Martin Hlubuček’s (born 1974) twenty-year journey through the Czech artistic scene has largely been a story focused on glass. The artist’s cast glass sculptures are designed for interior display, not merely as decorative objects, but also as individual pieces worthy of commanding attention and impacting the overall aesthetic wherever they are situated. Demonstrating considerable empathy and respect towards his material of choice, Hlubuček creates art objects that serve as universal tangible symbols, united by the common feature of artistic expression that serves as a reflection on the nature of existence of a fixed and enduring object. Another characteristic of his works is strong respect for the specific features of glass as a material – which he then skilfully and resourcefully exploits. That means that Hlubuček never seeks to subjugate or devalue glass in his art. A minimalist artistic point-of-view, a geometric medium, a distinctive artistic imprint, and an effort to create a harmonic and balanced sense of form – all this is underpinned by a remarkable sensitivity to the artistic potential of glass. Via a reduction of forms, Hlubuček reaches out towards the elemental nature of a given work, which then serves as a carrier of the traditional values imparted by civilisation; moreover, the artist’s interventions create a space for continual work via new interpretations and fresh infusions of creative inspiration.

Frontinus, 2020 — 7 × 90 × 14,5 cm — fused glass in form — foto: Jaroslav Kvíz

Martin Hlubuček’s current collection of works for Galerie Kuzebauch, however, steps outside of his established glass comfort zone. Instead, paper is the material of choice – shallow embossments that emerge through carvings into bookbinding cardboard. Via such works, the artist remains faithful to his minimalist expressive outlook, sense for the absolute, philosophical overlap and also the continuity of creative purity. Moreover, Hlubuček’s austere works shed the need for colour, along with the certain exclusivity of glass, and instead focus on a dynamism of form, reflecting shapes that have endured through the centuries. Another novelty from the artist is a kind of subtlety and fragility in his works, resonating specifically through the choice of material. Light and dark define form, while at the same time transcending it – the ensuing shadow relief enables a kind of variation and changeability of the presented form. In addition a confrontation occurs between permanence and changeability, stability and fragility, creating considerable creative tension. The works also evidence interplay between the symbols of existence, endurance, immovability as well as motion, rationality and emotion, order and vitality. And behind such refined and precise forms is concealed the truth of the matter, and a deeper reflection on the nature of being.

Hieron, 2020 — 6 × 44 × 18,5 cm — fused glass in form — foto: Jaroslav Kvíz

Martin Hlubuček is a graduate of the Železný Brod Secondary School of Glassmaking, and also of the Institute of Cultural Arts at the Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Ústí nad Labem (Professor Ilja Bílek’s Glass Art Studio), and of the Brno Faculty of Fine Arts (The Michal Gabriel Studio of Figurative Sculpting).  The artist’s works continue to demonstrate a strong evolution via the use of new materials, evidently influenced by his five-year stint teaching at the Hellichova Secondary Technical School of Graphical Arts. Sparse, austere, rhythmically precise, but nonetheless aesthetically impressive forms remain a dominant feature of Hlubuček’s works, with a considerable dose of poetic meaning added for good measure.

Lenka Patková

Vanitas, 2021 — 4 cm, Ø 55 cm — fused glass in form — foto: Jaroslav Kvíz