Space becomes visible when it acquires shape and clour. The visibility and apprehensibility are its core existential premises. An artist therefore consider the values of visibility to assign to space, what meaning of apprehension. The space of Bohumil Eliáš has gave colour the priority, which, according to paraphrase of Paul Klee, is the place where our brain and universe reunite. Painters hundred yars ago thought that colour is only a reflection of light on the eye and the canvas is only to mediate this reflection through the moves of a brush. They related painting to analysis of human sight. Today's artist is richer of the techniques of other visual possibilities, with corresponding ratio of thought development towards more complex apprehension of space and world. Today's artist is richer of the techniques of other visual possibilites, with corresponding ratio of thought development towards more complex apprehension of space and world. Today's artist is not left to use of a brush and canvas only, he can have a selection of tools. Bohumil Eliáš, although working with a brush and cavas as well, has chosen glass. On one side, he paints acrylic images, on the other he has an efficiant assistant, who, similarly to the retina of the human eye, is capableof reflection and breaking of light, creation of light spectre, even add firm shapes to optical reflections. Glass is a living organism enough, it breathes and creates a characteristic alter ego for the painter.
Vlasta Čiháková - Noshiro
THE GIFT OF BEAUTY
I remember how I was once, long time ago, thinking how would I describe the meaning of beauty, that is without going into some long definitions. True, any Thesaurus would give me a handful of "equivalent words", starting from ... adorable, aesthetic, attractive, ... and ending with ... stunning, sublime and tasteful. Any of those words gives me only one feature of beauty and each would be missing a lot; so best thing I could do was to put them all together and wrap it around with ribbon marked "beauty". No, I wanted something different, something closer to real nature of beauty, something common to all kinds of beauty...
I haven't succeeded then, but many years later, after I have written more pages in the book of my life, it came to me like it was always there - apparently I just couldn't see it before. It happened on my birthday. I was walking through the forest and once a while I stopped, and amidst the deep silence, I watched the trees and sky, all those colors and shades. I suddenly realized how wise and profound harmony was all around me. It was like a magnificent church, created by the best of all artists, and it was there all for me, for us, for eternity. I realized what a beautiful present it was, the best I ever got. And there you have it: I believe the beauty is simply a gift. The gift from somebody who created it for us, terrestrials, and we should all comprehend it and appreciate it. Unfortunately, only some can while others can't and the whole gift is somehow lost on them.
Nothing less than beauty strikes me like an appropriate word for the art of Bohumil Eliáš. He has a gift to think out the beauty and pass it on to us. Be it painted glass, the glass of strange yet admirable shapes, with colours which complement and provoke our thoughts at the same time, abstract paintings with very concrete meanings. The beauty, which is at the same time also ... adorable, aesthetic, attractive, ... and ... stunning, sublime and tasteful. Simply because his art is all that.
The old English saying says. "The beauty is in the eye of beholder", meaning that we all have different ideas about beauty. I beg to differ: the beauty has to be first in artist's mind, then in his hands and eventually realize itself in the object of art. Then and only then can we, the beholders, finally watch it and appreciate it. And while we may differ in our opinions, one thing is for sure: most of us can recognize the real beauty.
And like that forest, so quiet and yet talking to me, so is the art of Mr. Eliáš. It talks in several levels - depending how much we can understand it - but all that talk is in one, universal language. That's why he is internationally recognized, all over the world. Yes, each of us can comprehend his art differently, but it's impact on us is the same. Be it painted glass, mixed media, stained glass or paintings, they all talk to our special sense - call it the seventh sense - the sense of beauty. They all show same kind of harmony, so much that one can almost hear the distant, lovely music in the background.
You see, all that confirms my theory: here is an artist who has a gift he is sharing with us. As he would know that there is never enough beauty in our everyday life - the beauty which knows how to redirect our eyes from our everyday problems, pains, worries and disappointments. The artist is giving us another insight in our troubles, same way as if we are looking through the glass and see the other side, the brighter one. Yes, we need some hope, we need some assurances, that there is something else in this world, something satisfying and pleasing. Something like a beautiful gift.
© Jan B. Hurych
© 1999 Bohumil Elias, ArtForum / ICZ a.s.