3/2/2018. – 4/18/2018
Curator: Jan Dotřel
This year the design exhibitions at Kvalitář are dedicated to an area in which Czech design has built up its renown, and that is glass. This is not just due to the appropriate conditions of the sandy subsoil in North Bohemia, or to the skills and traditions of the glass craft here, but most of all it is due to the creative thinking and hard work of Czech designers thanks to whom we have made such a good name for ourselves in this commodity.
It would be difficult to find anybody who embodies such qualities better than Lucie Koldová, who is opening an exhibition at Kvalitář with the telling title Light Levels. This leading Czech designer, whose career and successes speak for themselves, is presenting her first-ever solo show in the Czech Republic. This exhibition is based on the prestigious Das Haus project held as part of the global market IMM Cologne. Lucie was the main face of last year’s Das Haus and for its unique model of a home she designed an absolutely new collection of furniture and lighting in the remarkable number of nine new prototypes.
The central motif of the exhibition is light, the logical conveyor for which, in the area of applied art, is glass. Upon entering the exhibition viewers can dive into several different light installations from the workshop of the Brokis firm, presented here together with a new collection of single furniture pieces. First we see the light composition Jack O’ Lantern, loosely inspired by a jack o’lantern composed of an eight-sided metal skeleton with light bulbs of matte glass inside it. The geometrical precision of the light facilitates its becoming more than one light source, in irregular or regular combinations .
The half-circle curtain of light dividing the gallery is composed of lighting inspired by the natural structure of climbing ivy (Ivy). This modular system of individual components can be applied to an interior as either a horizontal or vertical composition. The light sources themselves are variable and come in three sizes, in opalescent, smoky or pastel tones.
The light called Big One, on the other hand, captivates us through its absolutely minimalistically developed aesthetic motif of two blended, concentric spherical shapes. The lightshade is created by clear blown glass that interacts with a matte core. This sophisticated levitating sphere can evoke either atomic or planetary principles.
A very striking achievement in the area of furniture is without a doubt the armchair called Chips Chair designed for the TON firm, a modified concept of which is repeated here in the form of a lampshade for a ceiling light. The armchair acquired its name thanks to its elliptical deflections, reminscent of a potato chip. The subtle construction of bent wood appears to just lightly touch the ground, underlining its overall airiness and elegance.
The central portion of the gallery is dedicated to the ceiling-lamp versions of the climbing light Ivy and the geometric Jack O’ Lantern, among which a work by Petr Dub has been installed, an artist with whom our gallery has closely collaborated ever since it was established. Three paintings by him and one by Milan Houser were even installed directly in Das Haus.
The back room of the gallery is generously dedicated to the installation of the Puro light and its variation called Sparkle, i.e., the moment in lighting of expansion or ignition. “Lighting tubes of opalescent or smoky matte glass emit divergent rays and their scattered light creates a magic atmosphere and dynamic wherever the light is located,” Koldová says of this piece. Another variation on this light can be seen in the artistic rendering Fire, where three tubes are locked together in a simple way. The light is inspired by the most primal of elements that creates the basic central point of any home.
Czech design is very fortunate that its leading representatives, including Koldová, have decided to anchor their main area of activity in the domestic scene. The experiences Lucie acquired in her collaboration abroad with the most celebrated designers can now be redesigned, not just to bolster her own personal brand, but also to play a role in building up the renown of Czech applied art on an ever-continuing basis.