Frantisek Vizner - A view into the archive 19.5.-15.7.2016

Glass artist and designer František Vízner (1936-2011) would have lived to the age of 80 this year. On the occasion of this jubilee the gallery praguekabinet offers you a historic opportunity to visit his private archive and view some of his seminal works. 

The exhibition will focus on the artist’s studio production consisting of unique sculptured objects made from hand-cut glass. It will showcase Vízner’s works from deep refracted colours to transparent crystals and elegant smoke to opaque opals and clear polished objects from the last years of the artist’s life. His iconic objects, such as Bowl with Peak or the drilled circular Vase, will naturally enjoy pride of place. 

František Vízner was a solitary figure among glassmakers, a representative of seldom seen minimalism and concentrated development of a single theme. Throughout his career he channelled his energy to the creation of harmonious geometric objects. Although we can view his objects as bowls, vases or plates as they never lose their original utility character, in view of their formal perfection we can hardly imagine putting anything inside them. It seems explicable that the individual artefacts derived from simplest shapes – sphere, hemisphere, cylinder, prisms – are in the final analysis the outcome of handiwork and not that of intelligent computer-controlled technologies.

Vízner’s polished objects cannot be therefore perceived as utility glassware but rather as distinctive sculptural works influenced by their relationships with architecture and the artist’s systematic nature, patience and concentration. The solid timeless shapes show Vízner’s emphasis on proportions, his admiration for the glass material, and exceptionally skilled handiwork. No single detail impairs the harmony and rationality of his objects. American art critic William Warmus said about the works of František Vízner that they were the finest objects ever made by the human hand.  

“To me, perfection means awareness and acceptance of personal limitations. I don’t want to spread out within a wide space full of unlimited wishes. I want to be limited amiably by materials, tools, my own hands, to consciously reject a certain colour, shape, word and sound, to know what I don’t want to do. Solitude and concentration lead me on the way to perfection.” 

František Vízner