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Glass in Czech Jewelry - traveled exhibition

Blog post
Published: 02.05.2009

Glass in Czech Jewelry - Contemporary Jewelry - catalogue
13 Czech artists

Vienna, Brno, Prague 2009
size 22 x 23 cm, 96 pages, 55 color images,
text in English, German and Czech
catalogue foreword: Veronika Schwarzinger, Jiří Šibor

Glass in Czech Jewelry - traveled exhibition - part 1.

Václav Cigler, Petr Dvořák, Stanislava Grebeníčková, Kateřina Handlová, Jan Hásek, Svatopluk Kasalý, Jaroslav Kodejš, Zdenka Laštovičková, Martina Mináriková, Martin Papcún, Jiří Šibor, Markéta Šílená, Blanka Šperková

Tschechisches Zentrum (Czech Centre)
Herrengasse 17
(Vienna, Austria)
06-May-2009 - 26-June-2009

Glass in Czech Jewelry - traveled exhibition - part 2.

Petr Dvořák, Stanislava Grebeničková, Jaroslav Kodejš, Martin Papcún, Jiří Šibor, Markéta Šilená, Blanka Šperková

Gallery V&V
Bauernmarkt 19
(Vienna, Austria)
29-May-2009 - 11-July-2009

Initiatory Comment

For an Austrian, the notion of “Czech jewelry” is spontaneously evocative of glass pearls
from the town of Jablonec and Bohemian garnets. These two jewelry materials owe their
fame to long tradition and wide distribution.

Although contemporary glass production in the Czech Republic is far from what it used
to be in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, this notion has been still fixed in our
consciousness. All over the world people look for the old “original Jablonec glass pearls”
and try to imitate their quality. There is a boom of shiny cut glass in jewelry and fashion
not only as an accessory, but also directly in combination with textile-woven, glittering
glass on the body.

Czech applied art is closely connected with the idea of glass.

During my studies at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, at the time when little was
known about artists from the Eastern block, I knew artists such as Svatopluk Kasalý and
Jaroslav Kodejš who actually became paragons. These artists achieved great popularity
at the time, but remained the only ones. The rest of Europe is still not aware
about  today’s broader movement around Czech contemporary glass jewelry.

The quality of individual artists is just as outstanding as their patterns. The exciting
diversity of their production is absolutely captivating and deserves a broader platform.
This historical background has inspired me to ask Jiří Šibor to organize the exhibition
“Glass in Czech Jewelry” and its presentation in Europe. “Glass in Czech Jewelry”
features works by 13 selected Czech artists who deal equally with glass and jewelry.
They represent 13 individual statements which bring this fragile material and the
human body into a mutually harmonious relationship or tension.

The exhibition aims to support the Czech glass jewelry art regain its well-deserved fame.

Veronika Schwarzinger, Vienna

Translated by Jiří Strážnický and Vladimíra Šefranka

Václav Cigler
Untitled, Wearable Object 1990
Optical glass, chromium-plated steel

Petr Dvořák

Untitled, Necklace 2009
Lamp-worked glass, Bohemian garnets, titanium

Stanislava Grebeníčková
Untitled, Brooch 2005
Laminated polished glass, silver

Kateřina Handlová
Coral, Necklace 2007
Glass-rocailles, lamp-worked beads

Jan Hásek
Untitled, Hair Jewelry 1991
Blown sand-blasted glass, steel

Svatopluk Kasalý
Untitled, Necklace 2000
Cut-polished glass, gilded brass

Jaroslav Kodejš
Untitled, Brooch 2000
Mold-melted glass, kanthal

Zdeňka Laštovičková
Czech Dream, Necklace 2008
Lamp-worked glass / wound beads with Bohemian garnets, gold foil, cast gilded silver
Collection of the Museum of Glass and Costume Jewelry, Jablonec, Czech Republic

Martina Mináriková
Crystals, Necklace with Removable Brooches 2008
Glass, silver, stainless steel, hematite, calcite

Martin Papcún
Untitled, Brooch 2009
Stainless steel, glass grains

Jiří Šibor
Radiant Blue 16, Necklace 2008-09
Glass rods, stainless steel

Markéta Šilená
Untitled, Necklace 2007
Cast glass, packfong

Blanka Šperková
Silver with Clear and Blue Chips, Necklace 2008
Silvered finger knitted wire, clear and blue glass chips

Glass in Czech Jewelry - Curator’s Comment

The works of Czech jewelry artists using glass in contemporary jewelry are presented to the general public very rarely. Therefore the invitation of the Viennese Gallery V&V, which initiated this inspiring project, attracted attention of most of the addressed artists.

The exhibition features in total 13 artists differing in age, professional experience as well as development of their opinions over the course of their career. It can be said that the exhibited works constitute a comprehensive overview of the most interesting items created in this specific sphere.

The theme of the exhibition is glass as an original integral part of jewelry. Glass in its variations refers not only to its physical qualities such as fragility or hardness, but primarily its changeable optical and visual beauty, which provides it with a spiritual quality.

The exhibiting artists present outcomes of their work based on individual approach, representing their personal experience during glass processing. Using unique techniques they record changes of physical qualities and often reach surprising results.

The characteristic features of glass are its optical qualities, its exceptional color scheme and the possibility of achieving lustrous shine. Casting of glass achieves a matted surface,sometimes wrinkled by the artist’s intervention, thereby maintaining the latent mystery of the glass matter.

Our admiration for transparent hand-made glass beads in connection with Bohemian garnets may result in an intuitive experience—like our encounter with other works of modern art.

The presented jewelry pieces certainly stand out in their original approach and visual language, physically uniting both content and form.

The ultimate purpose of the jewelry piece is its specific presentation when it is eventually worn by a person. The body becomes a moving “carrier” of the work and animates not only the piece of jewelry itself, but also supports and develops the kinesthetic perception of viewers and the person wearing it.

A great advantage for all exhibiting artists was the accessibility of using all available technologies of this industry, drawing experience from the rich arts and crafts tradition and the history of glass manufacturing in the Czech regions. Some of the exhibiting artists were influenced not only by artistic processing of glass as we know it from the tradition of preceding generations, but also by the production of Czech artists who attained international esteem with their glass sculptures. They improve established procedures by experimentation, extending the way glass is used regardless of the context of contemporary art jewelry.

This exhibition represents a beneficial step in the field of art which successfully develops the continuity of processing glass, a field often neglected both by curators and the public.

The exhibition providess insight into the phenomenon of Czech glass jewelry, extending
awareness of an object which is worn and seen.

Jiří Šibor
Translated by Vladimira Šefranka

Exhibiton installation, Czech Centre, Vienna

Exhibiton opening, Czech Centre, Vienna

Exhibiton installation, wide view, Czech Centre, Vienna

Exhibiton installation, Gallery V&V, Vienna

Exhibiton opening, Gallery V&V, Vienna

Exhibiton opening, Gallery V&V, Vienna


About the author

Jirí Šibor, 1966 Brno, Czechoslovakia. Since 1990 exhibited abroad and home, occupy mind by theme "Cold Connected Constructions" in jewelry; occasionally graphic designer, sculptor, curator of exhibitions and correspondent.

About this blog

Czech Jewelry : past and present of innovative jewelry.