75 Years jubilee for the Roubicek couple
Duration of the exhibition: October – November 1997 – Glass is their life on an important Jubilee for the Roubicek Couple. The fine art glassworkers, Miluse Roubickova and Rene Roubicek, have been linked to the events in this artistic profession for over fifty years. Together both of them, each in their own personal fashion, contributed in the creation of its mutable visage. After finishing his studies at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, Rene Roubicek became a teacher at the Secondary School of Glass Applied Arts in Kamecky Senov (1945-1952).
Simultaneously he worked together with the glass industry and took part in the creation of new forms of cut glass. He accomplished work with cold glass which gave it the appearance of a living substance. The individuality of Mr. Roubicek’s glassmaking work began to mold itself after the broadened possibilities for hotworking techniques with the glass masters. The necessity for monumental pieces designated for national representation on the World Exhibitions in Brussels (1958), Montreal (1967) and Osaka (1970) was an unrepeatable opportunity for him in his first period. The pieces of work which were created on those occasions represent a still underrated abstract line of expression in Czech artistic glass. The subjects for their inspriation were often drawn also from nature and its manifestations.
Water, Rain, Cloud and Tree, the dynamics of each natural phenomenon was here materialized in glass. However, the main topic is always the glass itself. In the beginning of the 70’s, the artist gradually departed from abstract forms and began to choose shapes of near-realism. His sculptures of heads gained special status. He explored the chosen theme with a feeling for individualization of expression. We particularly realize this fact in the moment when he is creating a group of these solitaires, anonymous and equally unmistakable, of individuals. His playfulness expresses itself in the work which he has created as a celebration of his lives, musicians, literary figures and painters. His sense of irony does not disguise his humorous paraphrasing of female bodies. The best known of these is Little Fingers. The uninterrupted collective working with the glass masters has lead Rene Roubicek to the essence of the glass creation.
He has presented the results of these activities at many exhibitions, the most recent in 1996 at the Venezia Aperto Vetro in Venice. Also created at the same time, the Roubicek Figures were assembled from various coloured segments.With his independent artistic expression his work created for architecture and during his cooperative work with architects, reflects the changes in his understanding of studio glass. This happens in the most various interior and exteriors objects, dividing walls, light fixtures, fountains and sculptures.
Rene Roubicek creates his pieces as a dialogue with the architectural space. We discover his work in many modern building projects from the end of the fifties. Let’s also recall his latest cooperative work with the German architect, Bernhard Focht, which began at the Schloßberg Chateau in 1990 and still continues. Miluse Roubickova studied at the same school of art education, the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague, and was a student of the same teachers, Jaroslav Holecek and Josef Kaplicky. In the beginning her work was linked with the glass-working industry. From the end of the 40’s she designed table and decorative glassware. Also international acknowledgement to the quality of her designer’s flair is given by her silver medal of 1957, which she won at the prestigious Milan Triennial.
She substantially influenced the future development of the Czech cut glass with her cut bowl showed on the World Exhibition in Brussels ’58. Her close cooperative activities with glass-working masters and her interest in the restoration of folk glass-working tech- niques connected with it, have given rise to the author’s distinctive glass world. With her bouquets of flowers, trays with fruit or cake, cabbage heads and plastic bags, Miluse Roubickova has enriched the realm of Czech glass with a specific pop-art expression. Heads form a special group in the work of Miluse Roubickova, too. But they have different characters than those created by Rene Roubicek. They are made extraordinary by a desire for a greater simplicity in form. In the creative atmosphere when we remember the 75th birthdays of Miluse Roubickova and Rene Roubicek, it is our sincere wish that their zest for life and enthousiasm for work will escort them over many years to come.