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Author Topic: Vizner - Joker or Visionary ?  (Read 2210 times)

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Offline paradisetrader

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Vizner - Joker or Visionary ?
« on: November 30, 2004, 11:05:11 PM »
............continuing from "Large Blue Bowl/Vase - please help with identity!" and picking up from other threads.
 Quoting Le Casson
Quote
Warmus does give the impression of a romantic artist/hero character, a loner, working on his own, and in some respects the hero-worship is almost over-done.

Ok I used the word "hero" in regard to my admiration for Vizner - a bit overboard but I'm not sure of what other word to use to describe my fascination, which is multi faceted: intellectual and technical as well as  artistic.

My interest started about two years ago when I found some pics of modern Czech art glass on a website and said to myself - yes this is for me. Then I found the "eye wash" bowl in Factory Glass. Then you Marcus called my attention to an Ebay sale which helped me ID this piece which I bought knowing that it was Czech modern and hoping it was Vizner: also confimed from Factory Glass.


Vizner for Beranek 1970
(click for larger pic)
A piece of technical and artistic ?  complexity within an ultra simple form

A few days ago I was looking at the Sofa site and there was a quote from Vizner (which now seems to have disappeared - Damn ! ) to the effect that he lamented the Art Glass market's fascination for decoration and the expense of utility - a odd comment to most of us glassies who collect to display only. We have come to accept (too readily ?) that our vases are not for flowers and our bowls are for looking at.  He also said something to the effct that  the "vessel" in it's purest form will always be his focus.

This piece http://www.sofaexpo.com/chicago/2004/img/gal/fullsize/b_friedman_vizner.jpg  shown at SOFA would seem to be in line with his views. Its devoid of decoration apart from the color of the glass. The form is pleasing yet simple and it has slots for 2 solifleurs instead of the usual one. Not a huige leap forward in utility but it is a vessel which can be used and is of pure form.

But still thinking about his comments look at his much shown Green Bowl with Peak, 2003 here http://www.sofaexpo.com/chicago/2004/wrap.htm#cont and you have to wonder if he is have a laugh at us. How utilitarian is that ?

Again it's simple and "pure" - ish but whats the spike for ? I cant think of any purpose it would serve ! 

Artistically I like it - it affects me - it plays with form in a cheeky yet strangely surreal way. It may also be humorous (to the Czech sense of humour ?) But why try to pretend its utility is enhanced when it clearly isn't ?
OK the divided bowl in the same series shown on the Vizner page (click artists) at http://www.barryfriedmanltd.com/ (which Adam drew our attention to) may have some added usefulness...possibly.

I happily concur with the artistic commentary at the top of that page but I can't help but feel that Vizner is playing with us. Is he a joker or a visionary or both ?
Pete

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Sklounion

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Vizner - Joker or Visionary ?
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2004, 12:18:46 AM »
Hi Peter,
For me Vizner is an enigma. Clearly an important player in czech art, he is anti decoration, pro simplicity, arguably the only person working in glass, who truly understands the concept of modern. Milan Kundera once wrote that to be truly modern one had to be the assistant to ones own grave-digger.

In a way then, for Vizner, the more ascetic and minimalistic/modern his work becomes the faster he collaborates with the sextons of time to become forgotten, for now do we not talk of the post-modern?, and what is that? Modernism is but a passing phase to most art historians. (1930-1970???)The confusion of terms has allowed this to happen. What does contemporary mean, modern mean? post-modern is a non-sequitur.

Much time, and publishers money has rightly been spent on Czechoslovakian Studio Glass, and the lionisation of the partnership of Libensky and Brychtova, has created heros for a country with few others  to cheer the soul for many years. Yet one wonders, is this eventually going to obscure the the work of so many significant others?

It is sometimes difficult to believe that some leading lights of the Czechoslovak glass world have been working consistently since the second world war. Pavel Hlava, much admired for his art glass, and fine optically cut glass, is virtually unrecognised for the ranges of domestic glass-ware that graces our tables. A career of 50 years, ended in 2002.
It was only after his death, that I discovered that the whiskey glass I use nightly, was one of his, from the "Ideal" range.

Designers like Vizner, Hlava, Oliva and all, may not make you wealthy, but they do make life a little easier to live........

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Offline Ivo

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Vizner - Joker or Visionary ?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2004, 07:43:55 AM »
They might make you wealthy yet if I can believe the price ranges given in "Modernes Glas"from Sabine Lutzeier (Battenberg, 1993).
      Libensky pieces UKP 4000 - 7000,
    Jiri Harcuba UKP 5000,
   Pavel Hlava UKP 3000-5000,
  Vladimir Jelinek 1800-4000,
       Pavel Hlava 1300,
     Vladimir Kopecky 3000-5000,
    Rene Roubicek 2000-3500,
  Miluse Roubickova ca. 2000,
       Karel W√ľnsch 2000-2800,
     Frantisek Vizner 700-5300,
    Ivo Rozsypal 1200-5000
  Ladislav Oliva 350-2200.

All prices converted 'on the fly' from D-mark (remember those?) into UKPs.

