Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Vestment II

Stanislav Libensky (Czech, 1921–2002)
Jaroslava Brychtová (Czech, born 1924)
27 3/4 x 39 1/2 x 9in. (70.5 x 100.3 x 22.9cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Heller Gallery Gift, and Drs. Myra J. and Harold Weiss, Mr. and Mrs. John T. Kotelly, George F. Russell Jr., Gerard L. Cafesjian, and Geoffrey J. Isles Gifts, 1999
Accession Number:
Not on view
The tradition of glassmaking in the Czech Republic spans many centuries-from the medieval era through the booming Bohemian export industry of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the country's current position as a leading center for cutting-edge studio glass. After World War II, artists in the former Czechoslovakia were isolated from new trends and technologies developing in the West. For the past fifty years, however, despite the long-unfavorable political climate and the scarcity of materials, Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtová have been extremely influential in the international studio-glass movement. In the 1940s, Brychtová made pâte de verre vessels, sculptures, and plaques, and Libensky produced enameled and acid-etched tableware. By the late 1950s, the couple had begun to experiment with larger scale and abstract forms, collaborating on architectural screens and nonfigurative sculptures.

Vestment II consists of gray glass cast in a mold. Its minimalist form is reminiscent of a liturgical garment, yet the piece remains essentially an abstraction of light and color in space. The depth of the glass and its graduated color respond to the changes in the movement of light around it, so that the piece can appear opaque and grandiose but at other times almost weightless.
the artists, Zelezný Brod, Czech Republic (1997–99; sold through Heller Gallery, New York, to MMA)

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions of Twentieth-Century Design and Architecture," June 29–November 14, 1999, no catalogue.

Tacoma, Wash. Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art. "The Inner Light: Sculpture by Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová," July 6–October 27, 2002, no. 10.

Jane Adlin in "'Ars Vitraria': Glass in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 59 (Summer 2001), p. 65, ill. (color).

Robert Kehlmann. The Inner Light: Sculpture by Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. Exh. cat., Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art. Tacoma, Wash., 2002, pp. 4, 28, 40–41, 56, 71, 83–85, 92–94, no. 10, colorpl. 22, dates it 1996 in the text and 1997 in the checklist; includes interviews with the artists and Jiří Śetlík regarding the "Vestment" series.

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