Thursday March 29, 2018 | by Allison Adler

A longtime exhibition in print, Corning's New Glass Review will expand to include a major museum exhibit in 2019

FILED UNDER: Call for Submissions

For 40 years, glass artists, collectors, and curators have eagerly awaited the arrival of the annual Corning Museum of Glass publication New Glass Review as a rich and authoritative guide to some of the most important new work in glass from around the world. (Note: A special bonus for Glass magazine subscribers is a complimentary copy of New Glass Review bundled with each summer's issue) Under the leadership of the museum's new curator of modern and contemporary glass Susie Silbert, the next edition of this seminal publication will be significantly expanded, resulting in not only a fully redesigned publication but accompanied by an exhibition of the same name at the museum's Contemporary Art + Design Wing, all in a bid to expand the impact and prominence of the New Glass project.

Currently, the review is accepting submissions for "New Glass 2019," which will mark this new approach to surveying contemporary glass art curated from an international pool of artists, designers, and architects. Tentatively timed to open on May 2019, the exhibition "New Glass 2019" will coincide with the 40th and 60th anniversaries of two seminal exhibitions in the history of The Corning Museum of Glass: "Glass 1959" and "New Glass: A Worldwide Survey" (1979). Poised between the present moment and past groundbreaking survey exhibitions of glass art at Corning, "New Glass 2019" will also be an opportunity to reflect on advancements in the use of glass in contemporary art and design from the late twentieth century to the now early twenty-first century.   

Each year, New Glass Review has acted like a portable survey exhibition of interesting and innovative works in glass. These works, according to an email exchange and telephone interview with curator Silbert, have always reflected the strength of the glass field. But, she added, with the expanded "New Glass 2019" exhibition project, “we have the opportunity to increase our reach” and to better serve both the community of artists and designers who work in glass and those that haven’t considered working in the material yet. As the flagship publication of the Corning Museum of Glass, New Glass Review also reflects on the museum itself. The wide reach of Corning's work is a legacy also set by its exhibitions, such as the pioneering "Glass 1959" and "New Glass: a Worldwide Survey" in 1979. Both of these exhibitions “brought unprecedented attention to the world of glass" via a “rigorous presentation” and "a kind of level and attention to detail that only Corning can do," Silbert said. 

"Glass 1959," Silbert explained, mostly displayed industrial design, much of it suitable for the home. Two years after this exhibition, the Studio Glass movement began and, as a result, "New Glass" mainly displayed, in Silbert’s words, "luscious and multicolored” Studio Glass forms. Today, she continued, glass art has developed even further and displays a range of ingenuity and incredible conceptual and manual skill; it incorporates Studio Glass and post-Studio Glass artists, industrial design, artists who do not traditionally use glass as a medium, video art, and other “non-static forms.”  "So much has happened between 1979 and 2019—whole worlds of glassmaking—and this makes New Glass 2019 an amazing opportunity to take a snapshot of our present moment,” Silbert excitedly conveyed. Both "Glass 1959" and "New Glass" introduced glass art to new researchers, institutions and collectors. Silbert hopes that "New Glass 2019" will do the same.

“There have been survey exhibitions of contemporary glass in the last 40 years, but none with the open submission process and global reach of New Glass," Silbert reflected. New Glass Review's selection process has, according to Silbert, been developed over forty-years and it is “akin to a curatorial process.” Selections are ultimately made based on a conversation between the curator and guest curators and entries are not ranked. Works are instead chosen by the curators based on what the selection committee thinks is timely or reflects important conversations occurring both inside and outside of the glass world. “We want to showcase the 'best' work, but what is 'best' is contingent. There is no such thing as the ‘best work of all time,’ rather what is best is based on a work’s set and setting, the time in which a piece is made in, the group it is seen within, the way it means within an artist’s career. Showcasing the particular interests, and concerns of glass workers and thinkers around the world each year is what New Glass Review is all about, and it is what this exhibition is about too,” Silbert explained. 

The conversational nature of the selection process will be reflected in New Glass Review, beginning with New Glass 39 and continuing into the anniversary edition, New Glass 40. While the journal has always published the name of the person who selected a given work, the new issues will also feature a text written by the selector that reflects the conversation that occurred among the selection panel. Further, in contrast to past issues, the chosen works will be arranged visually rather than alphabetically. This will take viewers on a visual journey and, by placing related works together, lend some context to the selected works. Summing up these changes, Silbert said, “One of the biggest, and smallest, changes I’ve made to New Glass Review is in terminology. I view New Glass Review as an exhibition-in-print designed to showcase the most innovative, timely works in glass from a given year and key trends in the field. We’ve updated the layout, graphic design, and interpretation in New Glass Review to reflect this approach. What I hope you’ll see is a visually compelling document that matches the innovation and dedication of the people who submit and the field as a whole." 

Entries for "New Glass 2019" are being accepted until May 31, 2018. Silbert offered some words of encouragement for those interested in entering: “The exhibition is open to works made by artists and designers of any age and at any stage in their career, they can be pieces you’ve submitted before, and even ones that have been published, as long as they were made in the last three years. I would really like to see work by new people—if you’ve submitted before, excellent, submit again, and if you haven’t, now is your chance.”

For more information on how to submit for the 2019 publication and exhibition:

Subscribe to Glass, and receive a complimentary copy of New Glass Review bundled with the Summer edition.

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