Vladimír Kopecký, a legend of both Czech and international fine arts, worked from 1990 to 2008 as the head of the Glass Studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. During this time, he educated or, better still, influenced – a number of students; his non-dogmatic and comprehensively developing way of teaching was of initiating importance to many of them. He showed them to a path to an open understanding of the creation of a work and artistic approach to work, in which no restrictions need apply except those that the artists, with all humility, responsibility and courage, sets for themselves. Almost all of his former students agreed that “every thing ought to have its secret”, which became an important maxim emerging from the studio meetings, emphasising at the same time an individual expression in the medium that relates to the idea.
The title of the exhibition is based on a well-known quotation by Vladimír Kopecký: “I like the absolute silence, and the cosmic storm none the less”, a simplified version of which also appeared in the title of his monograph Bouře a klid (Storm and Serenity). It expresses the extreme positions of his work and personality, the oscillating shifts between strict geometry and radical artistic gesture. At the same time, it is meant to indicate the nature of the personality to which his students were exposed.
It was not possible to exhibit works by all the students and trainees who passed through Kopecký’s studio. We have tried to present as diverse a selection as possible: different years of graduation, different media (it is interesting how many original glass artists, under the influence of Kopecký, have moved away from glass towards other artistic media and techniques), different themes, material and content experiments … The fourteen graduates exhibited are complemented with the works by the guest of the exhibition, Marian Volráb, a glass artist who was Kopecký’s assistant in the Glass Studio and who participated with him in the formation of the students, but was also influenced by Kopecký himself.
The exhibition Struck by Storm and Serenity is far from being meant a “Hommage à Kopecký”. The individual works and the short introductory entries are intended to characterize the relationship of the respective artists to Vladimír Kopecký; the bond, which has been established during their encounters with him; what they learned from their cooperation; the impulse to their further professional (and sometimes also personal) life. Some of the works on display were created specifically for this exhibition, others were chosen by the artists because they represented a connection to Kopecký’s work and because they also express the path the artists have travelled thanks to him: a path of very free and authentic creation.
– Helena Musilová