photogallery 2011


enamel exhibition 2011


catalogue 2011



 Dear friends of art,

 This year, Ostrava again played host to the innovative art project Vítkovice Smalt Art, held in the city for the seventh year running. In the last week of April, all series production was temporarily suspended at the enamel shop of Vítkovice Power Engineering, to make way for a creative atmosphere charged with enthusiasm and invention. Artists from all over the Czech Republic came to Vítkovice to try out the unusual, unique and fascinating techniques of working with large-format enamel.

 This year’s Smalt Art continued to push the boundaries of enamel art. The symposium featured top artists whose names are renowned not only throughout Europe, but worldwide. Some of the artists had already gained experience of enamel at previous years’ events, while others were ‘novices’ in the form. Experience was mixed with curiosity, imagination and of course the unpredictability of the physical process to create a genuine, all-pervading creative atmosphere. As in previous years, there were plenty of experiments – cold metal was brought to life with vibrant colours, classic two-dimensional painting was juxtaposed with giant 3-D sculptural pieces or perforated drawings. More than ever before, this year’s symposium forged connections between different artistic worlds and means of expression – wonderful enamelled clothes were tailored, sculptors or glassmakers refreshed their painting skills, and original street art enlivened the facades of two buildings in Vítkovice. Painting, figural sculpture, fashion design, architecture and graphic art all came together – demonstrating more clearly than ever the huge potential offered by these artistic meetings. That gives me great satisfaction – not only the works themselves, but also the opportunities that Vítkovice Smalt Art brings to artists and all art-lovers.

 I am also pleased to see that the artists’ work is attracting more and more interest from the general public every year – proving that the symposium is not something done behind closed doors, hidden away in a factory, but that it actually creates something for people, something they enjoy. After all, one of the main goals of the entire project is to take enamel to the public – putting it on display in public places where people spend time, making it an integral part of the urban fabric. As in previous years, this year’s enamel works were revealed to the public at the annual Vítkovice Machinery Group Open Day on 1 May, when the enamel shop welcomed a record six hundred people for the unveiling ceremony at noon. In several weeks we will be opening a large exhibition of enamel art at the former gas holder – now the multifunctional ‘Gong’ in the Lower Vítkovice district.

 My thanks go out to all the artists who took part – for the huge creativity, bravery and enthusiasm that they once again displayed in the enamel shop. I would also like to thank the organizers, the symposium curator Ivana Štenclová, who did an excellent job for the second year in a row and planned the entire event with great professionalism, and Vladimír Chaloupecký, who has been involved in the Smalt Art project from its inception. All that remains is for me to express my hope that the exceptional artistic creativity, the friendly and supportive atmosphere, and the widespread public interest in the event will continue in years to come. After all, there are only three places in the world where it is possible to produce enamel pieces of this size, so we should make the most of it.

 Ing. Jan Světlík

Chairman of the Board of Directors and General Manager, Vítkovice, a.s.