Ilja Bílek – Glass as Rhythm
Born 1948 in the Czech Republic // 1965-1969 Earned undergraduate degree in off-hand shaped hot glass at the Secondary School of Glassmaking in Železný Brod // 1969-1975 Graduate studies at Glass Studio with Prof. Stanislav Libenský, Academy of Applied Arts (VŠUP), Prague // 1996 – 2017 Head of Glass Studio, Department (Faculty) of Art and Design, J. E. Purkyně University (UJEP) in Ústí nad Labem // 2004 Received Associate Professor status at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague (all Czech Republic)
Public Collections (selection)
Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague // North Bohemian Museum in Liberec // East Bohemian Museum in Pardubice // Museum of Glass and Jewellery, Jablonec nad Nisou (Czech Republic) // National Museum in Pozna (Poland) // Ulster Museum, Belfast (Irland) // Museum of Art and Craft, Hamburg // Achilles – Stiftung, Hamburg // Ernsting Stiftung, Coesfeld (Germany) // Corning Museum of Glass, Corning (USA) // Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Great Britain) // Glasmusset Ebeltoft, Ebeltoft (Denmark)
In his plastic art, Ilja Bílek deals with assembling three-dimensional segments of melted or sheet glass. He creates wholes in his compositions that are often based on architectural or natural principles in their shape economy and rationality in design principles. The color or individual parts, the shape, and the rationality of their arrangements into a designed whole are the keys to deciphering their artistic intention.
His technically complicated objects that consist of perfectly cut and glued parts take entirely advantage of the capacities of the material glass: its transparency and its light reflections. Ilja Bílek likes contrasts; thus he combines opaque glass with transparent glass or flat forms with three-dimensional forms, eventually forming well-balanced glass plastics. Between 1995 – 2017 he has been working as the professor of the glass studio at J. E. Purkyne University in Usti nad Labem (CZ).