Light-kinetic Sculpture for the Edison Transformer Station in Prague

Zdeněk Pešánek

Zdeněk Pešánek - Light-kinetic Sculpture for the Edison Transformer Station in Prague
In the first half of the 1920s, Zdeněk Pešánek exceeded the boundaries of traditional sculpture by employing modern technologies and new materials. His experimental approach combining art and technology was based on the use of light. He became a pioneer in kinetic art and his light kinetic sculpture installed at the Edison transformer station in Jeruzalémská Street in Prague, which was put into operation in October 1930, was the first kinetic sculpture to be installed on public premises. Its theme was the glorification of the electric age and technological progress. The transparent object shined with 420 colourful bulbs installed in rows inside the sculpture. The rhythmical light play was controlled by a programmable pneumatic piano. Like most of Pešánek’s works, this sculpture has not survived, disappearing some time after 1936. Its half-scale reconstruction was done using photographic documentation and extant technological specifications.
measurements: height 275 cm
width 225 cm
depth 230 cm
material: metal, glass, light bulbs, electronics
inventory number: P 8838
gallery collection: Collection of 19th Century Art and Classical Modernism
licence: copyrighted work

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