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SACRED GEOMETRY: CZECH URANIUM GLASS SHINES AT V&A MUSEUM

Internationally acclaimed Czech designer Rony Plesl creates a unique glass installation for the London Design Festival at Victoria & Albert Museum. Inspired by the idea of Sacred Geometry, a universal language organizing all visible and invisible reality according to basic geometrical principles, Plesl presents his own artistic expression of this system, inspired by thoughts of Czech surrealist Josef Sima and German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler.

Famous for his design objects and lights (some of which are also currently showcased by the Czech Centre London as a part of an exhibition The Story of Czech Design: 30 Years of New Identity), Rony Plesl has recently embarked on new artistic explorations, which he will showcase in London for the very first time this September. His installation consists of three identical large-scale hexagonal glass tree trunks that lie on the floor of the V&A's Medieval and Renaissance Galleries. Contrasting to their pure minimalist structure is a glowing forest made of uranium glass that emanates a sublime green fluorescent light, reminding us at the same time, of branches and flames. In this particular way, the installation as a whole pays tribute to the key components of glass making – fire and wood.

These large glass pieces were possible to fabricate only thanks to a new ground-breaking glass technology of melted glass developed by the Czech company Bolety, which exclusively co-operates with Plesl. V&A will host the international premiere of this new technology that enables casting of all 3D objects without any limitations in regards to design or form, giving cast glass the same possibilities as bronze.

"Rony's zest for creativity and innovative glass technology approach is inspirational to art professionals and indisputably enriching visitors experience at the London Design Festival in V&A Museum. The art work of Rony Plesl, among others, stands at corn stone of the Czech Centre London strategy to showcase the best and most innovative examples of the Czech glass art in the UK," says the Czech Centre's director Přemysl Pela.

Plesl´s radiant installation also reflects on the history of Czech glass, which is richly presented in the V&A’s collections, whilst adding a new chapter to the tradition. Plesl, who has been head of the glassmaking studio at Prague´s Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design since 2008, was himself taught by such masters of Czech glass-making as Stanislav Libensky and Frantisek Vizner. Sacred Geometry is for Rony Plesl a very personal project: 

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to show my work during London Design Festival in such a prestigious institution as the Victoria & Albert Museum. In the past several years, I have been studying concepts of 'universal geometry', which combine my respect for the mathematical principles of the universe and my individual interpretation of them, through which I find new ideas and create new forms. The polished crystal and uranium glass which responds to UV radiance, provides me with a unique opportunity to bring transformation into our pseudo-platonic world and push the boundaries of Czech glass sculpture created by professor Libensky and geometric sculpture of Frantisek Vizner.”

Sacred Geometry is part of London Design Festival 2019.

Supported by Bolety and Trish Duggan
Further support by the Czech Centre London, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London and Techo
Held under the auspices of His Excellency Libor Sečka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United Kingdom
Developed in partnership with Trish Duggan.


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CZECH CENTRE LONDON
The Czech Centre's mission is to actively promote the Czech Republic in the UK. Our programme covers visual and performing arts, film, literature, music, architecture, design & fashion, science and innovation. As well as hosting our own events, the Czech Centre offers support for other groups organizing Czech related initiatives in the UK. We also seek to further enhance cultural and professional relationships between the UK and the Czech Republic through curatorial visits, media tours and artistic residencies; initiating and fostering creative dialogue among artists, scholars, scientists & innovators. The Czech Centre London opened in 1993 and is part of a worldwide network of 24 Czech Centres operating in 21 countries and on three continents. The Czech Centre is a member of EUNIC.  

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL
Established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell CBE and Ben Evans CBE, London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world. London Design Festival has since earned the reputation as a key calendar moment of London’s autumn creative season, alongside London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Fair and the London Film Festival, attracting the greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to the capital, in a citywide celebration. www.londondesignfestival.com


ABOUT RONY PLESL

Sculptor and designer Rony Plesl is internationally known for his original glass sculptures, but he moves freely between fine arts, architecture and design. His limited collections of hand-blown and hand-ground vases and glassware have become iconic items for collectors and are currently included in prestigious private and public collections both in the Czech Republic and abroad (Museum of Decorative Arts Prague, Glasmuseum Coesfeld-Lette, Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung München, Moravian Gallery in Brno, Museum Jan Van Der Togt Amstelveen etc.).

In 2016, the Prague Castle hosted an extensive retrospective of Rony´s work, exhibiting a unique collection of glass sculptures and design work. In 2018, the Fire Walk with Me exhibition premiered a new ground-breaking glass technology of mold melted glass developed by the Czech company Bolety, which exclusively co-operates with Plesl.

Plesl holds several awards, including the 2007 Red Dot Design Award for the Cleveland glass; the 2010 Good Design Award for design of the Erie glass; or the 2013 Good Design Award for the Daytom set of glassware. He was declared the Designer of the Year 2011 in the Czech Grand Design competition for his Uovo chandelier designed for Lasvit and glassware designed for Moser. In 2016, the Mercury chandelier won the award for the Best Lighting Design and was also recognized as the Best Product of the Year 2016 in the framework of the Hospitality Design Magazine Awards in New York.

With his radical designs he targets the most demanding customers that are looking for timeless design, quality and value. He has worked for important clients both in the Czech Republic and abroad. For example, he created designs for Cartier or for the Italian glassworks Barovier & Toso. His other clients include Preciosa, Moser, Bomma, Verreum, Pasabahce or the German Sahm group manufacturing drinking glassware for most leading brands. In 2017 he became the Art Director of the Czech brand Rückl, for which he created a comprehensive design concept. The collection of glass objects called Bohemian Sky has won many important awards.

Since 2008, he has been the Head of the Department of Glass at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague. He was appointed Professor of Design and Architecture in 2017.

www.ronyplesl.com, photos: Rony Plesl Studio

 

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Rony Plesl