LACO PAGÁČ, Glass: cuts and designs

Dear friends, we cordially invite you to the opening of the exhibition "Laco Pagáč, Glass: cuts and designs" curated by Adriena Pekárová and Patrik Illo on Monday, March 20, 2023 at 6 p.m. in NOVA Gallery

  • Venue:

  • Opening: Monday, March, 2023 at 6 p. m.

    • exhibition duration: March 20 - May 12, 2023



LACO PAGÁČ, Glass: cuts and designs - poster


Ladislav Pagáč (1948)

teacher, glass designer, action artist. He devoted himself fully to all these activities in different periods of his life. He is a student of Rudolf Fila at the ŠÚV in Bratislava and Václav Cigler at the AFAD, he graduated from his department of Glass in Architecture in 1977. During his studies, he already devoted himself to conceptual art, body-art, land-art, after finishing school in the group Artprospekt P.O.P. (Ladislav Pagáč, Viktor Oravec, Milan Pagáč) in the period 1979 – 1985. Then he came to the United glassworks in Lednické Rovnie (today Rona, a. s.), where he worked as an internal designer until 1992, as an external designer until 1994. He created a number of designs for dining and drink sets, designed "large dining" collections with a high number of individual components. Its design uses emphatic geometric forms emphasizing glass as a material with attributes of perfectionism and nobility. His drinking glass is in the collections of the Slovak National Gallery and the Slovak Museum of Design in Bratislava.

Since 1991, he has worked at the glassmaking school in Lednické Rovnie as an external teacher in the field of art and craft glass processing. He was one of the decisive initiators of efforts to change the school into an art school, focused on creative processing, which was completed in 1995. He headed the Glass Painting and Etching department and also taught the main art and practical subjects. He was the head of the metallurgical department until 2012.



Text by Adriena Pekárová about the exhibition

The exhibition of cuts and designs of utility glass by Ladislav Pagáč presents a specific type of drawing, it is not an intimate record of the artist's thoughts, inspirations or situational comments. However, it fully expresses the idea – to think with a drawing – which the Nova gallery has been implementing for the second year in a series of exhibitions. Laco Pagáč is a designer and the exhibited material documents the designer's thinking, in which creativity is only partially involved in the result.

When designing, a glass designer must rely on knowledge of technique and technology, functionality parameters, and Pagáč likes to emphasize that he sees the work of a glass designer as a good craft rather than art. I think that good craftsmanship can be the basis of design, but what gives the resulting artefact its form, expression and personality results from the designer's imagination, imagination, intuition, but also knowledge of how modern glassmaking and art developed.

Already during his studies in the studio of Václav Cigler at AFAD, he created some basic design themes, which he then developed in his practice at the glass factory in Lednické Rovnie, but he also came up with completely new forms. From his study years, he brought the basic starting point of geometric shapes – circle and cylinder, simple shapes. By dividing and overlapping them, he created new compositions, or achieved dimensional variants using a set numerical procedure. In the second half of the 1980s and even in the early 1990s, the production of the glass factory consisted of hand-made production, and it was customary for one drinking set to have more than four size variants of glasses. His glasses and vessels were mostly made for foreign customers, whom he catered to. Laco Pagáč was able to design, according to the requirements, different sized and functional pieces within one set without disturbing the given stylistic morphology, e.g. up to twenty-two pieces in one set. Bowls, bowls, candlesticks, decanters and jars complemented the basic range of glasses of various sizes for different types of drinks. It also suited his need to try the maximum of possibilities, to go to the limit of the bearing capacity of the shape and mass. He was also helped to create a functional and practical range of vessels by applying a certain social aspect, understanding the course of daily dining rituals in different environments - indoors or outdoors - and in different cultures. He mentions that his glass, e.g. series with color accents, was popular in the Italian market, i.e. in an environment rich in the historical heritage of material culture. In several sets, he worked on the theme of rings in conjunction with a conically shaped chalice and a strong stem. He was inspired by the motif of the fingers of a hand holding a cup - a motif surprisingly simple, but strong in expression and shape variability.

The authentic trace of Lac Pagáč's hand is in the cuts - he himself created them, described and finalized the shape, and although they may look a bit like children's cutouts to the layman, they must be accurate, they serve as an essential tool for creating a mold for the glassblower at the furnace. It is a traditional procedure, for the entire last century until almost recently, glass cuts were made as an important phase in the production of drinking glass. Today, they make us a little more aware of the subtlety or robustness of glasses that we cannot hold in our hands live. The technical drawing - in addition to data about place and time, gives an idea of the breadth of the collections, but also of the period when they were gradually supplemented with new functional forms. All exhibited designs by Lac Pagáč were realized in the United glassworks in Lednické Rovnie, today Rona, a. s., in the second half of the 80s and the beginning of the 90s of the last century.

Cuts and technical drawings enliven the work of a designer in a glass factory, where the designer is the unique creator of the design, but is also part of the implementation process, in which several professions participate. Although the cutting itself is today a document of an "archaic" production process, it is still a valuable carrier of data, according to which the glass can be produced again.


Adriena Pekárová, 2023



Supported by public funds through Slovak arts council

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