Wednesday December 26, 2018 | by Eve Aaron

EXHIBITION: The Corning Museum announces artists selected for ambitious "New Glass Now" exhibition opening in 2019

The upcoming exhibition titled "New Glass Now" at The Corning Museum of Glass is the latest iteration of the annual emerging-artist exhibition-in-print that has been published annually since 1979, a showcase of the most important new work in glass from around the world. (Note: New Glass Review is distributed with the Summer edition of Glass Quarterly, and comes as a special bonus to subscribers) But the 2019 edition, number 40, will not only be the latest in the series. Next year, Corning curator Susie Silbert is lavishing extra attention on this annual event, expanding the juried publication into a museum exhibition, that has ambitions to update the landmark exhibitions "Glass 1959," and "New Glass: A Worldwide Survey," which followed in 1979.

The artists were chosen by an international panel by way of an open call. The panel consisted of Silbert, whose title is curator of modern and contemporary glass at Corning, as well as three guest curators including, Aric Chen, curator-at-large, M+ museum, Hong Kong; Susanne Jøker Johnsen, artist and head of exhibitions at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Denmark; and American artist Beth Lipman. 

Over 1,400 artists, designers and architects working in 52 countries submitted works that utilized techniques including flameworking, glassblowing, casting, neon, carving, and kilnworking. The works on display will demonstrate the consistently broadening scope of glass art: from video to miniatures and from installation to glass chemistry experimentation, the focus is versatility and a celebration of the medium's dynamic innovators.

New Glass Now strives to attract the same kind of attention that the first exhibition in the series, "Glass 1959" did as the first international contemporary glass exhibition and catalyst of the Studio Glass Movement. "Glass 1959" brought in popular as well as critical attention to the artistic niche while the second in the series, "New Glass: A Worldwide Survey," created a wave of glass collectors from institutions to individuals. Both of these previous exhibitions stand as important models for 2019's "New Glass Now" and they will even be paid tribute in a complimentary exhibition to be held in the Corning Museum's Rakow Library titled, "New Glass Then."   

According to exhibition curator Silbert, the ethos of the 2019 exhibition is the same as the two previous shows. She notes, "like those exhibitions, 'New Glass Now' is designed to help people see the work of contemporary glass makers, workers, and thinkers in a new light. And like those earlier shows, New Glass Now celebrates artistic glassworking on a global scale. A truly international exhibition, with a wide range of ages, and approaches, it is designed to provide a panorama of the myriad ways people are using and thinking through the medium of glass today."

But what makes this exhibition unique in Silbert's opinion, is its concentration on diversity, in a broad sense: "Tom Buechner, the museum's founding director and the creative force behind the shows, commented that 'Glass 1959' was about 'internationalism' and that 'New Glass: A Worldwide Survey' was about the 'individual.' I'm still learning about this show, but what I can see so far is that 'New Glass Now' is about diversity--in approach, in thought, in practice.

Sarah Briland, Problematica (Foam Rock), 2016. Foam, Aqua Resin, glass microspheres, steel, concrete stand With stand: 96.5 x 52 x 45.7 cm. courtesy: Terry Brown

The exhibition might seem a shocking prospect due to its extraordinarily long list of featured artists, but this format resulted in many breakthroughs for both of the preceding exhibitions and thus will probably equally boost the upcoming one. Having so many participants increases the possibility that dynamic ideas will surface and change the world of glass in some way. Silbert explains: "What I've learned through studying the 1959 show is that it is especially because there were so many pieces that new ideas were able to bubble up and out of it. The inclusion of the Czech artists Jaroslava Brychtova and Stanislav Libensky among others for the first time, is one example. Another is Harvey Littleton’s frustration at the lack of good American design in the 1959 show, captured in a letter to a colleague at the time. Harvey, who was not included in the exhibition, was frustrated by what he saw, and that frustration was enough to catalyze his nascent interest in glassblowing into what we now know as the Studio Glass Movement."

What really makes the series stand out is its use of an open call as a curating practice. This method is rare, which is perhaps not surprising as it takes away from the role and recognition of the curator, resulting however, in much more evenly distributed decision making. Silbert describes the power of this process and how it is so essential to this specific project.

"The notion of curating by panel from an open call for submissions is part of the DNA of New Glass. It is an incredibly democratic and transparent process that decentralizes tastemaking, exposes the curatorial process, and allows artists and designers to self-nominate," she says. "It’s an incredibly unusual practice for a major museum and one that I wouldn’t suggest for most exhibitions, but for something this big, something that tries to give such a broad insight into the field, it is appropriate. Imagine: If I was the only curator, the show would be much more about my particular point of view, and potentially, about the power I exert over the field. With three guest curators, the curatorial point of view is more diverse, and hopefully, much more representative of the field." The appointment of a curator, as we usually define the role, seems to be exactly besides the point of the exhibitions in this series; the aim is to put forward a lot of different works to represent all angles of the field and the theme is mostly only defined by the shared medium of the works.

