Vladimír Kopecký, ‘Elephant Foot 8/12 (Part of the 48-piece series The Dance of Tortoises)’, 2017, Lasvit

This unique sculpture by Vladimír Kopecký is 1 of the 12 pieces derived from the original shape called Elephant Foot from the series The Dance of Tortoises. Elephant Foot is one of four other original shapes that each come in a limited range of 12 unique variations.

The Dance of Tortoises by Vladimír Kopecký is a series of unique 48 pieces, each originating from one of four initial shapes, which morphed slightly throughout the production process as every object was free-hand sculpted and acquired subtle variations on the primary concept. The four shapes in 12 variations each are entitled Hunched, Slashes, Tower and Elephant Foot. The names are descriptive of their forms in a simplified, associative manner in order to emphasize the importance of the outer shell, the „skin“, of each vessel-like sculpture because the surface is an important principle in Kopecký’s practice. The artist established this approach at the onset of his career, which he summed up in the remark that he wants to make „ugly glass“. Such statement can be understood as though the artist wants to distance himself from the decorative use of glass as seen in applied arts. He subverts this standard concept by treating glass as a material and an art medium capable of expression on its own terms. In the case of Kopecký’s career and the 2017 series, glass still plays the role of canvas and as such is pushed to the background, yet the artist applies paint in such a way that makes glass an integral part of the art work itself. Kopecký paints in a gestural, expressive manner creating abstract imagery where the transparency of the glass and the volume of the vessel together with the thick, light-refracting glass walls interact with the color of the paint, destorting and creating images by deploying the natural optical qualities of glass. Thus glass becomes a fundamental element of the work and a medium for portraying color in a new dimension. Following his instinct and subconscious understanding of the unpredictable material, the 85-year old artist brought a unique combination of skills and sensibility to each vessel-like sculpture, which he treated with an original painting technique, allowing color to flow freely, following the surface, or smearing paint into thick impasto textures.

For the series "The Dance of Tortoises" go to https://www.artsy.net/artwork/vladimir-kopecky-the-dance-of-tortoises-series-of-48-original-sculptures

Series: 1-12 Original Elephant Foot Shapes (Part of the 48-piece series The Dance of Tortoises)

Signature: Signed at the bottom

About Vladimír Kopecký

Czech, b. 1931, Svojanov, Czechia, based in Prague, Czechia