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Sklounion

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Vizner - Joker or Visionary ?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2004, 05:05:15 PM »
Hi Ivo, was this for unique pieces, (in the Czech legal sense, one off, or from an edition of 10 or less , signed) or for much larger editions? Signed Czech pieces are extremely uncommon, due to the definition of original and unique pieces, and now tend always to be accompanied by C.O.A's, which are essential in Vizner's case as he does not sign his work. Recent editions of Vizner's work have been for 20 pieces or less.

Marcus

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Offline Ivo

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Vizner - Joker or Visionary ?
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2004, 06:59:57 PM »
Lutzeier presents 12 Vizner pieces between 1964 and 1980 in the book mentioned - six of those are signed, six of those are unsigned; some made at Borske Sklo, some at Skrdlovice. The czech section has 12 pages - as far as I can see most of the works are unikat or small series - in some cases she mentions "only 10 pieces were made"or "prototype", but sometimes also "serial production".

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Sklounion

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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2004, 07:13:28 PM »
Thanks Ivo.
I believe unikat is the original/unique/edition smaller than 10, classification.
For many people the likeliest way of acquiring his work is the unsigned serial stuff, or, and I haven't made enquiries myself, but Vizner has recently designed a limited edition (20) for Moser. How many are left, how much, and whether he is working on other pieces for Moser, is unclear, but I'd not be surprised if certain dealers are buying the complete edition.

Is the book, Modernes Glas, seriously useful?

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Offline Ivo

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Vizner - Joker or Visionary ?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2004, 09:12:43 PM »
I have had it for 10 years and still refer to it on a regular basis, so I guess the answer is yes.  Half the 200 pages are text based so German is essential.

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Offline paradisetrader

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Vizner - Joker or Visionary ?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2004, 06:59:56 PM »
Le Casson
In my initial post I was on the verge of suggesting that Green Bowl with Peak was some kind of tongue-in cheek publicity stunt. I didn't want to think that, and tried to see it as humour but from your descriptions now, I think neither is the case.  

You write from a level of understanding that I am only just beginning to glean though one thing I can wholeheartedly agree without much ado is this : "post-modern is a non-sequitur".  Hallelujah ! I've always thought this ! It's great to see it in black and white.

Quote
Milan Kundera once wrote that to be truly modern one had to be the assistant to ones own grave-digger.

Kundera is suggesting that modernism's ultimate conclusion is nihilism ? While I can see the truth in that philosophically, let's hope Vizner is a lazy helper !

Quote
or Vizner, the more ascetic and minimalistic/modern his work becomes the faster he collaborates with the sextons of time to become forgotten

To become forgotten in the sense that the work stands alone on its own merits ? Minimal design is still design, surely ?

Eclipsed, he might have been by LibenskyBrychtova publicity juggernaut, I take your word on that. It may be his artistic  quest to "become forgotten" but I do not see that happening.  Indeed I suspect and hope that the opposite will be true.

It would seem that the more he strives to do this the more the opposite will happen. His design philosophy has captured your attention as well as others and seems now, as important as his works: a sign that he has transcended his medium to become simply an "artist"; as sure a way to  immortality if not fame and fortune.  

The minimalist could argue that in Green Bowl with Peak the color, finish and even the peak itself are decorative elements but hush  - far be it from me to push him more quickly to the grave's edge - au contraire ! Indeed I hope he doesn't end up inhabiting spaces already haunted by conceptual artists. So perhaps I should just be content  that he is playing with form as well as light on his way to the graveyard.

I do find it amusing though that in this piece the peak itself has become almost a signature and that the piece is becoming a design icon. My quest is to be able to "see" his signature in all his works.

Ivo
Thank you for a laugh and a pipe dream.
Since my love affair with Art Glass started in earnest my fortunes have taken the opposite direction ! But there are non-related reasons for that.

However I cannot envision wealth following from this passion. In order to realise profits you have to sell, unfortunately Very Happy and I hope I will never become so desperate as to be forced to do so with my few Vizner pieces.

The designer-unattributed pieces on ebay which Le Casson drew my attention to back in September achieved good prices but a long way short of these values. As an area for collecting Modern Czech Art Glass would seem to be in it's infancy - and limited to a relatively few congnescenti - perfect opportunity for those with some knowledge and a modest disposable income. Serious pieces seem rare though even on our beloved find-all Ebay.
Pete

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Sklounion

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Vizner - Joker or Visionary ?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2004, 09:00:21 PM »
"To become forgotten in the sense that the work stands alone on its own merits ? Minimal design is still design, surely ?"

Yes but so minimal that the name becomes unimportant. If Vizner argues against the use of functional objects merely as decorative objects (glassies go get water, flowers in those vases), then he also has a perception of the values that are(will be) applied in retrospect. It is only the cognoscenti, who will find the name important, for others, the sole concern is that it is aesthetically pleasing, and/or functions as the item is supposed to.

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Offline Anne

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Re: Vizner - Joker or Visionary ?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2008, 01:19:01 AM »
I just found this and thought it worth bumping back up given Marcus' recent visit to the Czech Republic.

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