Born in 1932, Vladimír Kopecký is an active visual artist – painter, sculptor, glass designer, author of installations, whose work has been part of the story of Czech, European, and also world-wide art history for more than seventy years. Kopecký’s works can be found in many important collections, his implementations are known in architecture and design. As a teacher, he has educated a number of students who consider him the initiator of their debuts on the art scene.
Vladimír Kopecký’s work encompasses a wide spectrum of approaches. It is unusual for one single artist to be classified as someone who simultaneously uses gestural painting, thus giving a conscious nod to lessons learned from the abstract Expressionism of the 1950s, as well as geometric abstraction and, in some phases of his work, Baconian figuration. These respective approaches do not collide with one another, though; on the contrary, they complement and enhance one another, or rather one approach in the form of action and reaction provokes the opposite one. It is neither order nor chaos; in fact, it is complementarity. Colour and space are also important links. For Vladimír Kopecký, as a trained glass artist, working with liquid coloured glass matter allowed him to perceive colour in a different way than if he had only had a painter’s training. In the glass-making concept, colour enjoys greater singularity, translucency and, at the same time, a specific delimitation of the colour field with overlaps of one hue into another.
After 2000, Kopecký returned to painting with great intensity. In the resulting, often large-format canvases, the viewer is dazzled by the naturalness, energy, and physical experience of the creation. In Kopecký’s contemporary paintings – and glass objects and vases derived from them – his lifelong work, or rather its principles, are reflected. It is a kind of essence of the creation. The exhibition presents paintings created in the last few years, divided in the installation into works with suppressed colour, dominated by the strong artist’s gesture, and works in which colour is the main creative means. The collection is complemented by a series of vases and glass objects that translate Kopecký’s painting manner into 3D. In 2020, Vladimír Kopecký won an invited competition for the design of one of the stations of the future Prague Underground line D – Nádraží Krč, and one of the working designs of the glass bridge prints is installed in the exhibition at the Museum Kampa.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published in cooperation with Retro Gallery.
Helena Musilová, curator of exhibition
© photo Gabriel Urbánek