After several years running a bricks-and-mortar gallery on New York City's Lower East Side, art dealer Simon Abrahms is exploring new way of promoting artists working with glass. He recently hosted a social event at his work-and-live space on the city's Upper East Side that brought top American glassblower Michael Schunke to Manhattan to showcase his one-of-a-kind glassware. Rather than putting the works on pedestals, the glasses were all available to be used as drinking vessels, underscoring that they are durable, and suitable for function as well as visual appreciation.
The Spring 2019 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#154) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. On the cover: "Glass on Glass," the newest series by Dale Chihuly, marking an inward turn for this world-famous artist known for intense coloration and flamboyance. Initially developed for a sanctuary for meditation at a Nebraska cancer center, the series of large translucent wall panels has become a focus for Chihuly, who is embracing the opportunity to work with more diluted colors and expanding the initial series. As contributing editor Victoria Josslin writes in her feature article, "without losing any of the spontaneous gestures and brilliant color that have always characterized his work, the artist has entered new territory ... "
In January 2019, when the Bullseye Glass Company settled a class-action lawsuit spurred by the public outcry over possible heavy-metal emissions from the colored art glass factory's Portland facility, the company looked forward to moving on after doling out a total of $6.5 million and without admitting any blame for exposing the public to dangerous toxins, as was alleged by the community members who brought the lawsuit. Now, the 45-year-old company cites the economic impact of meeting new environmental regulations and the extensive negative publicity it endured as the factors that are forcing it to shutter its two-decade-old flagship gallery in Portland's Pearl district, where it showcased some of the top artists working with the company's glass products.
John Drury, a contributing editor for the print edition of Glass, doesn't care for rules or limitations, having made a name for himself as one half of the subversive art project known as "CUD," his long-standing collaboration with Robbie Miller which stresses boundary-breaking and social awareness in art-making. Most recently, Drury curated a group exhibition (currently on view at Heller Gallery in New York City through February 23, 2019) titled "The Other Glass: An Alternative History." Featuring a wide range of work by a diverse list of artists that includes Nancy Cohen, The Hansen Brothers, Lonnie Holley, Amy Lemaire, Shari Mendelson, Robbie Miller, Jerry Pethick, Walter Robinson, Buster Simpson, Megan Stelljes, and Robin Winters, the exhibition will remain on view at Heller's Chelsea location through February 23rd. The Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet caught up with Drury to ask him about his goals for this ambitious exhibition.
Rui Sasaki's recent exhibition in Japan (a group exhibition at the 21st-Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa from October 30th through November 11th) was an exploration of the meaning of the Japanese term "Kogei," which can be roughly translated as "Craft" in English. It was no accident the setting was Kanazawa, a city that has been closely linked to "Kogei" since the 17th century. The city government has actively been promoting the association with this complex term, which is discussed at length in Japanese culture. The exhibition, entitled "Exploring the Possibilities of KOGEI x Architecture" sought to tease out some of the nuances of meaning of the "Kogei," and Sasaki was one of 14 artists, architects, designers, and philosophers asked to participate. The Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet recently caught up with Sasaki to ask her about her participation and impressions of the exhibition via an email exchange.
Following a lunchtime reception, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, will officially open the doors of its brand-new Barry Art Museum to the public during an open house from 4 to 7 PM today, November 14th. The newly constructed 24,000-square-foot museum was funded by art collectors and philanthropists Richard and Carolyn Barry, who also donated the art collection that will be exhibited in the two-story building on the Old Dominion University Campus. Their total gift of their collections and the money to build the museum is valued at $35 million, and considered the largest gift in the university's history. Less than three miles from the Chrysler Museum of Art and its glass studio, the Barry Art Museum, with its substantial contemporary glass art holdings, will bolster the importance of Norfolk as a center for art in the material.
The glass department at the Rhode Island School of Design, which is within the division of fine arts, is looking to fill a full-time faculty position of assistant professor that will start in the fall of 2019. The job posting states that it's "essential that applicants are conversant with contemporary art history, critical theory, and both traditional and nontraditional approaches to glass," and that applicants' "studio practice and teaching must show a solid commitment to innovative research, investigation and experimentation." In addition, demonstrated technical ability and conceptual problem solving are necessary, as is an active studio practice and "facility with a broad range of critical discourses, writing, and contemporary social and cultural dialogues." The deadline to apply is January 11, 2019.
In an informal conversation at the 2009 Glass Art Society conference in Corning, artist Mark Peiser told me how hard it was to come to the many glass-art conferences at The Corning Museum of Glass (they've been held there as far back as 1976), where the adjacent research facilities closely guarded their groundbreaking trade secrets. Especially for an artist as dedicated to the technical possibilities of glass, the conferences put him in tantalizingly close proximity to some of the world's most knowledgeable experts in the material, but with strict controls over who could access the multi-million dollar research facilities. Fast forward to today, when Peiser has just been named the 2019 recipient of the Specialty Glass Residency that pairs artists and scientists to explore artistic applications of cutting-edge glass technologies. It's fitting that Peiser, an artist who has developed innovative and technically intricate solutions to working the material, was chosen. He follows on the heels of former artist residents Albert Paley (2014-2015), Tom Patti (2015), Toots Zynsky (2016), Anna Mlasowsky (2016), and Karen LaMonte (2018), and marks an opportunity for Peiser to partner with the leading experts on the material.
The late art critic James Yood (1952 - 2018) was a regular presence at the annual Sculptural Objects Functional Art Fair in Chicago, where, if he wasn't giving a public lecture or leading a panel discussion, he could be found walking the show in search of compelling artists to write about for Glass or the many other important art publications to which he regularly contributed. It is fitting, then, that his memorial service will take place on the opening night of the big art fair. On the evening of Thursday, November 1st, Yood will be remembered by the many people whose lives he touched at the ballroom of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he taught for some three decades.
An exhibition at the Hicks Art Center Gallery at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania, brings together the diverse work of six artists under the title "Solid States/Fluid Language." Guest curated by artist Megan Biddle, the exhibition is organized around the idea of testing the boundaries of glass, and features a range of approaches from sculpture to video, from installation to performance art by Jessica Jane Julius, Amy Lemaire, Yixuan Pan, Nate Ricciuto, Esther Ruiz, and Kristen Neville. The Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet caught up with Biddle for an email interview about her goals for the exhibition which runs through this evening.
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 35 years.