“Earth”, 1988
Marian Volráb (*1961)
mold-blown glass, layered, sandblasted, cut and engraved
Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, no. DE 11295
donated by the author in 2008
Diploma work (part), Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, Prague (Stanislav Libenský’s and Jaroslav Svoboda’s Studio of Glass)

Owing to their raw, rough and ‘unglassy’ quality, the glass objects and high-relief panels produced by Marian Volráb do not easily earn public admiration. The artist does not rely on the medium’s optical effects that are commonly considered a positive attribute of glass. Instead, he builds the power of his artistic expression on the strength of his inner feeling. The stylized human figure – an important and irreplaceable feature of Volráb’s work – is hardly tangible in the final outcome that takes on the form of glass panels, cylindrical shapes and container-like objects. A tension lies beneath the seeming tranquillity of his dark-toned painterly forms, evoking a sense of discomfort or even irritation. A number of his mold-melted pieces are left in their unfinished state, while other ones are only roughly cut and engraved, or painted with expressive abstract designs. In Volráb’s creations, transparency of glass hardly plays a role. It is therefore all the more surprising whenever light induces fleeting reflections or affords glimpses of colour detail in the dark glass mass. These instances softly animate his glass sculptures, yet the delicate lustre disappears in a flash, leaving in the viewer a profound and lasting impression.
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