Liliana and me spent today a morning in the exhibitions in Tel Aviv. We first visited the collective exhibition of Czech glass art opened last week at the Litvak Gallery, then we crossed the bridge and strolled in a few of the exhibitions at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.  I will share a few of the most interesting artists and works we have seen in successive postings on the blog.

 

 

‘Freedom to Create: Beyond the Glass Curtain’ is the name of the exhibition that collects works of 15 of the most important artists in glass from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.  The art of glass has a tradition of centuries in this area but there is one more reason for the two countries who were until 20 years ago part of Czechoslovakia to be one of the top centers of glass art in the world nowadays. While artists in the Communist period enjoyed the government support awarded to artists who could improve the prestige of the motherland, they were less subjected to censorship and political pressures for the simple reason that glass art was categorized more as a craftsmanship or decorative art than a mean of expression that could carry subversive political messages. In a genre that requires studios, tools and collective work, the artists from Czechoslovakia continued the tradition and developed with government support a modern school of glass art with a broad diversity of means and expressions.

 

Vaclav Cigler - Star of David

 

Vaclav Cigler (born 1929) is one of the most famous artists, head of school and professor in Bratislava. He already had an exhibition dedicated only to his work at Litvak, I wrote about it here. From his previous presence here the gallery remained with the Star of David made of optical glass in large window towards the Art Museum. Cigler also designed the arrangement and presentation of the works in the current exhibition. Although many of the artists who are exposed belong to the elder generation that emerged and created before 1989, all the works were created in the last two decades, some are very recent. Works created in an environment of full freedom, based on tradition and continuous exploration.

 

Vclav Cigler - Clear Cone

 

Cigler himself is also present with another work in his preferred media – optical glass. ‘Clear Cone’ as many of Cogler’s work catches inside the volume of the optical glass the lights and shapes of the external space, molds and transforms them, and sends them back enriched to the viewer. Observing such a work is a complex process of examination, each different angle offering a different perspective with changing relations between the inner and outer spaces.