Thursday June 1, 2023 | by Andrew Page

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: The Summer 2023 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#171)

The Summer 2023 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#171) is arriving in subscriber mailboxes and on newsstands. On the cover is a striking image of a kente cloth travel bag, which upon closer inspection is discovered to be made of digitally printed fused glass, crafted to look convincingly like fabric. As Glass contributing editor Emma Park discovered, many Ghanaians who had migrated to Nigeria for work were forced to leave after an economic downturn in the 1980s, and many of the deported workers left with their belongings in kente cloth bags, which became known as “Ghana Must Go Bags.” For the artist Anthony Amoaka-Attah, the object remains a potent symbol of dislocation and cultural history. Park discusses Amoako-Attah’s journey and the things he brings with him from the past as he embraces the future in the form of new technologies and opportunities.

Based in England since he began his graduate studies in glass at the University of Sunderland in 2015, Amoako-Attah has devoted himself to translating the complex textile patterns and symbology of the traditional kente cloth of his native country into the medium of glass.

this issue features an excerpt from a new book on Lino Tagliapietra, in which critic Glenn Adamson connects the maestro to the 1970s Pattern & Decoration art movement that embraces and elevates decorative patterning, linking it to abstraction in painting and other media. EntitledLino Tagliapietra: Sculptor in Glass (2023, Monacelli) is one of the most comprehensive monographs available on the maestro from Murano, and features essays by Adamson and Henry Adams, as well as hundreds of new high-resolution close-up photographs, which showcase the impressive breadth and depth of Taglipietra's achievement in glass.

This issue also features the second installment of a three-part series by Glass contributing editor Samantha De Tillio, who examines the past, present, and future of performances featuring glass. In this issue, De Tillio turns her attention to the rise of glass performance collectives in the 1990s and 2000s, a time when groups of artists who were enthralled by the theatrical potential of glass banded together into troupes to present choreographed happenings in the hot shop.

The final feature is a meditation by contributing editor John Drury on artists who have chosen a different path from the Venetian style of glassmaking. Referencing Art Brut, and Brutalist architecture, Drury identifies a countervailing American glass movement that celebrates texture, weight, and mottled surfaces, finding the imperfect as the preferable expression for certain subject matter. These artists explore a very different vocabulary more suitable for weightier topics.

All this plus five reviews, a powerful essay on the importance of artist residencies in times of natural disaster, and the latest news from the world of glass.

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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.