Integrating childhood memories into her established geometric explorations of forms in volumes of cast glass, “Meadow” is the newest exhibit from Czech-artist Vladimira Klumpar. Using flowers as her subject, she has blended her well-known industrial aesthetic with a new embrace of organic forms. The pieces were created in her studio in northern Czech Republic, in the Northern Bohemian hamlet of Loučky, which translates to “Meadows” in English. The exhibition has just been extended through December 7, 2017, at Heller Gallery's Chelsea location.
The idea for flowers influenced her from a young age growing-up in Prague. In their garden, her mother grew vegetables while her father grew flowers, two contrasting outlooks-practicality and beauty. Many years later, she comes back to this home to tend to this same garden. She views these plants as sculptures that have continuously changed and grown over time in the years since her father watched over it. To capture this change, she has created flowers with different techniques and mediums over years.
The pieces began as sketches on paper, to get begin mapping out the structure and examine how the flowers are constructed said Klumpar in an interview with Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet. From there, she began to create plaster and clay moldings, then she moved to glass, the material she has dedicated her life to.
Klumpar used glass for this series to capture fragility, color, and translucency. "In glass I can express that, this fragility. I love glass, I can play with color." said the artist. The glass changes depending on the direction and intensity of light, which results in colors ranging from from deep, dark hues to shades of pleasant light pastels.
This technique with color and light became influenced by years of traveling abroad. Working in Mexico, she exposed herself to the Mexican glass, where the use of vibrant color characterizes its design.
“[It gets] bits of color when the sunshine hits it, when light hits the glass, you get this vibrant color, if it gets dark, you sort lose it,”
The pieces featured in the gallery are both heavy, block shapes made famous by her mentor Stanislav Libensky -- but also uses rounded edges, organic shapes, and thinner sheets representative in her newer work.
She plans on exploring new directions of work using different techniques than the cold working in her past pieces. Exposing herself to different techniques, she hopes to continue this series, in different materials and techniques.
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