As part of the Révélations 2022 art exhibition in Paris, Galerie Kuzebauch will be showcasing a selection of glass artists under the Generation Next banner, as devised by PhDr. Petr Nový, chief curator of the Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou. Generation Next presents an overview of works by the middle generation of Czech glass artists born during the 1970s-80s. Such artists are characterised by a pioneering and experimental approach that seeks to go beyond the existing boundaries of glass art.

Within the Révélations framework, Galerie Kuzebauch will be showcasing works by four artists that epitomise the concept of Generation Next – meaning an openness to various conceptual and aesthetic forms of experimentation. Artists Zuzana Kubelková, Lucie Švitorková, Ondřej Strnadel and Petr Stanický are all connected, not by a similar aesthetic approach, but rather, conversely, by their variegated natures and insatiable appetite to continue to advance, experiment, and thus to find new paths towards the formation of their respective artistic works. The artists possess highly individualistic approaches towards the glass art craft, as well as highly individual approaches towards seeking fresh avenues of opportunity to break through the commonly encountered limitations of this material.

Zuzana Kubelková, Icy Blue, 2021, blown glass, basalt textile. Photo: the author’s archive

Zuzana Kubelková is a young glass artist chiefly focused on experimenting with glassmaking techniques and materials. Her work has been highly lauded around the world, as evidenced by Kubelková’s receipt of a number of prestigious awards. Among the most recent such honours are this year’s Milano Vetro 35 award. This event, now in its third year, recognises works by the most promising artists and designers aged 35 and under. Zuzana Kubelková  found success with her most recent collection of vases, decorated with abstract art and utilising highly customised techniques. A selection from this award-winning collection will be on display at this year’s Révélations exhibition.

Lucie Švitorková is a glass artist chiefly focusing on the technologies associated with fused glass sculptures. This is a particularly demanding glass art discipline, pioneered both at home and abroad, for example, by the famous duo of Stanislav Libeňský and Jaroslava Brychtová. With her distinctive style, Lucie Švitorková ties in to such past traditions, working in the northern Bohemian town of Železný Brod – just as the famous aforementioned duo – thus contributing to the further development of techniques in this glass art field. The artist’s works are characterised by a minimalist approach towards morphology in her vessels, which, however, contain, upon closer inspection, an array of hidden and highly refined examples of decorative ornamentations and optical phenomena.

Lucie Švitorková, CAVITY II, 2021, moulded fused glass, delustered, polished. Photo: František Nikl

Petr Stanický works with glass in the spirit of an architect. His art comprises specific, self-contained glass spaces that stimulate a range of senses and emotions in observers. Despite often combining materials in his meticulously designed and constructed works, Stanický only rarely subjugates the inherent natural aesthetic properties of glass. Révélations 2022 will feature two works by this artist – a painting and a sculptural work. These will be linked by a material that morphs into an illusion; a true geometric space in an illusive line; one that serves to both supplement and challenge the displayed works.

Organically shaped works by artist Ondřej Strnadel serve as a kind of counterpoint to the architectural approach found in Stanický’s creations. Strnadel studied Industrial Design at the Tomáš Bata University in Zlín under the noted Professor Pavel Škarka and currently teaches at the High School of Applied Glass Art in Valašské Meziříčí. Entirely abstract hand-blown glass characterises Strnadel’s art, through which the morphology of an expanded geometric aesthetic is generated. The final works are both asymmetric and variously deformed, adding an illusion of both motion and fluidity.

Ondřej Strnadel, Black Vessel, 2018, hand-blown glass, delustered. Photo: Gabriel Urbánek

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

Zuzana Kubelková – Inter Alia

From 22nd of April to 14th of June, you can visit our Kuzebauch Gallery and see the exhibition from Zuzana Kubelková called Inter Alia.

Zuzana Kubelková (*1987) is a graduate of Ilja Bílek’s renowned Glass Studio at the Faculty of Art and Design, J. E. Purkyně University (UJEP) in Ústí nad Labem. Her art represents the essence of glass art experimentation, rooted in an endless search for the new opportunities associated with this material. Which means interpreting the concept of form in a pioneering new manner, finding ways to integrate glass with non-traditional materials, and utilising groundbreaking technologies to craft the finished product. In this sense, abstract artworks examine the nature of physical strength, including such themes as incursion and destruction; performative kinetic works examine chemical crystal growth processes; and opportunities are sought to process fragile glass textiles for the creation of wearable masks and abstract vases.

