Issue 167 | Summer
by Andrew Page
The artist’s monograph is weighty by design, its physical mass and heavy paper stock signals of the importance of the subject. Knowing this, the first time I picked up a copy of Glass: The Life and Art of Klaus Moje (NewSouth Publishing, 2022), I was still so surprised at its weight I actually put it on a scale, where it clocked in just shy of four pounds (almost two kilos). In this case, the book’s weight is not just physical. This is a substantial, exhaustively researched work and the definitive monograph of a giant of glass art.
The author, Nola Anderson, is an accomplished art historian experienced in arts management (she’s the former chair of the Canberra Glassworks) but also was handpicked by Klaus Moje to tell the story of his remarkable life and career. The project took years to see the light of day, and her interviews continued as Moje’s health was failing, but the results speak for themselves. Most of the photography in the book was taken by Moje himself, and its reproduction on the aforementioned heavy paper stock is impeccable—the rich saturation of color brings the intensity of hue and pattern to life, and the exquisite printing makes you want to get lost in its visual feast, adequate space of which is dedicated to full-page plates of Moje’s groundbreaking advances in kilnforming.
Thankfully, there is also room for text, because Anderson weaves together the dual stories of Moje’s education and career with his artistic explorations, and the journeys are linked in myriad ways. Anderson distills her unique access to Moje into a taut narrative that never bogs down in academic terminology but remains clear-eyed in recounting and analyzing Moje’s passionate embrace of color and intricacy through a medium that glorified both. The field of glass art is elevated by this publication, of which we are proud to feature an excerpt in this issue. The process of the book’s realization was lengthy and challenging but has culminated in an important work of criticism.
Other features in this issue include our cover article and in-depth interview with Preston Singletary on the occasion of his immersive exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Early explorations of performative art with glass are discussed by contributing editor Samantha De Tillio, in the first of a three-part series. London-based contributing editor Emma Park considers the “glass ceiling” (if you will) that artists working with the material face in the U.K., and compares the challenges to the U.S. art market. She also wrote the second installment of our “Glass Around the World” series, this one focusing in on Kosta Boda’s bold bid to reinvent itself for its survival, another chapter in the adaptation and transformation sweeping the field of glass art today.
Winners of the 2022 Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass; reviews of new art books by Paul Stankard and Tanja Pak; Australia’s Gerry King, being celebrated in a major museum retrospective, is in no hurry to slow down.
Jeremy Bert and Jennifer Elek at Traver Gallery, Seattle; Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty at the Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, Arizona; Stanislav Libenský & Jaroslava Brychtová at Heller Gallery, New York; William Morris at Hawk Galleries, Columbus, Ohio; Wolfgang Buttress at the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.
Recognizing the donors whose commitment to UrbanGlass made all the difference in 2021.
by Michael Estes Taylor
In the decade before the Glass Art Society formed, a magical material for art captured the countercultural moment—and defined a community.
by Sadia Tasnim
With his museum installation “Raven and the Box of Daylight” now on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Preston Singletary celebrates his heritage and a powerful Tlingit myth.
Cold and Hot
by Samantha De Tillio
Performative art, craft, and glass in the 20th century (first of a three-part series)
Walking the Line(s)
by Emma Park
How the fine-art world locates work made from glass and the challenges artists continue to face breaking out of traditional systems of classification in the U.K.
Glass as Art, Glass as Lifestyle: Sweden’s Kosta Boda Finds Its Way
by Emma Park
Our second installment of our year-long series "Glass Around the World" in recognition of 2022 having been declared "The International Year of Glass" by the United Nations.
by Nola Anderson
In an excerpt from her new book, Glass: The Life and Art of Klaus Moje, the artist’s handpicked biographer charts a breakthrough in Moje’s lifelong quest to develop a new language of expression in kilnformed glass.