le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass

bohemian glass: the great masters by le stanze del vetro

 

On the picturesque Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, Le Stanze del Vetro organizes Bohemian Glass: The Great Masters. With post-WWII works, six major artists of contemporary glass sculpture, including photographs, showcase the decorative art and its influences from the historic era. In collaboration with the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the exhibition invites visitors to delve into the multicolored, versatile glass world from 14 May to 26 November 2023.

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass
Le Stanze del Vetro organizes Bohemian Glass: The Great Masters (Miluše Roubíčková’s works on display)

photography Enrico Fiorese

all images courtesy of Le Stanze del Vetro

 

 

Le Stanze del Vetro (see here) collaborates with the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague to pay homage to Bohemian glass after the Second World War through the works of six great masters of contemporary glass sculpture: Václav Cigler, Vladimír Kopecký , Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová, René Roubíček and Miluše Roubíčková. Josef Sudek’s photographs from the Glass Labyrinths series conclude Bohemian Glass: The Great Masters, curated by Caterina Tognon and Sylva Petrová.

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass
Vetro boemo: i grandi maestri, installation views

 

 

A little bit of history

 

Bohemia – the historical name for the largest of the lands that make up the present-day Czech Republic — was home to glassmaking innovators from the twelfth century onwards, who helped shape and augment the impact of European glass. Glassmakers in this region were permanently pushed to invent new forms of glass production by competitive pressures from other European glassmaking centers, whose outputs dominated the global market. This major historical connection came to an abrupt end in 1948, when then-Czechoslovakia was overpowered by the Communist regime. Until 1989, the country’s borders were sealed off, denying free trade, travel, and communication with the western sphere.

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass
the exhibition is dedicated to Bohemian glass after the Second World War, featuring the works by six major artists of contemporary glass sculpture

 

 

Bohemian Glass: The Great Masters features the works of leading figures in the Czech glassmaking scene, born in the 1920s and 1930s. These artists endured the largest-ever military conflict in Europe, followed by a brief halt of freedom and democracy, before being plunged into totalitarian domination in 1948. Despite all the negative effects, they managed to overcome these challenges and grow their art in a broader context and with a relatively ‘new’ mode of glassmaking, which was not intended for mass production.

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass
special attention is devoted to the couple Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová who dedicated themselves to research and experimentation with glass or open mold casting

 

 

the great czech masters behind the exhibition

 

The show opens with hand-blown works by Miluše Roubíčková (Prague 1922–2015 Kamenický Šenov) and René Roubíček (Prague 1922–2018). A characteristic narrative trait of Miluše’s production is a representation of the female world that is far ahead of its time: through bouquets of flowers, trays of pastries, balls of colored wool and jam jars, all rigorously made of glass, she represents all the women and their specific domestic world. René’s abstract glass pieces are an expression of vitality and serenity, while portraying a contemporary creative way.

 

The exhibition also presents the works of Václav Cigler (Vsetín 1929) with his late-1960s designs of visionary installations and architecture and, even more, sophisticated optic crystal artworks of great impact in terms of purity and minimalism. Moreover, the works by Vladimír Kopecký (Svojanov 1931) are strongly performative and site-specific pieces. He is well known for his use of transparent industrial glass as a ‘canvas’ for abstract paintings.

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass
works by Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová

 

 

Special attention is devoted to the couple Stanislav Libenský (Sezemice 1921-2002 Železný Brod) and Jaroslava Brychtová (Železný Brod 1924–2020 Jablonec nad Nisou), who from the 1940s dedicated themselves to research and experimentation with glass casting or open mold casting. Significantly, the casting method was to become synonymous with modern Czechoslovakian glass. For over sixty years, Libenský and Brychtová investigated its technical possibilities and came up with works that were majestic in size, as well as remarkable in their purity of color and transparency.

 

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Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová’s research and experimentation 

 

The show closes with photographs by Josef Sudek (Kolín 1896–1976 Prague) from the Glass Labyrinths series, taken within the exhibition ‘Contemporary Bohemian Glass’ which was held in Prague in 1970. By sharing his point of view, Sudek re-interprets the intrinsic relationship between glass and light in the works from this important, historic exhibition.

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass
Vladimír Kopecký was known for his of transparent glass as a ‘canvas’ for abstract paintings

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass
Václav Cigler’s visionary optic crystal artworks

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass
René Roubíček’s abstract glass pieces

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass
Václav Cigler’s installations of purity and minimalism

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Miluše Roubícková Banquet, details | Multicolor hand-blown glass, collection of the artist’s heirs

le stanze del vetro dedicates exhibition to the great masters of post-war bohemian glass
Václav Cigler’s work

 

 

 

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Václav Cigler Blue Pyramid, 2020 | Cut and polished light blue optical glass. Photo Enrico Fiorese © Vaclav Cigler, by SIAE 2023
Václav Cigler Blue Pyramid, 2020 | Cut and polished light blue optical glass. Photo Enrico Fiorese © Vaclav Cigler, by SIAE 2023
Sphere (Rainbow Egg), 2019 | Cut and polished clear optical glass, metal powder inclusion. Photo Enrico Fiorese © Vaclav Cigler, by SIAE 2023
Sphere (Rainbow Egg), 2019 | Cut and polished clear optical glass, metal powder inclusion. Photo Enrico Fiorese © Vaclav Cigler, by SIAE 2023
René Roubíček Little Cosmos, 1960s | Multicolour hand-blown glass. Photo Enrico Fiorese
René Roubíček Little Cosmos, 1960s | Multicolour hand-blown glass. Photo Enrico Fiorese
Miluše Roubícková Fioriture - Yellow and Red Bouquet | Multicolour hand-blown glass. Photo Enrico Fiorese
Miluše Roubícková Fioriture - Yellow and Red Bouquet | Multicolour hand-blown glass. Photo Enrico Fiorese

project info:

 

name: Bohemian Glass: The Great Masters

brand: Le Stanze del Vetro@lestanzedelvetro

curator: Caterina Tognon and Sylva Petrová

collaboration: Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague

production: Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Pentagram Stiftung

venue: Le Stanze del Vetro, Fondazione Giorgio Cini

address: Venice, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Italy

dates: May 14 – November 26, 2023

photography: Enrico Fiorese

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