Kubelková’s newest series comprises a number of vases and other art objects, collectively titled “Frozen Landscape”. This serves as a follow-up to her previous experimental “Sui Generis” and “El Cuco” series, in which the artist examined the possibilities associated with using transparent glass and dark basalt textiles. “Frozen Landscape” is inspired by a series of abstract paintings that combine acrylic colours and soft pastels (and which also form part of this exhibition). The themes and content of these wall paintings have been transposed by the author into 3D art objects, in which the strokes and lines of basalt fabric on the surface of glass mirror the pastel strokes on the surface of paintings. The exhibited vases have been created via a Swedish “cameo glass” technique. Basalt fabric is stronger than glass when heated, in this case holding its form via a kind of belt-tightening technique that holds in the rim of a vase. Liquid glass and a layer of dye are then absorbed into the fibrous fabric grid enabling the creation of an abstract image on the vase’s surface.

We stand with Ukraine

We are very concerned about the current situation in Ukraine. We would like to express our support and compassion with the suffering Ukrainians and people involved. We hope that the situation will calm down soon and peace will be restored.

František Skála and Martin Janecký – František Skála’s Glass Kaleidoscope

Visit our Kuzebauch Gallery from 10th February to 15th April 2022 when you can see the exhibition by František Skála and Martin Janecký called František Skála’s Glass Kaleidoscope.

Euforik, 2022

Artists that prioritise an ongoing sense of experimentation often find themselves drawn to the field of glass. Meanwhile, glass masters (often themselves practicing artists), facing the additional challenge of learning the complex intricacies of forming glass, are typically more than happy to join forces and take up such a challenge. Aside from cultivating crucial mutual ties, these relationships can also yield much of note. One such relationship has formed between Czech artist František Skála and his counterpart, glass artist Martin Janecký.

František Skála has left the realisation of his mini-stories concerning strange, genetically modified figures (or entities) to Martin Janecký, a man who has successfully mastered the technology behind of hand shape glass. Skála, meanwhile, supplied the basic ideas in the form of drawings, also offering artistic correction input during the entire production process.

Dance Face to Face, 2022

From a wider perspective, Skála’s collaboration in this regard offers a satisfying outlet for the artist’s ability to perform a kind of “archaeological probing” of various materials, thus unveiling their inherent artistic properties, via the use of his painting, sculpting and installation-creating abilities. Skála is particularly interested in those materials for which such inherent potential may not be immediately obvious. Typically these are natural materials, such as coloured soil, branches, seashells, gastropod shells and the like. And now, glass has been added to the list, albeit of very different parameters. Skála’s works bear little resemblance to the predominant post-1945 trend in Czech glass art. After all, the main thrust of Skála’s modus operandi has been to toss out the existing rulebooks and simply focus on the pleasure of creation! Indeed, the fact that such works risk being excluded from the central currents of the contemporary Czech glass art movement is something Skála simply brushes off.  Originality, out-of-the-box thinking, even a touch of eccentricity – such facets form the very DNA of František Skála the artist.

The resulting individual sculptures reflect a kind of situational capturing of the adventure-filled escapades of grotesque-looking figures – almost mutant beings – who did not emerge by chance or by some automatic path, but rather came about via their creator’s modifying them into intelligent beings. Glass is melted in a furnace and worked according to František Skála’s designs.  The resulting art object is then cooled and subsequently matted. This is done in order to make the interior of the sculpture matted,  so as to guide the viewer’s eye purely towards the intricacies of the presented story. Another reason is to eliminate all peripheral distractions, namely glass reflections and sheen. As a result, the properties of the utilised material are directly subordinate to the desired narrative – to the intentions of the great storyteller himself, František Skála.

Michal Motyčka – View of the Outside

From 12th November 2021 to 9th January 2022, you can visit our Kuzebauch Gallery and see the exhibition View of the Outside by Michal Motyčka.

View of the Outside, 2021

The concept of space, customised to the observer’s interaction with a given area, represents the focal point of Michal Motyčka’s creative work. In his work on display at Galerie Kuzebauch, Motyčka showcases a literal window into an exhibition area, which is thus transformed into the dominant visual component of the presented art installation. An analysis of the shape and function of the window, its frame, and the essential reality of the image, along with the reflection of the real world found in the continuation or substitution of the space of the window via a mirror, leads to a kind of mutual visual integration – simply put, an outside view. In his works, Michal Motyčka is essentially saying: “a viewpoint is predictable in advance”.

