It all began with a collection. A remarkable collection of original Czech glass – fused, blown and pressed – made between the 1950s and 1980s. Painter Anna Neborová fell in love with glass and developed a passion for collecting it ten years ago. Her studio filled with vases, bowls, candlesticks and various decorative objects, characterized by unique shapes and intriguing colors. While painting her canvases, she was surrounded by the poignant still life of the glass art she had collected, and it was only a question of time before she would turn it into the subject matter of her paintings.

She made her first painting of a vase in 2012. It was soon followed by many others, giving rise to a remarkable series that she named, simply but aptly, The Collection. “I’m always fascinated by the way in which the light plays on glass objects when you slowly turn them and look at them from different angles. I love the magical translucence and the range of colors that is created by placing one glass object over another,” says the artist. She adds, “by bringing a lot of light into the painted scene and using a soft palette of color shades, I try to emphasize the intimate, fragile nature of the glass objects.”

In some of the paintings, her models are clearly recognizable: art connoisseurs will recognize the pressed glass vase by František Vízner; the fish by Miloslav Janků, made in Železný Brod; and the vases by Marie Stáhlíková and Milena Velíšková, made in the glassworks of Škrdlovice. In other works, Neborová only leaves colorful hints of her models. She performs a delicate balancing act between reality, reflection, and the transformation of reality into small quaint touches. It is with these touches that she seeks to dematerialize the objects, as if trying to depict their soul.

Anna Neborová’s tendency toward non-literal depiction coupled with her unique color palette, as well as the subject matter of Czech glass, inspired Michaela Tomišková and Jakub Janďourek of Dechem Studio to leave behind the world of design and immerse themselves in the wondrous world of glass sculpture. They created the Planets collection of manually-blown glass objects, in which they bring Neborová’s penchant for abstraction to a new level, pushing the boundaries of the material to their limit. The “planets“ are voluminous sculptures of minimalist shapes, geometric bodies instilled with the unique tonality of Neborová’s paintings. The artists used pastel-colored paint mixed under high heat, which they describe as “the product of an elemental process not unlike the birth of a star.” It takes a close-up look to appreciate the life inside these beautiful yet seemingly simple, static objects and to discover their own boundless universe filled with mystery and ambiguity – a universe that mirrors the delicate world of Neborová’s still-life paintings. The result of this artistic encounter is a unique collection of contemporary Czech glass that may inspire other artists and encourage art lovers to create similar collections in the future.

Guided tours witth the authors:

26. 11. , 6 p. m., with the painter Anna Neborová and the designers from Dechem Studio, Michaela Tomišková and Jakub Janďourek

12. 1., 6 p. m., with the painter Anna Neborová and the exhibition curator, Tereza Bruthansová

Public workshop with the painter Anna Neborová: 8. 12., 4 p.m.

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