Property from a Private European Collection
Czech, 1937 - 2009
Blob (Architectural Model for the National Library, Prague; unique piece)
with the artist's foundation label
mixed media in perspex box
plexiglas box: 36 by 67 by 56.5cm., 14 by 26 by 22in.
Model with Figures & Trees in a Perspex Box. One of the trees and one of the figures have fallen down - this is possibly not inherent to the piece. There are some fine scratches and scuffs to Perspex box. Otherwise, this work is in good original condition.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Conceived in 2006, this is a unique piece.
Jan Kaplický was a pioneering Czech architect who emigrated to London following the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968. He created some of Britain’s most remarkable modern buildings – including the media center at Lord’s cricket grounds (1994) and the Selfridges department store at the Bullring, Birmingham (1999). A futuristic dreamer, architect of dazzling and inspirational visions, and a brilliant artist and designer, Kaplický was always ahead of his time. Indeed, many of his project were so utopian, technically advanced and challenging that only few were actually constructed. Nevertheless, Kaplický was a visionary architect who managed to move the development of architecture forward just by the strength of his ideas.
Kaplický started his career in Denys Lasdun’s studio, then worked for Renzo Piano and Richard Roger’ studio, participated in the creation of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and cooperated with Norman Foster, before establishing his own practice in 1979 with David Nixon, Future Systems studio. Future Systems was initially conceived as a ‘think tank’ and part of the British hi-tech movement, a style of architecture that celebrated technology and innovation. Kaplický and Nixon set out to explore architectural ideas far beyond the construction abilities of the time. In 1989 they were joined by Amanda Levete, whose practical approach enabled them to start realizing their ambitious projects. Although only a handful of buildings were realized during their time together, each one stands as an iconic landmark, boldly standing out in their context.
Kaplický died in 2009. At the time, he was working on a controversial design for the new Czech National Library in Prague, Blob, for which the current work is the model. Kaplický’s building designs were often characterized by their organic shapes, which led to the moniker ‘Blobitecture’. Officially named The Eye Above Prague, the eight-story building was designed to house ten million volumes. Although it won the city contest in 2007, its futuristic appearance was met with criticism from both the public and politicians, and the building has yet to be constructed.