Alena Matejka

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Alena Matejka (Alena Matějková) (born January 26, 1966 in Jindřichův Hradec) is a Czech sculptor and glass designer. She also works with other materials, often in combination.


Matejka is educated in the Czech glass tradition, and studied at the Secondary School of Glassmaking in Kamenický Šenov from 1981 until 1985. She was a student of Professor Vladimir Kopecky at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (AAAD) between 1989 and 1997. In 1995 she studied for two months at the Glasgow School of Art, in the Ceramic Department. From 2000–2005 she studied for a Ph.D., again at the AAAD.[1]


Matejka creates both small and large sculptures from stone, marble, glass and even ice. She creates small sculptures which float on water, but also builds huge installations such as the one in the underground Baroque casemates (structure of vaults and corridors) at Vyšehrad.

Gorlice is a major installation in the underground hall in the old castle of Vyšehrad, where she added a new dimension to the room with her work. It consisted of a central colonnade of stone, with multiple stops, each with a different sculpture symbolising the choices one faces in life.

During a stay in Scotland in 1995, she developed an interest in studying ancient tombs and their ornamentation. She also visited old settlements. Later, she made a series of kettles from glass. This has fragments from her journey in Scotland, inspired by the landscape, the people, and the old Scottish culture. The kettles were given chassis, wheels and fictional royal names.

I sink, therefore I am in 2007, is a bath tub made out of a single block of red granite from Sweden. The title is a paraphrase of the philosopher René Descartes' famous statement, I think, therefore I am. On the outside of the tub is a longer quote by Descartes. It took two years to create the work, which can be interpreted in several ways. The stone is risen from the depths of the earth (igneous rock), it's also a bath tub where one sinks into water.[2]

For her sculptures in stone and glass, she received first prize in international competitions in both Murano, Italy (1996) and Ebeltoft, Denmark (1997).[3]


She has been involved in several projects within the three-dimensional expression, often in collaboration with her husband Lars Widenfalk. He is a sculptor and works mainly with stone; usually marble and granite, but also with other materials such as glass.

Artlantis is one of these projects. It takes as its theme the myth of Atlantis, the legendary city that disappeared beneath the ocean. It consisted of eight water containers of glass. In four of these containers Alena Matejka placed four various houses of granite, of all different sizes and architectural styles. Over the houses, hanging in the water are small sculptures shaped like flowers, boats, doll heads and three hundred glass beads. These are all made of a special glass that reflects light in a distinctive way. Matejka's contribution was more the dreamy, fantasies and thoughts. Lars Widenfalk chose a more concrete or archaeological approach, with its granite sculptures of humans with live fish in the water containers.[4]

Bed of Roses is made of ice and roses under the stay in Luleå Winter Biennial. A large «bed» (ice block) in transparent ice is placed inside a housing. Frozen inside the «bed» is a lot of red roses. The ice is the symbol of eternity, while roses symbolize life and love.[5]

Another project was Magic Carpet, which consists of large flying carpets made of glass. The two heaviest glass carpets weigh 300 kg each.[1][6][7]


  • Matějková, Alena, Hájek, Jiří, Hájek, Milan: Preparation of Glass for Sculpture Casting using Microwave Energy, 14th Conference on Electric and Other Highly Efficient Methods of Glass Melting, České Budějovice, September 2007


