Thursday May 23, 2024 | by Andrew Page

HOT OFF THE PRESSES: The Summer 2024 edition of Glass (#175)

The Summer 2024 edition of Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly (#175) is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes. On the cover is an unusual banquet table installed by brothers Jamex and Einar de la Torre, lifelong cultural travelers between Mexico and Southern California who collaborate in a multimedia art practice where glass plays a starring role. Their critique of conspicuous consumption is notable for its grotesque imagery, and of course, the overfilled banquet table is not a new concept in the glass art world. In her haunting and elegant monochromatic table installations, Beth Lipman pioneered this concept over two decades ago, as exemplified by her 2003 Bancketje (Banquet) installation in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington. What Jamex and Einar do differently is to layer upon layer imagery, materials, and ideas. The result is a kind of visual overload that mimics the intensity of information contemporary life overwhelms with. And with the addition of taxidermy and gory details rendered in garish cartoon imagery, we are invited to contemplate our own attraction and revulsion at the concentration of wealth on display.

To say the de la Torres are having a breakthrough year would be an understatement, with not one but two dedicated museum exhibitions currently on view: an epic installation titled “Upward Mobility,” stretching across three galleries at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas; and a traveling retrospective,“Collidoscope,” which has just landed at The Corning Museum of Glass, where it remains on view through January 2025.

Glass Quarterly's London-based contributing editor, Emma Park, explores whether time is running out for the National Glass Centre, built in the 1990s to honor the glassmaking heritage of Sunderland, England, and advance the field of glass art as a flagship for the U.K. Some 30 years later, the university that took ownership of the struggling art center is looking to close it down, though the community is rising up to challenge their premise. Emma takes stock of the crisis, and steps back to look at the larger landscape of British glass, which is facing profound cuts to funding that are partly the result of the decision to leave the European Union. Citing several other institutions struggles, Emma charts a future for glass art in the U.K. that is far from certain.

Park also takes on the work of France's Antoine Leperlier, who uses the secret techniques his grandfather, the legendary Art Nouveau pâte de verre innovator François-Emile Décorchemont, developed not in service of decorative art, but for his own meditations on capturing the fleeting instant and immortalizing it in glass. Leperlier's work is the subject of a major retrospective at the Musée du Verre de Conches.

Glass contributing editor Samantha DeTillio explores the work of Sibylle Peretti, using the canvases of famed Hudson River landscape painter Thomas Cole as a comparison in perspective. Both artists were fascinated by the boundaries of Nature and the encroaching world of civilization, and the uneasy relationship between the two. 

All this plus a exhibition reviews of April Surgent at Traver Gallery, Seattle; Kim Harty at Heller Gallery, New York; Nicholas Burridge at Canberra Glassworks, Australia; and an overview of glass at the Frieze Los Angeles art fair in Santa Monica, California. This content is only available to print or digital subscribers.

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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.