Pavel Hlava (1924 – 2003) was one of the pioneers of contemporary glass sculpture in the Czech Republic. He, along with other leading Czech glass artists, viewed glass art from an innovative perspective, creating a new genre of contemporary glass art. Hlava is well-known for demonstrating the full potential of glass art using both cold-working and free-blowing techniques. Throughout his career, Hlava exhibited mainly in the United States and Japan.
Unquestionably one of the best known Czech glass makers Pavel Hlava, was a member of generation of so-called glass-making pioneers. They were the first to realize in practical the idea that glass is a universal material, i.e., a cultural phenomenon by means of which an artist can communicate with the thinking and feeling of people of the 20th century. His rich curriculum vitae contents testemonies to his participation in group exhibitions of of Czech glass at home and abroad since 1954.
Pavel Hlava’s representation in world-wide collections of glass and modern art is also amazing even in comparison with the enormous successes of Czech glass artists. His designs for commercial as well as artistic use have been met with great success, judging from the many awards he had received. Personally he had always welcomed the possibility of combining both commercial value and aesthetic value in expression of his work. While other glassmakers regard this as inconsistant, Hlava was able to achieve new conception in design as well as create the certain technological advances in industry. Much of Hlava’s artistic craft style for example, of vases etc. has developed into his cyclic forms in individual sculptures. Such was the case, for example, of his cut vases with a shaped core of cased coloured glass, which originated at Novy Bor in 1957. The exact working of a transparent glass mass in which a cross-section of a sandwich layer of aquarelle shades of coloured glass and the effects of coloured tone in tone stripes inhaced with engraving, is clearly apparent in Pavel Hlava’s Nature — My Garden cycle of the mid-Eighties.
Pavel Hlava was father-in-law to Tomas Hlavicka, who in his own right has achieved status of master glass artist.