Contemporary Fine Art Glass
Slovak glass designer and glass artist. 1965 – 1972 Studied electrical engineering. Worked for the Optika co. in Bratislava. Concerned with studio glass.
Membership in professional organisations: Association of Slovak Visual Artists, Slovak Union of Visual Arts. 1989 Became a freelance artist. Prolific glassmaker. His works are included in international art collections like Corning Museum Of Glass USA; Museum Jan Van Der Togt Amstelveen Holland; Ernsting Stiftung Coesfeld Germany. Exhibited in USA, Canada, Japan and Europe, mainly in the Rob van den Doel Gallery in The Hague, Netherlands. Private Collections Sir Elton John. A major publication by Judith Miller: 20th Century Glass (London 2004, Bratislava 2005) gives a comprehensive overview of developments and technologies in the glass industry worldwide. The chapter on contemporary studio glass has profiles of 81 glass artists, including Andrej Jakab.
This is acknowledgement of his achievements in art glass, in the challenging discipline of studio glass. He makes glass sculptures and objects, solo opuses, compositions and coupled glass pieces. These excellent works have been created in the artist’s studio, workshop and kiln with the necessary technological equipment since 1993/1994. The essence of their “spiritual” origin, quality and value derives from the personality of Andrej Jakab: talent and determination; tenacity and professionalism; creativity and artistic ambition; a wide range of inspiration, fantasy and imagination; contemplation and feeling for glass shapes and forms; brilliantly mastered execution … The resulting works display the artist’s confidence in rendering, the power and refinement of the sculptural / architectural stylisation, the harmony and contrast of the surface and interior; the magic and suggestive transparency; the magic of colours and light in the “body and soul” of glass. He has achieved it with the understanding and support of his family, wife and two sons cooperating with him. This demonstrates their artistic and human solidarity and creative synthesis.
Andrej Jakab gives his works the titles indicating possible sources of inspiration and meaning. The natural environment is represented for instance by lava, corals, a tree, a delicate dragonfly and a flying bird. The human world is presented in the symbolic form: Icarus, Arcimboldo, Salvador (Dalí), a monk and a clown, Nemo and Man. There is also object inspiration such as a fan, a necklace, a tooth, a sailing boat, Nautilus, Nemo, a Mongolfiera (hot air balloon) and a net. Geometrical shapes include a 3D cube, a cuboid, a pyramid, a stela, delta and wall. Andrej Jakab materialises and reflects in the shapes, stylisation and composition psychological states, feelings and processes; metamorphoses and concurrency; a dialogue between couples and also universe; dimensions and space. Perhaps his works also display the crystalline origin and glass infinity…
Despite the adversity of the period before the revolution, he managed to achieve artistic recognition by virtue of his tenacity, craftsmanship and precision.
Andrej Jakab has cooperated with many renowned glassmakers. He refines his objects until he is convinced of their perfection and never regrets time and effort. Glass is an amazing material because it reflects everything on and under the surface. It is not possible to cheat, with glass. It has the fourth dimension, and this may be the reason of his fascination for this material. Work with glass is a “confidential talk” for him. “It requires endless patience and humility.” Naturally, technological knowledge and long-time experience is necessary and so is a special feeling for design and artistic rendering.
This glass is a real and “magical” aesthetic. It acts as visual signals and beacons, radiating light and colours. Such an opus is like a glass “monstrance”. It produces the light of artistic faith. It extols the glass catharsis. It is an illusion of a glass castle. It is a form of “nobility” amongst the artefacts of Modernism and Postmodernism.
Glass made by Andrej Jakab is highly distinctive among the artists from the older, middle and younger generations as well as among some of the world’s glass artists. It places emphasis on abstraction and geometric principles. It fascinates by the way of presenting and defining geometrical shapes and volumes both internally and externally. It displays sharp and rounded edges, faceting, surface areas and planes, and is clear and coloured. Visually transparent as well as softly coloured in its interior: ruby, emerald, sapphire, agate … In the silence of the glass we can see and hear its reflections, mirroring and the crystal tones of its music. The glass artist Andrej Jakab is its composer and conductor.
PhDr. Bohumír Bachratý CSc.