Pioneers in the use of mold-melted glass to create works of art in architectural scale, Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová explored, developed, and defined cast glass as a medium for contemporary sculpture. Their sources of inspiration were 20th-century European avant-garde movements in art and the long history of glassworking in Bohemia.
Libenský and Brychtová’s sculptures explore ideas about light, color, space, and transparency. They were conceived in gouache drawings by Libenský and then developed into three-dimensional clay models by Brychtová. The sculptures are cast in a technique called mold melting, in which chunks of glass are allowed to soften and melt into molds inside a large kiln. After the firing is complete, the sculpture is gradually cooled and the surface is cut, ground, and polished.
In Through the Cone, the dramatic character of the sculpture results from the penetration of light into the glass mass, a phenomenon that the artists explored repeatedly in their work. “For us, glass is light, which is elusive or imaginary, and you cannot determine where it ends and where it begins,” Libenský said. “It is light that exists in a certain ‘light space,’ and an artist who can understand that can define that space and knows how to introduce the light dynamic into the center of the glass mass. That is the definition of the fourth dimension, which cannot be achieved in any other material.”*
Signed and dated: “S. LIBENSKY J. BRYCHTOVA - 1995 - 7” engraved in bottom right corner, near base.
Published: Tina Oldknow, Collecting Contemporary Glass: Art and Design after 1990 from The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning: the museum, 2014, pp. 118–121; and William Warmus, Fire and Form: The Art of Contemporary Glass, West Palm Beach, Florida: Norton Museum of Art, 2003, p. 50. It is published as Penetration through a Conus in Stanislav Libenský, Jaroslava Brychtová, ed. Milena Klasová, Prague: Gallery, 2002, pp. 190–191. For more information, see http://www.libensky.net/.
* Kate Elliott and Katya Kohoutová Garrow, Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, Seattle: Elliott Brown Gallery, 1995, p. 8.