The Summer 2021 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#163) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. On the cover is a public art installation by New York-based contemporary artist Jim Hodges -- his homage to the city that shaped him so profoundly, and the perfect image to acknowledge our emergence from the Covid-19 pandemic. When the MTA invited Hodges to create an an artwork for the stairwell leading down from the Grand Central's terminal to the utilitarian 4/5/6 subway platform, he set out to mediate the architectural whiplash from the soul-stirring Beaux Arts grandeur of the famous constellation ceiling to the gritty cacophonous underground below -- and Hodges turned to glass mirror to do it.
Stepping onto the down escalator, one embarks on a journey through a zone of inky indigo darkness to emerge into a dazzling and immersive landscape “painting” in glass, which references the natural world through color fields and camouflage patterning, faceted with stolen reflections of oneself as part of a momentary assemblage of fellow New York travelers. The opposite of a descent, the ride becomes a celebration of shared experience with multiple access points. In an extensive interview from Hodge's massive Ridgewood, Queens, studio in New York City (which he shares with emerging performance artists in an adjacent theater space he built to share with the community), the artist discusses how honored he was to have the opportunity to bring artists to the citizens of the city where he first found his artistic voice -- inspired by performance artist Shelley Hirsh and others -- through emotionally-charged installations that frequently use everyday objects with evocative associations.
All the feature articles in our summer celebrate movement in ways both obvious (see the showers of sparks that define Alex Bernstein’s unique glass-and-steel process) to the more measured (learn about the new directions Charlotte Potter Kasic is taking the new Barry Art Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, where she recently took over from founding director Jutta-Annette Page).
Our European correspondent Emma Park spends time with Elliot Walker, fresh off his win of the second season of Netflix’s Blown Away, who is moving British glassblowing forward as he is determined to employ his prodigious skills in service of ideas rather than make functional forms.
Our last feature is excerpt from a new Abrams book in which art critic Eleanor Heartney assesses Dale Chihuly’s installation artworks that alter architectural environments and provide new ways of defining interior and exterior spaces.
In addition to five reviews and the latest news, we present an essay in which curator Tina Oldknow remembers the late philanthropist Dan Greenberg who, along with his wife, Susan, championed glass art both as a collector and a patron, supporting numerous institutions including UrbanGlass, which publishes this magazine.
As we emerge from a year of seclusion, don't miss this important issue's celebration of movement, brought to you by the magazine of record and your passport to a rapidly changing field.