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Vladimíra Klumpar

She graduated from the Secondary School of Glassmaking in Železný Brod and later from the Prague Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, in the Studio of Glass under the guidance of prof. Stanislav Libenský. In the 1980s, she moved to the USA, then she lived and worked partly in Mexico, Portugal and in recent years she has come back to the Czech Republic. Her work is inspiringly open - she has the ability to naturally absorb different cultural environments, recognize the unique aspects in them and at the same time connect them in a new, distinctive quality. She is one of the most famous contemporary art glassmakers from the Czech Republic. She has exhibited her sculptures that show specific poetics on many continents. Her works are represented in numerous private collections around the world, especially in the United States. We can also find them on the top shelves of the most expensive glass sculptures published in sales databases.

Since her studies, like most of the students of prof. Libenský, she has dedicated her career to melted glass. Although it is a time-consuming, financially and craft-intensive creative process, she prefers this technique, as it allows a complex sculptural approach to glass.

"I start with a sketch, a rough drawing, then it's time for the model. I use clay, plaster, wood, polystyrene or construction foils to produce it. It is important that the sculpture does its job in these materials in the first place. However, only glass allows for something more. Its transparency allows the viewer to enter another dimension. It is the only material that allows the observer to look inside the statue, where the inner game of the real and the supposed takes place - the perception of matter and negative space. The observer not only perceives the external shape, but looks through the statue into illusory spaces. That's why glass as a material constantly inspires and entertains me. "

Over the years, her work has undergone noticeable changes - from dynamic organic shapes inspired by nature, over time, mainly due to more intense contact with the urban environment, it has shifted to more austere geometric forms. However, colour played an important role in her works during all her creative periods. Not only the choice of a specific colour, evoking certain feelings, but also its intensity. That is, to what extent and if at all it allows you to look inside the work.

Technologically, perhaps the most demanding task ever was her custom-made work - a two and a half meter high Buddha statue for a monastery in Thailand. She worked along with her team on it in a studio in the Czech Republic for two years. The body itself weighed over five hundred kilograms. The head had to be melted separately five times, before it was flawless. The most difficult part was to finish the work, to grind it. As the author says, she managed to finalize the sculpture thanks to the fact that she was finally able to connect with it: " It was a kind of meditation and pure concentration. I had to understand the secret and aesthetics of the statue. Working on it has become such a spiritual exercise for me. "

Undoubtedly, this experience helped her to take another path. For the exhibition Czech Glass, Quo Vadis ?! she accepted again - we can put it this way - a new challenge, which in her work represents a creative shift into somewhat unexplored area. The fundamental transformation consists in the fact that she recorded a kind of "epic" story in her sculptures.

" We all experienced an unusual time, completely new life situations. Especially the beginning of pandemic, when the world suddenly became isolated. Entire continents, countries and the microworld of every family. At first, I had the opportunity to see my mother only through the window. At her age, she didn't understand why I didn't go inside. At that time, I was very impressed by the photos in the newspapers. Especially the ones from Italy, where the situation was initially the worst. A person disappearing behind a window. Strangely reconciled. I needed to put it all in glass… "

Her exhibited works also have a symbolic overlap, they are a kind of dialogue of matter, optics and mystical content. They are tangible and at the same time intangible, they make us feel a strong urge to touch them. All the more so because the author abandoned her usual bright colours this time and chose a crystal that brings a certain kind of purity, hope and spirituality to the idea. By dimming the colours, Klumparová managed to be even more specific and convincing in her expression.

" The strange calm that came after the world 'stopped', that strange kind of loneliness, led me to a certain spiritual experience, rising above all the chaos of sudden change and uncertainty that we have all experienced." The author succeeded in capturing moments using precise wording that necessarily encourage interaction and contemplation. It makes the viewer to stop, to perceive and perhaps even understand. This is not always the easy and fast way. As Ladislav Hejdánek, a prominent Czech philosopher, said: "Sometimes it can take years to get a good understanding of a work. Understanding it, making sense of it is like creating the work again.”