"New Glass Now" will most likely be a marker of the current and imminent turning points within the field. The future of glass as an art form is unknown but filled with exciting prospects and, as Silbert puts it, "the answers [to this uncertainty] might be in 'New Glass Now' and in the conversations it generates."       

Artists chosen for the exhibition represent 32 different nationalities and work in 25 different countries. The complete list

Tamás Ábel (Hungary)
James Akers (United States)
Miya Ando (United States)
Atelier NL: Lonny van Ryswyck (The Netherlands) and Nadine Sterk (The Netherlands)
Flavie Audi (France)
Kate Baker (Australia)
Ans Bakker (The Netherlands)
George Bell (United Kingdom and United States)
Stine Bidstrup (Denmark)
Juli Bolaños-Durman (Costa Rica)
Monica Bonvicini (Italy)
Tord Boontje (The Netherlands) for Swarovski, Austria
Lothar Böttcher (Republic of South Africa and Germany)
Ronan Bouroullec (France) and Erwan Bouroullec (France) for Iittala Inc., Finland
Dylan Brams (United States and Israel)
Sarah Briland (United States)
Stefano Bullo (Italy) and Matteo Silverio (Italy)
Nacho Carbonell (Spain)
Keeryong Choi (United Kingdom)
David Colton (United States)
Shaun Conroy (United States)
Matthew Curtis (Australia)
Deborah Czeresko (United States)
Andrea da Ponte (Argentina)
Doris Darling (Austria)
Matthew Day Perez (United States)
Ross Delano (United States), Erikh Vargo (United States), and Brad Patocka (United States)
David Derksen (The Netherlands) for Tre Product, Poland
Nadège Desgenétez (France and United States)
Mel Douglas (Australia)
Alicia Eggert (United States)
Judi Elliott (Australia)
Raymon Elozua (United States)
Maria Bang Espersen (Denmark)
Frida Fjellman (Sweden)
Jahday Ford (Bermuda) and Joseph Hillary (United Kingdom)
Karin Forslund (Sweden and Norway)
Nickolaus Fruin (United States)
Sachi Fujikake (Japan)
Martino Gamper (Italy) for J. & L. Lobmeyr, Austria
Abdulnasser Gharem (Saudi Arabia)
Jeff Goodman (Canada), Jeff Goodman Studio
Katherine Gray (United States)
Heather Hancock (Canada)
Hanna Hansdotter (Sweden) for Kosta Boda, Sweden
Jochen Holz (Germany)
Krista Israel (The Netherlands); Research: Ayako Tani (Japan/United Kingdom) and Hans de Kruijk (The Netherlands); Assistants: Hao Ran Zhu (China) and Wilma Hornsveld (The Netherlands)
Soobin Jeon (Republic of Korea)
Dafna Kaffeman (Israel)
Jiro Kamata (Japan)
Micha Karlslund (Denmark)
Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello (Australia)
David King (United States)
Jitka Kolbe-Růžičková (Czech Republic)
Peadar Lamb (Republic of Ireland)
Caroline Landau (United States)
Danny Lane (United States)
Helen Lee (United States)
Shayna Leib (United States)
James Magaula (Kingdom of eSwatini—formerly Swaziland)
Karina Malling (Denmark)
Geoffrey Mann (United Kingdom)
Amie McNeel (United States)
Sean Merchant (United States)
Lukas Milanak (United States)
Michal Motycka (Czech Republic)
Stanislav Muller (Czech Republic) and Radka Mullerova (Czech Republic)
Fredrik Nielsen (Sweden)
Aya Oki (Japan)
Sharyn O’Mara (United States)
Momoo Omuro (Japan)
Zora Palová (Slovakia) and Štěpán Pala (Czech Republic and Slovakia)
Suzanne Peck (United States) and Karen Donnellan (Republic of Ireland)
Aaron Pexa (United States)
Tomáš Prokop (Czech Republic)
Laura Puska (Finland)
Kirstie Rea (Australia)
Nate Ricciuto (United States)
Anna Riley (United States)
Tomo Sakai (Japan)
Rui Sasaki (Japan)
Megan Stelljes (United States)
Austin Stern (United States)
C. Matthew Szösz (United States)
Christine Tarkowski (United States)
Angela Thwaites (United Kingdom)
Blanche Tilden (Australia)
Cecilia Untario (Indonesia)
Sylvie Vandenhoucke (Belgium)
Jeroen Verhoeven (The Netherlands) and Joep Verhoeven (The Netherlands)
Norwood Viviano (United States)
Qin Wang (China)
Chiemi Watanabe (Japan)
Ida Wieth (Denmark)
Erwin Wurm (Austria)
Dustin Yellin (United States)
Bohyun Yoon (United States and Republic of Korea)
He Zhao (China)
Mark Zirpel (United States)
Toots Zynsky (United States)

      

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.