  • Boström, Patrik: Konst i en sardinburk, NSD, 1.3.2002, Luleå, Sweden, 29
  • Brennecke, Ernst: Kunst mit doppeltem Boden, Harburger, Germany, 6.10.2007
  • Brockman, Adolf: Geklonte Mariechen in Hittfeld, Harburger Kundschau, 13./14.10.2007, 2
  • Dorigato Attilia, Klein Dan.: International New Glass / Venezia Aperto Vetro (ISBN 88-7743-172-5), Venezia, 1996
  • Dwinger, Jonna: Varieret ung glaskunst, Dansk kunsthåndværker blandt prismodtagerne ved Young Glass 97, Politikken 8.6.1997, Danmark
  • Ferrera, Christian: Uttryck i massiv granit, Falu Kuriren, 7. 7. 2004, 8
  • Hellerová, Tereza: Tady velím já, Vlasta 37/2007, Praha, 33-36
  • Hlaveš, Milan: Cesta k věčnosti, Keramika a sklo, 10/2004, 27
  • Hlaveš, Milan: Kopeckého škola na Sovinci, Keramika a sklo, 3/2003, 26, 27
  • Chaloupková, Hana: Ledové lože, Dolce Vita 5-6/2002, Praha, 44-45
  • Jirousová, Věra.: V jeskyni spojité paměti, Lidové noviny 11.7.1996, Kultura, str.13
  • Joung Glass ( ISBN 87-89975-18-9), An International Competition, Ebeltoft, 1997
  • Kešnerová Věra: Oheň pod orlími křídly, Střecha, 9/2001, Praha, 6–14
  • Kjellberg, Sylvia: Falun ska köpa in skulpturer, Dala-Demokraten, 14.9.2005, 6
  • Klotz, Uta M.: Venice, Neues Glas/New Glass, (USPS No. 011-475), 4/1996, 20-29
  • Kohoutová, Marie: Kámen je starý muž,, 27/2004
  • Králíček Jan: Horká dírka, Dolce Vita, 10/2004, Praha, str. 26
  • Králíček, Jan: Vítejte na palubě, Dolce Vita, 3/2003, Praha, str. 32 a 133
  • Langhamer, Antonín: Ohlédnutí za první tvůrčí dekádou Aleny Matějkové, 24/2008
  • Langhamer, Antonín: Plody tvoření a snění Aleny Matějkové, Keramika a sklo 6/2007, titulní strana a str.10-12
  • Mayumi, Shinohara: Praha Report, Glasswork, 16/1993, Kyoto, Japan, str.32-33
  • Pečinková, Pavla: Made in UMPRUM No. 1 in Italia, Atelier 26/1996. Praha, str.12
  • Pečinková, Pavla: Sklo na VŠUP, Umění a Řemesla, 4/1997, 27-33
  • Petrová, Sylva: Czech Glass, Gallery, Prague, 2001 (ISBN 80-86010-45-7), str. 182, 195, 196, 228, 248, 278
  • Petrová, Sylva: České sklo, Gallery, Praha, 2001 (ISBN 80-86010-44-9), str. 182, 195, 196, 207, 228, 247, 278
  • Petrová, Sylva: Lhotský Pelechov, (ISBN 80-239-4579-3)
  • Petrová, Sylva: Neues Glas / New Glass, 1/08, front page, 26-33
  • Petrová, Sylva, Novotný, Kamil: Zajatci světla a prostoru, Dolce Vita, 2/2005, 46-49
  • Polanecký, Jaroslav: 8. festival uměleckého skla, Keramika a sklo,4/2008, 46-47
  • Record as Artist Produces World´s Largest Kiln-formed Glass Piece, The Northern Echo 7.2.2004, Sunderland, UK, 9
  • Revert to and Restart the Vessel, Neues Glas/New Glass, 1/2000, 36 - 43
  • Robinson, Alistair: Carpets fitting for glass centre show, ECHO, 14.7.2003, Sunderland, UK, 31
  • Rous, Jan.: Alena Matějková – Cesta, Praha, Vyšehrad, Podzemní sál Gorlice, 11.6. – 13. 7., Ateliér 19/1997, Praha, str. 4
  • Rothstein, Sylvesten, Helene: Tre olika konstnärer på Galleri Blå, Ystads Allehanda, Sweden, 5.8.2006
  • Rous, Jan.: Klauzury VŠUP jako pokus o prostor, Ateliér, 13/1993, Praha, str. 16
  • Strouhalová, Štěpánka: Čistá práce, The Prague Tribune, 11/2004, 58-59
  • Swinburne, Elizabeth: 20 år frem/20 years on, Glasmuseets Ebeltoft, Denmark, 2007 (ISBN 87-91179-12-2), 3, 56, 57, 80, 86
  • Šedinová, Petra: Mít tak svobodu umělce, Nový Prostor, 36/2000, str.20
  • Söderberg, Marianne: Fruset och förgängligt, Norrbottens-kuriren, 2.3.2002, 20
  • Tobiáš, Jan: Storming Talent Alena Matejkova, This Side Up, 4/1998, Netherlands, 16-17
  • Tichý, Jiří: Letní výstavy VŠUP, Ateliér, 17/1992, Praha, str.5
  • Tichý, Jiří: Studenti v domě vzdělanosti, Ateliér, 12/1994, Praha, str.1
  • Törner, Marianne: Myt och magi vid Falu gruva, Falu Kuriren, Sweden 22.7.2004, 13
  • Törner, Marianne: Stenen berättar, Onsdag, 6.7.2006, 14
  • Vahlberg, Kristina: Final för stenhuggarna, Dala-Demokraten, 6.7.2005, 7
  • Vahlberg, Kristina: Lejonkvinnan och de magiska glasmattorna, Dala-Demokraten, Sweden, 9. 7. 2004
  • Vomáčková, Klára: Ustláno na růžích, Elle, 3/2002, Praha, 35-36
  • Volf, Petr: Deset tun umění, Reflex, 39/1997, Praha, str. 64–65
  • Whetstone, David: In a glass of its own, The Journal, North-East & Cumbria UK, 7.2.2004, arts, 79

