Palo Macho (born 1965, Strezenice, Slovakia) is, indeed, one of the most original contemporary Slovak glass artists, known mostly for his innovative approach to glass. The uniqueness of his position lies in the fact that he has been working with painting on and in glass for a long time, and has achieved remarkable results and recognition at home as well as abroad. He is both a painter and a glassmaker moving at the border of two disciplines – painting, a free art discipline, and glassmaking.

Macho prefers working with panel glass, shaping and forming it hot, allowing him to create two-sided relief-paintings, object-paintings. The fact that when melting the glass pane, he combines several layers of paint complemented by an uncomplicated line motif on both the underside and the surface, gives his object-paintings relief and depth, creating the illusion of inner space as well as of a plot. Despite the fact that, for Palo Macho, working with glass is a highly intellectual activity standing on mental deliberation, which in turn stands on mastered technological skills, and although he does not rely on the purposeless beauty or mystique of glass, the resulting works carry a strong emotional drive and an association potential that cause to meditate and think.

The new monumental monograph on Palo Macho presents Macho’s creation in both word and image in an utterly refreshing style by graphic designer Peter Nosál.

Art historians Katarina Bajcurová and Sylva Petrová show us around Macho’s work, expounding the principles that rule his line of thought and artistry in glass, and its place in a broader international context as well as within the latest glass art trends. The book not only renders a comprehensive overview of Macho's work from the late 1990s, when he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, up to the present (Cycles: Monotype, Of Figure, Of the Land, Geometry, Good Vessels, Circles, Shirts, and Solitude - Architecture), but it also includes information on the author's career development as well as pictures from his major shows.

This insanely well-made book brings everything one would wish for: good design, good essays and beautiful pictures of a body of work that will certainly endure time. In short: quality on all fronts!

With hard cover and inner-open bond back cover this book exudes an aesthetic pleasure of less is more. Explained in the essay Windows into the Other (?) Worlds by Katarina Bajcurová is the position of Palo Macho in the art world as glass artist, painter/autonomous artist and philosopher and how he started as teenager to be educated as glassmaker for the glassworks at Novy Bor in the Czech Republic, his transfer after three years to the School of Applied Arts where he met Karel Rybacek. After his graduation Stanislav Libensky advised Macho to apply for studies at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava.

With such a broad education on all fields of art from craft, decorative arts, industrial design, installations and spatial art objects, in this chapter one can read the development of Macho’s career and works in flat glass and blown glass in which light is always the main creative opponent. Also the situation in the modern Slovak glass with Vaclav Cigler chairing the Department of Glass in Architecture at the same Academy is well described.

In the text Non-verbal, Materialised Poetry of Light and Space – Work by Palo Macho, Sylva Petrova starts with the motto quoting Jiri Kolar: “Art cannot be measured by the reality of the modern world, yet it reflects reality, not in meaning, but in structures…”. Also this essay very well explains the position Macho takes with his works by transgressing all borders of Studio glass and the contemporary glass painting practice.

The book ends with his Curriculum vitae and pages on the authors.

This book is a must for all glass education department libraries, for glass collectors and curators and for all interested in the on-going discussion on the position of glass art.

Palo Macho
Katarína Bajcurová, Sylva Petrová
Graphic design
Peter Nosáľ
Slovak, English
Colour photos
254 x 318mm
Published by
Atelier Studená 10