Jan Fišar, Collection Frauke Thole

Glass is beautiful, and it is dangerous. Glass is a technological problem, and this is also dangerous. … the particularity of glass might be that it is like any other art: Let us not lament whether it is complicated or not, a sculptor working in stone also has to be able to choose an impeccable stone. In that respect, it is alike.

Jan Fišar, quote from the documentary The Other Glass from Bohemia by Jiří Havrda, 1995

10.11.2017 - 7.10.2018

Back to: Exhibitions


There is hardly a material that is so beautiful from the onset—before the artist’s critical choice or design. At the same time, working with glass poses great challenges: The options seem endless, as do the obstacles. The sculptor Jan Fišar (1933–2010) only started to face the beautiful and “dangerous” material glass in 1966, when invited by the glass artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová to cooperate at their project for the World Fair in Montreal, Canada, in 1967. That exhibition did not fail to impress the Western World with the sculptural quality of post-war Czechoslovakian art. Glass emerged as a valid material of the visual arts, and since became Jan Fišar’s dominant, almost exclusive focus.

Like few other artists, he was capable of breathing life into brittle glass, making use of processes that he had partly developed himself. Some of his works are figurative, but merely in outlines, and yet they tell with baroque vibrancy of fundamental human encounters and feelings. Fišar was deeply shaped by his teacher at the Prague Advanced School of Applied Arts, Josef Wágner (1901–1957), who “was really obsessed with Baroque plasticity.” It is remarkable that modern artists were not detered by this model and its delight in feelings and pathos. On the contrary, Fišar and some of his contemporaries seriously explored its core.

Jan Fišar, Pietà, 1991, 56,5 x 60 x 30 cm, Sammlung Frauke Thole, Kunstpalast, Glasmuseum Hentrich (LP 2016-27), Foto: Studio Fuis, Köln