Marian Karel

Marian Karel

Glass art


American Craft Museum, New York City,
March-June 1996

From catalogue FORM LIGHT GLASS

Contemporary Glass from the Czech Republic

"I don't perceive glass as a material for sculpture, design or architecture. Composing glass sheets, I create illusionist transformations of light which reflect, and thus empower the surrounding reality. The magic mystery of space, the miracles of spatial changes, the inception of a next spaces within space, of a new nature, and the dialogue between architecture, nature and human being - all these issues imply urgent questions for me. I use the contrast between masses, shapes, structures, and characteristics of material's surface, light and shadows to connect interior and exterior space, real and imaginary space, as well as reality and illusion. Space and work of art are penetrated by the light I work with. This light is also grasped, mirrored, concentrated, and broken within both space and objects. This light evokes a feeling of unsteadiness and movement which correspond with our liability and own lives..."

Marian Karel

Marian Karel belongs to the younger generation of glassmakers. Focused primarily on the issue of glass in architecture, he resumed the pioneering activities of his immediate predecessors, especially of Stanislav Libensky and Václav Cigler. The optical sensitivity and transparency of glass suggest to him the possibilities of his material to organize spatial relationships. The artists spatial concepts are communicated in the forms of pyramid, cylinder, prism and cubes. Marian Karel connected these forms with space, with straight and bent surfaces, and, at the same time, by the linear penetration of a construction with the curve of light beams. He builds his compositions in the spirit of these principles, and he left them grow into both a city parterre as well as a natural environment. The active contact of Karel´s compositions with space multiples reflections, views, and games of light and shadow. These works are based on the stressed polarities between transparent slanting surfaces and frames made either from steel profiles or from concrete, iron and wooden elements. Marian Karel´s rational thinking transforms the used space into a poetic vision. The author elevates the character of a site into a dreamy garden which liberates a walking pedestrian of timestress, and thus emphasizes the freeing breath of the space.

Jiří Šetlík