired in his art by nature as well as by architecture and inorganic forms. Representations of the Sun, spirals, alternating gloss and matte surfaces, mechanical erosion, surface structures – all of these have been evident in his work in various forms from the very outset.

Sculptor Alena Matějka creates fused glass sculptures at her own fully equipped workshop situated in southern Bohemia. A student of UMPRUM’s Professor Vladimír Kopecký, Matějka’s works are characterized by a desire to capture stories, sagas and myths. In addition to her artistic pursuits she is a passionate rose-grower – having cultivated a rose garden around her historic property containing hundreds of various rose types from across the globe. Indeed, this horticultural passion also undoubtedly permeates Matějka’s artistry.

Martin Janecký is undoubtedly one of the most talented contemporary Czech glass artists on the scene, using a molten glass hand-sculpting technique to produce sculptures. His head sculptures evoke baroque sculpting techniques with their distinctive lifelike expressions, and are among the most original forms of Czech glass to be seen today.  Martin Janecký has his own studio and glass furnace in the centre of Prague.

Ondřej Strnadel forms molten glass through hand-blowing techniques, achieving rich colours by combining layers of glass. The artist also pays close attention to the exteriors of his works, creating unique matte, even velvety surfacing. Nature serves as the greatest inspiration for Strnadel, with production – from design to final realisation – taking place at his studio in Moravia.

Lada Semecká is inspired by traditional Japanese aesthetics in her works. Semecká spent moore than three years teaching at Japan’s Toyama Institute of Glass Art, endeavouring to infuse her art with a sense of fleeting moments, such as the radiating light of the Sun, the Moon, the traversing of clouds across the horizon, a frozen river, or the motion of water along a riverbed. The artist presently teaches at a university in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem, seeking to imbue a younger generation with her passion for glass art.

Lucie Švitorková is the youngest artist displaying works at this exhibition. The artist frequently works in collaboration with Zdeňek Lhotský, creating fused glass sculptures at this fellow glass artist’s studio.  Švitorková is unafraid of pushing existing boundaries in the field of fused sculpting, creating unusual and bold forms filled with a sense of the unusual. For example, upon closer inspection, her apparently classically designed glass bowls reveal intriguing secrets…

Galerie Kuzebauch was founded in Prague in 2012 and is dedicated to presenting unique examples of studio glass art by both up-and-coming and established designers and artists. Moreover, Galerie Kuzebauch works to assist such artists to gain visibility both on the domestic and international scenes. The gallery’s prime focus is mounting exhibitions of works by notable glass artists.

More than one-hundred small-sized glasswork studios situated across the Czech Republic enable individual artists to hand-craft and experiment with various glassmaking techniques and to craft unique finished works. The centuries-long tradition of Czech glassmaking is built not only on past achievements, white glassmaking sand, and dexterous craftspersons, but also chiefly on a love of glass and a wealth of knowledge handed down from one generation to the next.

Lucie Havlová, Tomáš Hendrych, March 2022