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Liberec, Czechoslovakia born 1960

Figure - Robot 2004 Place made: Prague, Central Bohemia, Czech Republic
Materials & Technique: glass, cast glass glass: cast

Dimensions: 188.5 h x 37.0 w x 31.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2006
Accession No: NGA 2006.18

Ungainly and raw from its cast, Figure – robot presents itself as a translucent reassembly of components, combining elements of folk art imagery and the figurative tradition with the visionary spirit of Czech Cubism of the 1920s. The country’s advanced industrial development of that period, and its posttotalitarian reanimation from the early 1990s, is evoked by Ivana Šrámková’s work, linking it to the Czech Republic’s energetic post-1960 rejuvenation of its traditions of narrative glass. Like the crude automatons of early science-fiction films, this spindly figure stands unmoved by our presence, offering only its transparency to invite our interaction with it. Despite this insouciance, with its blood-like colour and material volatility the figure insinuates itself directly into the dimension of emotions.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2016
Author: Dr Robert Bell AM - Senior Curator Decorative Arts and Design