Libenský – Brychtová
Technique: mould melted glass
Size: 100 x 80 cm
Text by Milena Klasová:
“Like much that is great in art, Libenský’s work came from a need to create, not a need to impress, which will serve to make it all the more impressive as time goes by.” Dan Klein, British art historian and critic
In 1986, Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová cast the work Wings, a sculpture on which a pyramid and two prisms rise out of a flat base. The resulting and quite real compositional recourse was to place the statue back “on its feet”. Thus, immediately following, the first Seat for the Bride was created, cast from rare sapphirine glass. Others followed, labelled with numbers Seat I and Seat II-Astride, the seat Facing Backwards and the seat called Red in Space for its dark crimson colour. The sizable Coronation (1988), which also belongs to this series, is an imposing symbol of both strength and fragility. It involves the use of a monumental structure of prisms that are “crowned” by castings that leaked out during the casting process in contrast to the sharply honed edges of the base.
Through their Seats, and the related series Thrones, Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová displayed a certainty and refined confidence in the appeal of the material, as well as in the respect it is able to evoke. They are actually distinctively constructed, modern structures influenced by stimuli based on the iconic forms of architecture from great civilizations past. Prisms, understood as archetypal elements, play a fundamental spatial and luminous role, at the points of intersection even supported by an illusory transformation.
When Libenský and Brychtová exhibited in Prague 27 years later, the Seats were a part of this important retrospective. At the behest of Jiří Kotalík, at the time the director of the National Gallery, it took place at the Wallenstein Riding School in 1989. When Professor Libenský had to involuntarily give up teaching after forty-two years, he founded his own studio in Železný Brod along with Jaroslava Brychtová, and in it created work whose contemporary spatial shape and expression reached the attention of the general public.
Photos from the installation: