The Winter 2020 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#161) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. On the cover is a work as voluptuous as it is complex by the late Michael Glancy (2050 - 2020), who passed away in August due to complications of lung cancer. The 2014 work is titled Shimmer, and features a repeating plus-sign pattern that forms a type of metal armor which is not uniformly protective but is broached several places by clear sections where the pattern on the opposing blown-vessel wall is visible from beneath. The work hints at complexities that lie beneath surfaces, revealing an inner dimension that can never be fully understood given the restricted vantage points. Viewed from our current perspective of political and pandemic turmoil, the plus signs might be seen as voting marks or positive Covid-19 test results, neither on Glancy's mind when he created it, but which speaks to the timelessness of his sculptural expressions.
In 1877, inventor Edward Muybridge used tripwires to photograph a horse in motion, proving something impossible for the human eye to see in real-time. While his photograph that froze a trotting horse with all four hooves off the ground settled a bet, it became one of the best-known motion studies of the Victorian era, a field called chronophotography. The title of Rebecca Solnit's biography of Muybridge, River of Shadows, was adopted by artist and educator Kim Harty for her group photography exhibition that brings together the camera lens and glass artists who use photography to reveal insights into glass process, and could be considered a contemporary type of chronophotography.
The Glass Virus is a European initiative to foster dialogue among educators exchanging ideas about the best approaches to teaching glass art. The semi-annual in-person "Think Tank" gatherings had been centered at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, where artist and Glass Virus founder Jens Pfeifer heads the glass program. But the group has changed formats in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is planning a monthly series of Zoom meetings to discuss a range of current issues and challenges to the field. The first event will take place online on Wednesday, October 28th.
As the pandemic stretches on, much of the economic news from the glass-art world is more about survival than success. But the impressive auction results from Pilchuck's first-ever virtual annual gala, themed "Through the Kaleidoscope" and held online on October 17th, were something to celebrate. The results were all the more notable because zthe staff of Pilchuck, which in June canceled its 2020 in-person programming, braced themselves for sharply lower gala income for 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic 2019 gala's $1.2 million. And instead of the usual 150 to 200 auction items, they pared this year's offerings down to 96,
The first published monograph of the work of Karen LaMonte, a 256-page volume published by Rizzoli, presents LaMonte's hauntingly beautiful work in over 250 images. This lavish coffee-table book features essays by Arthur Danto, Brett Lipman, Laura Addison, Tina Oldknow, Steven A. Nash and Lucy R. Lippard, offering leading critical voices that place the work in a larger contemporary-art context. Lucy R. Lippard, an American writer, art critic, activist and curator, explores the female narrative in contemporary art in her essay. Museum director Steven A. Nash and Brett Littman, the director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and the Garden Museum in Long Island City, provide a broader insight into LaMonte's extraordinary career. Arthur Danto, who teaches at Columbia University and writes for Artforum, delivers an internationally-known critic's perspective. Curators Laura Addison(Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe) and Tina Oldknow (formerly with Corning, and now an independent curator) bring additional approaches to the analysis of LeMonte’s contemporary sculptures.
Humanity has a complex history with animals. Over millennia, our role has shifted from prey to rivals, from hunters to domesticators. Since ancient times, humans have looked to animals as symbols of mystery and power, but now we are aware of another dynamic in our longstanding relationship -- as humans have driven some species to the brink of extinction, and we recognize we are both destroyers and protectors. Ivory .125 is an ambitious installation by Joseph Rossano, an American glass artist. Curated by Benjamin Wright, the artistic director of Pilchuck, it explores these patterns of human behavior as viewed through fossil records.
As the art world reopens while keeping a watchful eye on the COVID-19 pandemic, postponed public art events are finally taking place, museums are reopening, and a few art fairs are tentatively welcoming international visitors. Venice Glass Week 2020, an annual celebration of this important and historic Venetian art and industry is currently holding its fourth edition, with the tagline #TheHeartOfGlass. Taking place now through September 13th, 2020, the event includes more than 180 physical and digital events around the city of Venice, and the island of Murano.
Philanthropist and glass-art collector Robert Minkoff died on Sunday, September 6, 2020, from complications of central nervous system lymphoma, first diagnosed in 2018. Through the Potomac, Maryland-based Robert M. Minkoff Foundation, he funded a number of artist residencies, scholarship programs, and academic conferences, as well as giving to the Jewish Federation and Housing Unlimited, a program that makes it possible for those with mental-health issues to live independently. (Disclosure: The author served as the director of the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation until 2018.)
Charlotte Potter Kasic, who returned to Norfolk, Virginia, in January 2020 to become the manager of museum education and engagement at the Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University, has been named as the museum's interim director as the founding director Jutta-Annette Page is set to retire in October 2020. Kasic is credited with the museum's fluid transition to virtual exhibitions and activities when the pandemic hit, and the institution is now open with limited hours.
Artist and educator Michael Glancy died of complications of lung cancer last Saturday, August 29th. 2020. He passed away at the age of 70 at his summer home in Harwich Port, Massachusetts. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Robin Stengel Glancy; his son Michael Glancy, Jr., daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Little Glancy of Baltimore, Md., and his beloved granddaughters Ella and Mae; as well as his son Robin Peyton Glancy.
Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.