Eliška Junková, Enzo Ferrari, Ferruccio Lamborghini - the exhibition with the succinct title Rych-lost, which is on display at Gallery 5 in Nový Bor, is dedicated to legendary personalities and race car brands and many more. The authors of the exhibition, brothers Filip and Lukáš Houdek, have combined their long-standing passion for fast bikes with their love of art and imprinted it with the precision and innovation of the craftsmanship of glass production. The Rych-lost exhibition breaks down the imaginary barriers between the world of sport and art and establishes an inspiring dialogue between them.
Speed is a topic of our time, it touches all of us in many forms, whether we want it or not, and the current exhibition by the Houdek brothers dedicated to the phenomenon of motorsport is only a natural output of this civilizational tendency.
Regardless of whether you are a die-hard fan of powerful machines, professional or amateur racer - everyone can find something that will speak to them at this exhibition dedicated to the phenomenon of motorsport. The Houdek brothers, artists and glass designers with an international reputation, have woven the Czech word for speed (“rychlost”) into the title of the exhibition, a concept that is clear and broad enough to reach the widest possible audience and invites a variety of perspectives and interpretations. The exhibition Rych-lost focuses on the phenomenon of motorsport as such - it celebrates the explosive power and beauty of racing cars, the experience of the road and the magic of travel associated with sudden discoveries and unpredictable encounters, but also farewells. It highlights the charisma of the personalities that are intrinsically linked to motorsport. This adrenaline sport is then revealed in the exhibition in unusual perspectives and contexts.
Through painted paintings with tire imprints, glass reliefs and lamps, and sculptures made of metal and glass, Filip and Lukáš Houdek present the age-old battle between the Lamborghini and Ferrari brands. They pay tribute to our first Czechoslovak female racer Eliška Junkova, for whom Filip Houdek has created an original cathedral based on a typical Bugatti sixteen-cylinder engine, complemented by a structure topped with hand-blown and cut glass pistons. The exhibition will captivate you with the ten-kilo racing helmets - created by Lukáš Houdek from blown and cut glass, which are completely unique in their luminous properties. Filip Houdek’s white and red glass objects are stunning, bearing the Kerouac-esque title On the Road, created from tyre prints using the technique of fused glass. Filip Houdek repeatedly works with the imprint as a unique signature of each racing machine and incorporates it even into his paintings.
The exhibition space is dominated by white, blue, red and golden tones. These are the colours that identify the individual racing brands, with gold evoking the almost sacred dimension of sporting legends. The exhibition impresses the visitor with its thoughtful scenic grasp of space, laid out and lit to resemble the front and rear of a car.
How did the Houdek brothers get into making art about sports? Sport is not an unexplored territory for Filip and Lukáš Houdek. Both of them are sports-minded, so it is not surprising that sports themes also appear in their work. Anyone familiar with the artistic output of these glass artists and designers from the north of Bohemia, known as Glassbrothers, knows about their relationship with cycling - and may also remember their joint exhibition entitled po-SEDLOST-st, which took place in 2018 in Kvalitář in Prague and was met with a massively positive audience response. This exhibition not only celebrated iconic figures of cycling (including controversial ones), but it also synergistically connected the world of sport with the world of art.
The transition from bicycles to motorsports was quite natural for both brothers. Filip Houdek explains that he and Lukáš shared a passion for fast cars since childhood and used to go to watch the famous Rallye Bohemia races at the circuits in Sosnová u České Lípy and Bělá pod Bezdězem. According to Filip, both the bicycle and the car must be technically perfect and functional to fulfil their purpose. What fascinates Filip about sports cars is the blend of technical perfection, functional design and honest craftsmanship. This point represents an important guideline for their current work, though certainly not the only one. Another impulse, essential for understanding their creative position, is the passion that drives the people who are around motorsports. After all, the Houdek brothers' previous artistic project dedicated to motorsport bore this very title.
Both brothers are extremely interested in the overlap between sport and art and vice versa. Filip Houdek adds:
We’ve been interested in sports themes in art for about fifteen years. I found motorsports to be a topic that is not fully explored because it is of interest only to a small circle of people, but the good thing is that with art you take the topic further and open motorsports to people who would not normally come to a car show, and vice versa - we bring people to art who don't normally come to art.
It is beyond doubt that we can lose ourselves in speed. The exhibition's title offers such a reading: rych-lost. Filip Houdek reveals that the pun in the title refers to something else, namely to situations where one loses oneself in wealth. Collecting sports cars is an expensive hobby.
You can visit the exhibition Rych-lost in Nový Bor in Gallery 5, located on the 5th floor of the Houdek Brothers Design Studio, from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, at other times on request, until December 31st.