View of the Inside I & II, 2019

In so doing, he ponders the question of the very nature of reality.  Furthermore, Motyčka is evidently seeking to break through into a kind of observable reality, and the perception and subjective interests of our point-of-view interpretation, into which such art is cognitively transformed. The ambitions of the author are clearly to present a sculpting solution that can activate a given space, inviting observers to discover its superficially indecipherable spatial interrelationships. This leads to an illumination of the artist’s own experiences with comprehending the concept of space as a natural confrontation with its surroundings, as well as making use of the opportunity to “once again see, glimpse, interpret…” something that we might not expect to find in an exhibition environment.

Studio Glass Design FMC UTB Zlín – Visions of One’s Own

You can visit our Galerie Kuzebauch from 15th September to 31st October and see the exhibition Visions of One’s Own by Michaela Trávníčková, Marie Sixtová, Kristína Maňáková, Michaela  Kramulová, Irena Czepcová and Petr Stanický.

For more than ten years, the Glass Design (Design skla) studio at the Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín’s Faculty of Multimedia Communications has served as one of the top established centres of its kind in the Czech Republic. Professor Petr Stanický, M.F.A., the head of the department, along with his assistant MgA. Irena Czepcová, offer their students considerable freedom to develop their own personal sense of artistic expression. Students gain inspiration by studying various aspects of their craft, including trying out various conceptual methods in glass making and looking for a way to expand technological possibilities with new media. One notable trait witnessed in these students  is a very specific pioneering approach towards working with glass that differs from traditional established techniques.  All this with a view of making a mark in the ever-developing international glass art scene.

Marie Sixtová – Bond (2019)

Standing before the ostensibly variegated works of four young artists, namely Michaela Kramulová, Kristina Maňáková, Michaela Trávníčková and Marie Sixtová, the question arises as to where to find a common thread. The answer lies in the distinct and peculiar mission of integrating glass in all its applied forms. For these four artists, glass serves as a kind of transparent gateway into the human soul – a world of dreams and emotions.

Michaela Trávníčková – Bubbles (2019)

Čestmír Suška – Light in Sculpture

From 17th June to 31st August you can visit the Kuzebauch Gallery and see the exhibition Light in Sculpture by Čestmír Suška.

The exhibition will be on display in the Lemberk granary from 18th June to 31st October as well.

Oko, 2003

Examining the relationship between the external and the internal and an interplay of light directly within given art objects – such characteristics have been evident in the works of Čestmír Suška since the early 1990s. In subsequent phases of his work Čestmír Suška has continued to promulgate the theme of internal space, with wood-related art in particular opening up a plethora of expressive opportunities.

Bob, 2004

The collection of sculptures exhibited in Galerie Kuzebauch was primarily created in 2002–2006 at Zdeňěk Lhotský’s Pelechov studio. One of the oldest works, titled Maska (Mask), has today become an iconic portrait representation of the author’s honouring of the field of sculpting. Meanwhile, Hvězdice (Starfish), with its baked clay shape, represents an exploration of the contradictions between the full and the empty. Osmička (Eight) represents an interplay between the presently trivial and the mysterious and moves the observer into a symbolic realm of infinity.

Václav Řezáč – Everything and Nothing

You can visit the Kuzebauch Gallery and see the exhibition Everything and Nothing from Václav Řezáč from 15th April to 11th June.

Václav Řezáč (*1977) is one of those with an experience in this mythical land of the Samurai. A graduate of both the High School of Applied Arts and Glassmaking in Železný Brod and the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (specifically Vladimír Kopecký’s studio), Řezáč worked as a manager of Zdeněk Lhotský’s cast glass studio. Excelling in his own artistic and designer practice, his interests were originally in hot shaped and flat glass. Upon arriving to Toyama in 2016, where he spent the next three years, cast glass sculpture was among the few things that captured his imagination. Even though he previously knew all its technological aspects, his experience in this technique consisted of occasional experiments here and there. All it took was a journey to Japan for him to find his own way of approaching it. There, he learned that the Western tradition of saying all or nothing is not interesting enough, what he excels at is the Eastern tendency to say everything and nothing at the same time.

Řezáč’s works are refined and sophisticated, especially in their technological prowess, they are charming and prove that glass art still allows plenty of room for experimentation. One does not even need to put aside their craft and resign to the today’s obsession for concepts, those that transform glass into a mere material – to be abused rather than used.