In September 2019, the Glass Art Centre was very proud to welcome to the Côte d’Azur two major figures in the world of glass: Rob Stern (USA), and Ondrej Novotny (Czech Republic), as artists-in-residence from 3rd to 13th September 2019.
The two artists are childhood friends; Rob Stern discovered this magical material in the Czech Republic with Ondrej Novotny’s father, Petr Novotny.
We were proud to reunite them by hosting this residency, where they were all able to collaborate together to progress the creation of their own personal works and be ready to stage the new exhibition that was put together: “REFRACT²”.
For the last 20 years, Rob Stern has been designing and creating specially commissioned glass furniture and very large sculptures both in the public arena and for private residences all over the world. His works fit perfectly in areas for socialising, to create connection and meaning.
Ondrej Novotny explores the illusions of complex, often mathematically disconcerting patterns, which contrast with the optical qualities of the glass.
Rob Stern was born in Miami. He attended the University of San Francisco, where he studied art and discovered the medium of glass. He worked as an apprentice at the John Lewis Glass foundry in Oakland for five years before travelling around Europe for six months, visiting glass factories before returning to the USA to study at the Pilchuck Glass School.
In 1992, after working as an assistant to the Czech master glassmaker, Petr Novotny, Rob Stern was invited to work at the Ajeto glassworks in the Czech Republic. That was the start of a long working relationship between them.
Ondrej Novotny is the youngest son of Petr Novotny, the internationally renowned Czech glassmaker who was one of the pioneers of the Glass Studio Movement in the 1980s. Ondrej began working with glass at the age of 14 and decided to take it up professionally, so trained at the Novy Bor Glass Art School. After completing his studies in 2004, he travelled throughout the USA and Europe to gain experience and perfect his technique.
In 2010, Ondrej Novotny became Martin Janecky’s assistant and found an alternative way of looking at glass. Recently he has worked for artists and designers in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.