The Spring edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#162) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. On the cover is a radiant neon work by Amy Palms, one of the artists discussed in our cover article by Victoria Ahmadizadeh Melendez tracking how, despite decades of predicted obsolescence, neon endures, fueled by the shared interest of a diverse group of artists and archivists and their love of this unique form of glassmaking.
The Spring 2021 edition of Glass, like the neon cover article, surveys the field with a wide angle lens. The breadth of our coverage casts a wide net geographically with a feature article on Chinese artist and professor Jing Li, who went from studying art history to deciding to become an artist, himself, coming to study at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for his MFA, before returning to China to become an associate professor at prestigious Tsinghua University. Australian educator and artist Gerry King traces Li's winding pathway in both his academic and art careers, and discusses Li's high level of technical skill as well as his conceptual range, evident in the highly varied works.
Our British correspondent Emma Park profiles a relative newcomer to glass, Chris Day, who turned his decades of experience as a tradesman to quickly gain a distinct vocabulary in hot glass, and a powerful voice. Embedding copper pipe and wires into mottled and gnarled blown-glass forms, Day is exploring his own racial identity and the brutal histories of slavery and lynchings of Black people in works of raw expressive power even as he earns an MA from the Wolverhampton School of Art as a returning student.
Contemporary artist Marie Watt, who traces her own heritage to both Native American and European forebears, uses Venetian glass beads strung into large-scale wall hangings to spell out words from myths and history, challenging preconceptions about the material and subject matter of art shown in a New York City fine-art gallery context. Her recent exhibition at Marc Strauss Gallery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan is examined by curator and critic Rebecca McNamara who noted the fluidity of the hanging beaded work, not only in form but in changing meaning as you view them from afar and then approach: "The works transform from mechanical-looking panels with crisp lines and edges, reminiscent of contemporary digital technology and language-based artists like Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger, to handcrafted at every level."
And finally, we present five reviews of important exhibitions and recently unveiled public artworks, ranging from Philip Baldwin and Monica Gugisberg's ambitious installations at the Glasmuset Ebeltoft in Denmark, to Jean-Michel Othoniel's newest work on view in South Korea, to the glass wall and ceiling artworks at the new Moynihan Train Hall at the renovated Pennsylvania Station in New York.
All this plus a back-page essay by contributing editor William V. Ganis, who predicts the embrace of virtual programming engendered by the pandemic will become a permanent part of the glass-art landscape.
Don't miss this important issue's international scope, brought to you by the magazine of record and your passport to a rapidly changing field.