pondělí 6. dubna 2015

Pop- Up: Sklo/Glass

Wednesday evening last week saw the opening of the Pop- Up: Sklo/Glass in the planned ZIBA of museum of modern glass on Na Příkopě. Housed in a historical building with rich architectural details it will make   an engaging contrast between the old and new.
Živnobanka all lit up
The museum is to open next year but since 2014 there has been a huge glass installation in the main window, a kind of teaser of what might come.

A basketball basket and backboard in cut Bohemia crystal.
Modern art glass not only traditional Bohemia crystal has brought the country a lot of acclaim abroad. Under communism it was a way for the state to earn much needed foreign currency and after the Velvet Revolution contemporary glass was one of the few things that was not privatized and sold.

“Domestic glass”
As I wrote in an earlier post, the two main centers  which today train a younger generation of glass makers are Železný Brod and Nový Bor. Both were present at this pop up show which runs till June. On display is a wide range of works of contemporary Czech glass from the last few years, mainly by younger to midcareer artists such as Jitkou Skuhravá or Lukáš and Filip Houdek. Ironically many of these artists are better known abroad than at home. As it  was also a presentation of  the UMPRUM glass studio run by Rony  Plesl-the event itself had a bit of an air of the final project presentation (klauzury)which  take place at in art schools at the end of  each academic year.

A  new take on the famous glass animals.
There were artists from all possible media, students, collectors and then of course the general public. Unlike by invitation only show openings there was an element of democracy and I thought that it even had a bit of the atmosphere of art show openings in Prague of the 90’s.The main difference was that the “independents” have been replaced by hipsters and the entire crowd looked a tad more sophisticated  than 20 years ago. The free wine and cocktails, although served in plastic ,also did a lot to make it a memorable evening.
The crowd spilled onto the street in Pánská
The exhibit itself is situated on the entire ground floor of the former Živnobanka on the corner of Na Příkopě and Pánská  street.The show focuses on  contemporary Czech covers everything from the applied arts (table glass) to elaborate lighting to actual art installations .Much of it made for design studios or companies such as Moser a.s.Many of the pieces have a strong element of humor  while still being  practical objects. The show had been curated to show new Czech glass from as a “design” concept rather than a traditional skill acquired through practice.

One of the chandeliers – MADE IN BOR volume II.
There is a conscious effort to present modern glass production as a relevant and meaningful art form to the young local audience as well as emphasizing the wide range of objects and prices available. Generally thought there is still a strong prevailing perception that art glass is prohibitively expensive because it is created by luminaries of the older generation of glass artists, therefore making it the domain of wealthy foreigners .A novelty is also the idea of a pop-up exhibit ,something that is not seen very often in Prague.

A piece by Tadeáš Podracký.
For the time being it is at least an interesting distraction from the shops and blurring pop music which is encountered in the vicinity of Wenceslas square.