Issue 175 | Summer

Editor's Letter

by Andrew Page

On the cover of Glass #175 is a striking table installation 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. To say they 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.

The midcareer retrospective originated at The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum (The Cheech) in 2022, but at Corning, the brothers were also guest artists for 11 days at the Corning Amphitheater Hot Shop, making work, live streaming, and generally bringing even more high-voltage intensity, as if their work needs anything additional. The brothers work in a style of tandem,stream-of-consciousness art-making that builds layers upon layers of incongruous juxtapositions: the sacred and profane, the refined and the guttural, the ancient and the contemporary. This visual overload collapses history and culture into works that vibrate with the immediate present, offering insightful tropes about the universals of human nature and experience.

Time is a consideration in all the feature articles in this issue. Antoine Leperlier 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. His works suspend mists of color like nebulae, calling to mind the frozen moments of Harold Edgerton’s groundbreaking photography, but without the hard edges, elevating into a state outside of time.Sibylle Peretti examines the interplay between the natural and man-made worlds, her work documenting the encroaching impact on remote ecosystems and landscapes.

Contributing editor Samantha DeTillio considers Peretti’s practice in light of the famous Hudson River School landscape painter Thomas Cole, who was already seeing this dynamic playing out in the 1800s in the Northeast, the idyllic landscape marred by the tanneries, mills, and logging that was already rapacious. Nearly two centuries later, human dominion over nature has hit critical levels.

Finally, our 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. The question, according to Park, is whether the threatened closure is a symptom of larger funding challenges in a post-Brexit U.K. as artists face a wave of setbacks, yet fight on.


In memoriam: architect, artist, and longtime UrbanGlass board member Jeffrey Beers (1956-2024); Corning’s Bill Gudenrath shares his discoveries of ancient glass process in new digital publication The Techniques of Roman-Period Glassblowing; The Corning Museum’s Tami Landis talks about her broad curatorial and educational experiences and how they inform her key curatorial role; amidst a wave of New York gallery closures, Heller Gallery turned off the lights for good at its Tenth Avenue exhibition space to focus on online sales and art fairs; in memoriam: Petr Novotný (1952-2024), an ambassador, glass virtuoso, and innovator who helped sustain the historic glassmaking culture of Nový Bor, dies at 72; in memoriam: Australian educator, artist, and mentor Gerry King (1945-2024); Yoshitomo Nara’s glass snow globes face recall due to safety concerns.


April Surgent at Traver Gallery, Seattle; Kim Harty at Heller Gallery, New York; Nicholas Burridge at Canberra Glassworks, Australia; Glass at Frieze Los Angeles in Santa Monica, California.

UrbanGlass News

A Congolese-born, French/American interdisciplinary artist, Ghislaine Sabiti, has been appointed as director of the UrbanGlass Bead Project.


by William Warmus

The timeless qualities of glass make even the most contemporary work well suited to adjacencies with antiquities


Feast Your Eyes

by Andrew Page

Brothers, artistic collaborators, and dual-citizens Jamex and Einar de la Torre flit back and forth across the U.S. border with Mexico, reveling in their multiple identities through a subversive remix of visual culture. Their iconographic mash-ups are amusing, but also force contemplation of the dire state of our joyous but deeply flawed world.

Saving the National Glass Centre

by Emma Park

Institutional cuts to the arts in Britain are so severe that the glassmaking community may never recover.

The Shape of Time

by Emma Park

The grandson of the Art Nouveau pâte-de-verre master François-Emile Décorchemont, Antoine Leperlier employs his ancestor’s secret formulas and techniques in new ways to further his own quest to immortalize fleeting moments before they vanish into the past.

On the Precipice

by Samantha DeTillio

Sibylle Peretti’s explorations of industrial encroachment on the wild American landscape call to mind Thomas Cole’s Hudson River School paintings.

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.