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Monday August 30, 2021 | by Andrew Page

Hot Off the Presses: The Fall 2021 edition of Glass (#164)

The Fall 2021 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#164) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. On the cover is a time-based work by David Schnuckel, an epic story told in 16 panels. Like a graphic novel, it records a decay sequence as an expertly created wineglass made by the artist is subjected to the intense heat of the kiln, which causes it to deform, collapse, and end as a shriveled silica mass. Rich with metaphor for the lifecycle, it was chosen as fitting for the season of harvest, and for its challenge to the tendency to fetishize technique in glassmaking. Schuckel's work is highly original, takes advantage of new technical opportunities thanks to a high-temperature camera setup at Corning, and revels in the artist's interest in provocation and deconstruction. 


Regular contributor Alexander Castro mirrored his subject's love of dissection, awareness of process, and embedded commentary with his article structure that presents as a guide to critical writing (another of Schnuckel's many areas of focus) but takes on the deliberate re-framing of art in literary form. This issue's cover article is timed to the opening of Schnuckel's first solo museum show, "Meaningful Gibberish," which was the result of his compelling unsolicited proposal that caught the eye of the museum's chief curator, Beth McLaughlin. It opens September 11, 2021, and runs through February 20, 2022.

Flameworking pioneer, prolific author, and acknowledged maestro Paul J. Stankard contacted me several months ago to tell me needed to write about Carmen Lozar, whose work he felt had developed to become some of the most technically accomplished at the torch. He was particularly struck by Lozar's ability to tease convincing anatomical form, and to apply it to resolved compositions that offer commentary, observation, and connection to viewers. Knowledgeable about all types of flameworking, Stankard contrasts the machismo that can sometimes be associated with pipemaking with Lozar's approach, and he locates her in the academically trained camp bringing more subtle expression to glass shaped at the torch. His article "The Fabulist" dissects Lozar's "depths of feeling and fluidity" to create works that are "at times autobiographical, other times universal, and often both." 


The trailblazing early Studio Glass artist Marvin Lipofsky (1938 - 2016) is the subject of a lively scholarly article by contributing editor Samantha De Tillio, collections curator at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Her extensively researched article takes a chronological look at Lipofsky's journey from ceramics to glass, the result of crossing paths with Harvey Littleton at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. As Studio Glass took off in academia, Lipofsky was offered the opportunity to start the glass program at the University of California, Berkeley, and set him on a path as an academic and artist, which he expanded through international travel to glass factories around the world preaching the gospel of the more free Studio-Glass approach. Lipofsky was swept up by the political ferment in the Bay Area, as well as the influential Funk Art movement that would leave an indelible mark on his aesthetics throughout his career that stretched more than half a century.

Regular contributor Emma Park traveled to Venice to investigate "The Glass Ark," the title of the latest exhibition by the always-impressive Stanze del Vetro. While some dismiss the artistry behind the often-whimsical glass animals plied in small shops in Murano and Venice, esteemed curator and former Louvre Museum director Pierre Rosenberg found them not only worthy of attention, but amassed his own private collection of over 2,000 examples during his many trips to and from his apartment in Venice. Park, a savvy observer, writes of Rosenber's obsession: "It is almost as though he could not resist the pleasure these animals gave him, but did not entirely approve of it." The lavish illustrations accompanying the article show the remarkable range of glass and how it can mimic the distinctive forms found within the animal kingdom. 


And finally, Glass is honored to present an exclusive interview with Lino Tagliapietra upon the announcement that the maestro at the pinnacle of glassblowing will no longer work at the furnace after more than 50 productive and game-changing years. Glass connected with the one and only Lino via Zoom about why, at the age of 87, he had chosen this moment to retire. Asked about his legacy and what he is most proud of having accomplished, Lino answered simply: "we move a little bit of ancient culture and that passion for the glass, for the material, into the future. I think this one is probably the most important things."

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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.