29. 7. 2021
Exhibition of works by Vladimír Kopecký and photographs by Gabriel Urbánek

Vladimír Kopecký (* 1931) is one of the legends of the Czech art scene. During his studies, the artist was fortunate to have excellent professors. He gained his first experience with fine arts at the glassmaking school in Kamenický Šenov. Here he came into contact with René Roubíček, in Nový Bor with Stanislav Libenský. Josef Kaplický then directed his steps to the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Kopecký attracted the attention of the art-loving public at a young age when he became interested in the realization of stained glass at the Milan Triennial (1957) and mosaics for the Brussels EXPO (1958). His unfettered energetic work moves between two polarities - almost purist-minimalist and gestural abstractions mixed in semi-abstract and abstract themes. The culmination of efforts illustrating both approaches is the famous 11-meter installation at the EXPO in Seville (1992). The decoration of the planned Nádraží Krč metro stop will be a similar work. A perfect mastery of generous forms characterizes the artist. He was predestined by the very choice of studying in a studio with the distinctive name Studio of Monumental Painting and Glass in the 1950s. After all, he returned to this school in his best years to pass on his experience to his students in the period 1990–2008. Although he is best known as a glass artist, painting has always been an integral part of his work.

The presented works come from recent years. One can only admire the indomitable vitality of the ninety-year-old author and the energy with which he approaches the work even when most artists are no longer active. The exhibition is complemented by pictures of Kopecký's glass sculptures, which come from the artist's friend, photographer Gabriel Urbánek (* 1948), who has been documenting his work for a long time. Gabriel Urbánek is one of the best glass photographers and spiritual heirs to the greats of this discipline, such as Jindřich Brok or Josef Ehm, with whom the author studied briefly. The pictorial dialogue thus allows the viewer to see the Kopecký canvas in the entire context of his own work.

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