Transparency A cross-section of the work of the UMPRUM Glass Studio

April 5th – May 13th, 2023
Opening: April 4th, 2023 at 6:00 pm

Gallery UM, UMPRUM, nám. Jana Palacha 80, Praha 1


Accompanying programme:

April 6th, 2023, 4-6 pm - individual consultation for applicants in the Glass Studio, (reservations - )

May 4th from 6 pm - guided tour of the exhibition
May 13th from 3 pm - guided tour of the exhibition

Transparency A cross-section of the work of the UMPRUM Glass Studio

What shapes can glass take? Where are its limits? This is not only shown by the selected exhibition of works by students and graduates of UMPRUM, prepared under the leadership of Rony Plesl and Klára Horáčková. After successful presentations in London and Lommel, Belgium, the updated collection will also be presented to the domestic public.

The history of the Glass Studio at UMPRUM dates back to the 1940s. During its existence, it attracted great interest both at home and abroad. The current head of the studio and UMPRUM graduate Rony Plesl has continued this tradition with his students. In his teaching, he emphasizes a strong conceptual approach that guides students through the labyrinth of trends and helps them overcome the pitfalls of cheap aesthetics and decoration, to which materials such as glass often succumb to.

"Glass is a very unique, ever-living material that, even more than others, works with chance and surprise. For this reason, among others, glass art in the studio balances on the edge of fine art and design. This balance should be completely natural, without any complicated division. The studio should follow the path of creative design with an overlap to a conceptual approach from which it is possible to transition to any artistic discipline", as Rony Plesl explains his approach to the teaching process.

The exhibition Transparency presents the works of 26 students and graduates of the studio, created over the last six years, and shows the versatility of their work, approaches, techniques, and craftsmanship. It offers examples of applied glass design, different types of lights, as well as works on the border of sculpture and conceptual art.

Among the exhibited works we can mention a glass sculpture by recent graduate Johan Pertl, Monument, which combines kiln casted glass and marble. The artist was inspired by the placement of buildings in the landscape. The work builds on the contrast of stone as a landscape profile and a block of glass passing through it.

Student Jana Svobodová presents her work How to Catch a Drop of Water. She gives a drop of water emotion and perceives it as a tear. She transforms sadness and emotions into something unique, permanent, and alive. For this, she uses a series of various technologies on plate glass arranged on a large, translucent, backlit table. The installation also includes a hand-cut, drop-shaped object that is hidden in an intimate space beneath the table.

In her installation work, Phenomenon Anna Martinková uses a playful concept that is on the border of fine art. She perceives her work as an attempt to bring physical phenomena closer and emphasize their essence. She works with sintered glass beads and magnetized metal that seem to levitate in space. All the parts are constantly in motion, the particles between the segments are working and the magnetic field is constantly active. Working with forms is an intuitive matter, with gravity and magnetic force playing a major role, influencing the outcome of the entire work.

Philip Frank's wall sculpture Behind the Screen, combining rectangular glass and plaster relief of human torsos, draws attention to the complicated relationship between people and screens. Screens, which people constantly stare into, seat their users in specific positions and draw their attention to a place. The artist understands the rectangle as a symbol of the prison that society has created. In the near future, we will most likely abandon the rectangular medium and fall into a world of virtual reality that imprisons our entire body.

On the occasion of the exhibition, a rich accompanying programme is prepared. Visitors can look forward to guided tours and for those interested in studying in the Glass Studio, consultations for applicants with the leadership of the studio are planned.

Exhibiting artists:
Emma Balcarová, David Černý, Kamila Dvořáková, Sabina Falcmanová, Philip Frank, Adam Hanšut, Valentina Hejdová, Šárka Ištvánová, Anna Jožová, František Jungvirt, Shynar Kaliyeva, Daniel Kinský, Tomáš Kučera, Anna Martinková, Meta Mramor, Johan Pertl, Dominika Petrtýlová, Vendulka Prchalová, Tomáš Rachunek, Anne Ryšavá, Jana Svobodová, Vlastimil Šenkýř, Barbora Štefánková, Marieta Tedenacová, Karolína Vorlíková, and Byoungchan Yun.
Educational leadership and curators of the exhibition: Rony Plesl and Klára Horáčková.
Studio of Glass team: Ivan Pokorný, Barbora Štefánková, Alena Hájková, Antonín Votruba, Dominika Petrtýlová
Graphic design: Žofia Kosová
Architectural design: Ivo Jedlička, and Mikuláš Procházka.

Next articles