Thursday March 8, 2018 | by Andrew Page

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: The Spring 2018 edition of Glass (#150)

The Spring 2018 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#150) has hit newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. The cover article is devoted to the work of Hiromi Takizawa, who has lived in the U.S. for 17 years but remains in close contact with her family and friends in her native Japan. Teaching full-time at Cal State Fullerton, she is overseeing a complete rebuild of the glass studio as she continues to explore the metaphorical concept of distance. Contributing editor Victoria Josslin cites Takizawa's 2010 dissertation title from her MFA studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, which was "Duality and Parallel Lives," as the artist's primary preoccupation which "she has continued to explore, expand, and deepen" in the eight years since completing her degree. 

For this issue, frequent magazine contributor Alexander Castro, who wrote the cover article on Toots Zynsky in the Fall 2017 edition of Glass (#148), spent time with Indian-born artist Anjali Srinivasan, who is a truly global citizen with her current assistant professor position at Boston's Mass Art while maintaining her studio in Dubai. In his article, "Impure Thoughts," Castro considers Srinivasan's cultural background and how it might relate to her work, concluding that "Srinivasan's strongest ties to an Indian ethos are methodological rather than aesthetic or conceptual." Castro is fascinated by her unique approach to the material of glass, and her experiments making it more fragile and adding unorthodox ingredients to her batch to develop new material properties, all of which expand the range of glass in a manner Castro finds similar to what Eva Hesse did with the aesthetics of minimalism.

While the Glass Art Society has ambitiously located its 2018 conference in the historic center of glassblowing, Murano, contributing editor James Yood argues that the future of glass is actually being defined across the lagoon, in the city of Venice. Yood, who's made numerous trips to the area contrasts the tradition-bound glass workshops as uninviting places where old-fashioned patriarchy still reigns supreme. Meanwhile, the international art fairs in Venice bring visitors from around the globe to the famous biennale where glass is on view thanks to the outreach of Adriano Berengo (who invites leading contemporary artists back to his Murano studios to fabricate work, which he then exhibits alongside the famed Venice Biennale). Yood also cites the scholarly work focused on glass art and design that emanates from Le Stanze del Vetro, which defines itself as "a long-term joint initiative between Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Pentagram Stiftung devoted to studying the art of glassmaking in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Contributing editor John Drury examines how Australian artist Jenni Kemarre Martiniello turns the tables on cultural appropriation, harnessing traditional Italian techniques to the unique palette and traditional forms of Indigenous peoples.

The fifth feature in this issue is an exclusive interview with the curatorial team that presents a landmark exhibition of the work of Joyce J. Scott, a MacArthur Fellow who employs glass in a variety of ways as a means to seduce viewers into looking closely at injustice, often violent. Glass editor Andrew Page spoke at length with independent curator Patterson Sims (formerly with the Whitney, MoMA, and the Seattle Art Museum) and his colleague with whom he shares a last name Lowery Stokes Sims (formerly at the Museum of Art and Design and the Studio Museum) for insights into a unique body of work that explores history, racism, and stereotypes, while also celebrating transcendence in the face of adversity. Scott is best-known for her sculptures she makes using glass beads, but at her Grounds for Sculpture exhibition (currently on view), she was given the opportunity to work at monumental scale, and both curators offer unique insights into this remarkable artist and her unique vision.

All this, plus reviews of the latest exhibitions, a back-page essay, and the most important news from the rapidly changing field of glass art.

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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 35 years.