Decin, Czech Republic born 1956
Prague, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic
Materials & Technique: glass, art glass, cast glass
The raw and elemental presence of Ivan Mareš’ glass sculptures bring us close to the nature of labour and the tools of work. While his cast fragments of once-taut cables hover on the edge of recognition, their vitreous and crystalline luminosity takes us to a material dimension beyond archaeology. Like still- glowing embers in wreckage, Mareš’ glass embodies the brutalist but poetic materiality that has characterised post-revolutionary Czech glass as it redefines the redundant tools of the failed socialist state. Mareš uses drawing as a way to define this idea and leaves his cast work in a raw, fragmented state to continue this process of delineation, allowing us to draw upon our own experiences of objects and functionality to mentally ‘complete’ his structures.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2016
Author: Dr Robert Bell AM - Senior Curator Decorative Arts and Design