All About Glass

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Jaroslava Brychtová and Stanislav Libenský

All About Glass

In 1950, Jaroslava Brychtová joined the design studio of the glassworks at Železný Brod, directing the architectural glass department. Working with her father, the sculptor Jaroslav Brychta, she began to experiment with casting, molding, and melting glass during the 1940s. In 1954, Stanislav Libenský joined Brychtová in Železný Brod, and together they developed and refined their unique mold-melting technique.

With this technique, the two artists worked at translating abstract concepts into glass, such as their notion of the fourth dimension, which they create with light. Their artistic approach is influenced by early 20th-century Czech Cubism and metaphysical philosophy. Of all Czech artists working in glass, Libenský and Brychtová have been the most influential worldwide. The revolutionary nature of their work was first appreciated by American and European studio glass artists at Expo 67 in Montreal, where they exhibited several important large-scale sculptures. In the 1970s, when American artists were just beginning to realize the sculptural potential of glass, Czech artists like Libenský and Brychtová were already way ahead of them, but their work was not seen. It was not until the 1980s that their status as pioneers in the field of glass sculpture became internationally recognized.

Published on October 4, 2011