Catalogue and exhibition[edit]

  • Talente´96/ Ein internationaler Wettberwerb für Nachwuchskräfte im Handwerk, Catalogue, München, 1996
  • School of Professor Vladimír Kopecký, Suda, Kristian a kolektiv autorů.: Catalog for exhibition Four Glass Schools, Schalkwijk, Netherlands, 1996
  • Czech & British Contemporary Glass Sculpture, The Studio Glass Gallery, London, UK, 1998
  • Serenade of the Seas, The Art Collection, Norway, 1999
  • Big kiln is a sure-fire success, Sunderland Echo, 7.2.2004, 2
  • Global Art Glass Triennial, Borgholm Slottet, Sweden, (ISBN 91-631-7192-9)
  • Vessels, The International Exhibition of Glass, Koganezaki Crystal Park, Japan, 2000
  • Både is och ros för Luleå, Viklund, Conny: Sweden, NSD, 4.3.2002, 18-19
  • Glass Sculpture, Robinson, Michael: Catalog for exhibition Auction of Contemporary Czech and Slovak Glass Sculptures, 1996
  • České sklo od renesance po současnost, Hlaveš, Milan: Catalogue and exhibition, Uměleckoprůmyslové museum, Praha, 2003 (ISBN 80-7101-049-9)
  • Vyšehrad Lughnasadh ´98, Catalogue and exhibition, Praha, 1998
  • Boulevard des Sculptures 2004, Kijkduin, Holand, 2004, Catalogue and exhibition
  • Czech Contemporary Glass, Expo 2005 Aichi Japan, 2004, Catalogue and exhibition
  • Czech Mania – Young Czech Designers, organised by Czech Centre London, 2003, Catalogue and exhibition
  • Mezinárodní sochařské sympozium Písek, Englichová, Věra: Catalogue, Písek, 2002
  • Kopeckého škola 2003, Hlaveš, Milan: Catalogue and exhibition
  • Kopeckého škola, Sogetsu Hall, Catalogue and exhibition, Tokio, Japonsko 1999
  • Bridge for Peace, Markman, Goldman, Michal: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2007, Catalogue and exhibition
  • Mezinárodní sympozium rytého skla, Catalogue and exhibition, Kamenický Šenov 1999
  • Seeberg Lughnasadh 2002, Catalogue and exhibition, 2002
  • Skulptur 2003, Aker Brygge, Norway, 2003, Catalogue and exhibition
  • Skulptur 2005, Aker Brygge, Norway, 2005, Catalogue and exhibition
  • Verres & Papierss, L´art des verriers et des graveurs tchèques contemporains, Liége, Belgie 1997, Catalogue and exhibition
  • Vetri. Nell mondo. Oggi. Edited by Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Instituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Venezia, Italy, Catalogue and exhibition

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sylva Petrova, Research Professor and Director of Institute for International Research in Glass asks Alena 10 questions.
  2. ^ I sink - Therefore I am - (accessed 15 September 2012)
  3. ^ Dwinger, Jonna: Varieret ung glaskunst, Dansk kunsthåndværker blandt prismodtagerne ved Young Glass 97, Politikken 8.6.1997, Danmark
  4. ^ Artlantis Project - (accessed 15 September 2012)
  5. ^ Project Bed of Roses - (accessed 15 september 2012)
  6. ^ Magic Carpet - ( accessed 15 September 2012)
  7. ^ Record as Artist Produces World´s Largest Kiln-formed Glass Piece, The Northern Echo 7.2.2004, Sunderland, UK, 9

External links[edit]