Calabi Gallery

Featuring an Eclectic Array of Primarily 20th Century Artwork

Iva Hladis

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DRAWINGS artist statement : Being born and raised in Europe means being surrounded by history. Through life, education and my own interests I developed a deep love and appreciation for arts and architecture. Coming to America and settling down on the West Coast represented such a freedom and loss at the same time… the loss of beauty and craftsmanship that lined every street and corner in the cities and towns I left behind.

Los Angeles offered very little of it’s history, and what was left was constantly fighting for it’s survival. My move to the Bay Area might present the same void. A void due to the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake. So my search for the old architectural treasures is just at the beginning…

By creating these drawings I attempt to preserve history and the legacy of a craftsmanship.

Golden Gate Bridge, 1937 by Iva Hladis, 2015, Graphite on Paper, 13 x 10-3/4 – SOLD

The Cliff House, 1900 by Iva Hladis, 2015, Graphite on Paper, 12 x 12

The Castle by Iva Hladis, 2013, Graphite on Paper, 11-1/2 x 10-3/4

Eastern Columbia by Iva Hladis, 2012, Graphite on Paper, 5-1/2 x 6

JEWELRY artist statement : Needle felted jewelry is my latest artistic expression. It began with a birthday gift; a box of raw wool given by a dear friend and a desire to turn this wool into something special, something beautiful.  The idea of needle felted jewelry sparked my interest.  After all, I was set to go: 25 years of jewelry making experience, a box of local wool (from a sheep named Tulip), all the necessary tools and a head full of ideas.

Irene Necklace by Iva Hladis, 2017, wool, silver plated findings, chicken feathers

Belinda Necklace by Iva Hladis, 2016, 100% wool, silver plated wire, SS clasp / shown with Willow Necklace by Iva Hladis, 2017, wool, jade pendants

Stardust Collection Earrings by Iva Hladis, wool, gold plated ear post, steel cut micro beads / wool, sterling silver ear post, glass beads / shown with Starburst Necklace and Stardust Collection Necklace

Pool of Pearls Collection Ring by Iva Hladis, wool and pearls

MEI SOU artist statement : med·i·ta·tion ; noun \ˌme-də-ˈtā-shən\ : the act or process of spending time in quiet thought, cultivating the presence of God through meditation

My meditation series have two different approaches.  First being the monks and Buddhas sitting in meditation with traditional Japanese family crests painted behind them.  The other, Buddha statues “imposed” onto transmission electron micrographs of various diseases, mainly life threatening ones.  These serving as our reminders not to wait for such signs in order to turn ourselves into peaceful, stress-free beings.  And to find the power of sitting still.

Mei Sou #7 by Iva Hladis, 2012, Graphite & Acrylic on Paper, 5 x 5

Mei Sou #5 by Iva Hladis, 2012, Graphite & Acrylic on Paper, 5 x 5

ORIGINS EXTINCT artist statement : Just as the new millennium began so did my work on the “Origins Extinct” series, and when the book “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” by Jared Diamond arrived at bookstores the concept for the series was sealed.  But it was long before this that I felt an urgency about the condition of our environment and the need to change our ways of living.

My love for everything alive, besides the human species, was ingrained in me during my childhood.  My playground was the river across from our home garden, and the forests that surrounded my hometown.  My brother and I cared for every possible variety of household pets and wildlife creatures.  And my most treasured memories are of field trips with our father into the woods, searching for natural springs and staying at mountain cabins.

This same love and appreciation of nature has only only grown stronger as I have spent most of my adult life in Los Angeles, one of the most polluted areas in United States.  How ironic, that the girl from the green city (the official nickname of my hometown, Zlín) ended up living in a concrete jungle.  Perhaps these circumstances also play a strong role in my efforts to help the planet and to send a SOS message through every piece of my art.

Unfortunately, I never felt as optimistic as some authors and scientists about the possibility of saving mother earth simply by observing my immediate surroundings, and wondering why  humans only wake up when it’s too late… when the effects of our behaviors are irreversible.

As  I was finishing my “Origins Extinct: Time Line” piece several weeks ago, the media and United Nations caught up on the facts of our rapid decline.  Every piece of my art in this series carries a warning message, and my Time Line piece tells the story from the beginning (the Big Bang) to the end (global extinction).  All of the important time points of historical events and scientific research suggest how out of balance and out of touch with nature we have become, and how little time we have left.  Pleading ignorance can no longer be an excuse for not acting.

The use of real botanicals, insects and animal parts help me express the delicate beauty of the nature and it’s cry for help, while they also symbolize the state of our existence in time.

Origins Extinct #155 by Iva Hladis, 2014, Mixed Media, 8-1/2 x 47

Origins Extinct #149 by Iva Hladis, 2014, Mixed Media, 11-3/8 x 5-1/2

Origins Extinct #151 by Iva Hladis, 2014, Mixed Media, 11-1/2 x 6

Origins Extinct #115 by Iva Hladis, 2011, Mixed Media, 12 x 18

Origins Extinct #43 by Iva Hladis, 2007, Mixed Media, 11-1/2 x 11-1/2

Origins Extinct #157 by Iva Hladis, 2014, Mixed Media, 13 x 10-1/2

Origins Extinct #26 by Iva Hladis, 2006, Mixed Media, 7 x 7

Origins Extinct #88 by Iva Hladis, 2011, Mixed Media, 10 x 12-1/2

Origins Extinct #145 by Iva Hladis, 2014, Mixed Media, 6-5/8 x 6-1/2

Origins Extinct #154 by Iva Hladis, 2014, Mixed Media, 6-5/8 x 6-1/2

Origins Extinct #69 by Iva Hladis, 2009, Mixed Media, 12 x 6-1/2

Origins Extinct #72 by Iva Hladis, 2009, Mixed Media, 14-1/2 x 5

PAINTINGS artist statement : Love, loss, isolation, fear, hope … the focus of my work has always been on the trials one faces in life. I revere the most intimate experiences in people, the hidden feelings, the inner realities we are sometimes afraid to confront. This is what I offer in my paintings and through them I continue to explore a variation of human relationships and the emotions they generate. Though my work is intensely personal, my intent is not so much to bear my soul, but rather reveal the universality of the human experience.

Shalimore by Iva Hladis, 2001, Oil on Linen, 14 x 14

Pagan River by Iva Hladis, 1995, Oil on Linen, 16 x 16

A Prisoner Within by Iva Hladis, 1990, Acrylic on Canvas, 48 x 40

Spiritualized by Iva Hladis, 2004, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 18

AMATORY artist statement : am·a·to·ry : adjective \ˈa-mə-ˌtȯr-ē\ : of, causing, relating or showing love, especially romantic love / relating to or induced by sexual love or desire

Origin: Late 16th century, from Latin amatorius, from amator

Amatory #26 by Iva Hladis, 2016, Graphite & Acrylic on Paper, 5-1/2 x 5-1/2

Amatory #23 by Iva Hladis, 2016, Graphite & Acrylic on Paper, 5-1/2 x 5-1/2

Amatory #16 by Iva Hladis, 2016, Graphite & Acrylic on Paper, 5-1/2 x 5-1/2

Amatory #1 by Iva Hladis, 2014, Graphite & Acrylic on Paper, 8-1/2 x 8-1/4

Iva Hladis was born in Czechoslovakia in 1965.

Her exposure to art began early in life; both her father and mother were artists. At fifteen, after being denied studying art, she became associated with “Charter 77″, an underground political group that championed human rights in the then Russian occupied Czechoslovakia.

In the summer of 1985 Iva escaped and made her home in Rome, Italy. A year later she was granted political asylum to the United States. Upon her arrival she began pursuing her passion as an artist, the reason behind leaving her country.

In the last 25 years her art went through many phases. From abstracted figures dominating with an intense symbolism to figures recognizably human. Most recently her attention turned to the issue of global warming and world destruction with a new series of artworks titled “Origins Extinct”; assemblages of used computer chipboards, real botanicals, bugs, Czech glass beads, found objects, wires and pearls.

Recently Iva left  Los Angeles after 29 years and settled in her new house/studio in Sonoma County, California.

Iva Hladis Official Website

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