Washington Post Reviews Michael Janis Solo @ Littleton Gallery

The Washington Post published the following review of Michael Janis’ solo show “Echoes of Leaves and Shadows” being exhibited at the Maurine Littleton Gallery through Oct 15. Art critic Mark Jenkins  describes Michael’s skill as “extraordinary. Jenkins also enthuses that Janis’ glass artwork combines “the stateliness of stained-glass windows with the vivacity of pop art”. Have a read of the full text below:

Michael Janis. "Radiance," 2016, glass, glass powder imagery, steel; on view at Maurine Littleton Gallery. (Michael Janis/Maurine Littleton Gallery)

Michael Janis. “Radiance,” 2016, glass, glass powder imagery, steel; on view at Maurine Littleton Gallery. (Michael Janis/Maurine Littleton Gallery)

By Mark Jenkins October 8, 2016

Michael Janis

If Michael Janis worked with pencil or charcoal, his draftsmanship would be impressive. But the D.C. artist draws photorealist portraits with pulverized glass, placing the powder exactly with tiny tools. Which is extraordinary.

Most of the pieces in “Echoes of Leaves and Shadows,” at Maurine Littleton Gallery, include depictions of pretty young women. These gamines, who might be ballerinas or French New Wave stars, are rendered in granulated black glass fused by heat to clear glass sheets. The pieces aren’t just black-and-clear, though. Janis overlays and underlies patches of translucent colored glass, and often adds such 3-D glass elements as butterflies or flower petals. Aqua and orange are common in this array, among other hues. In one picture, an abstract yellow-green swirl contrasts the subject’s slightly darker green eyes.

Janis employs many variations, slicing faces into three equal parts or contrasting them with panels of textured glass. There are ceramic busts garlanded with glass leaves, and portraits embellished with near-opaque peacock- or dark-blue circles. The latter combine the stateliness of stained-glass windows with the vivacity of pop art — half medieval cathedral, half 1960s Vogue.

Michael Janis: Echoes of Leaves and Shadows On view through Oct. 15 at Maurine Littleton Gallery, 1667 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-333-9307. littletongallery.com.

Witness Tim Tate’s Infinite Mirror Sculpture

Artist Tim Tate has been pulling traditional craft into new realms and depths. Tim shared his newest series “Witnesses of Wonders” and the work is incredible. In this series,Tim has been using elements that were 3-D printed at Catholic University’s modeling department combined with infinity mirrors to expand the sensation of unlimited space in the artwork. 

From Tim’s artist statement about his series:

Tim Tate, "21st Century Guernica"; Glass, Cast Images, LED; 36" x 36 x 4". In this piece a ring of translucent refugee boats float in the center, all with no where to turn to. The center ring is shared with red poppies, the symbol for war remembrance in England. The outer edge is made up of individual images from the powerful Picasso painting entitled Guernica.

Tim Tate, “21st Century Guernica”; Glass, Cast Images, LED; 36″ x 36 x 4″. In this piece a ring of translucent refugee boats float in the center, all with no where to turn to. The center ring is shared with red poppies, the symbol for war remembrance in England. The outer edge is made up of individual images from the powerful Picasso painting entitled Guernica.

“I try to entice the viewer to look deeply into and completely experience my windows into alternative dimensions. My works create an optical and bodily illusion of infinity through apparently limitless space. There is an intimacy created by viewing deeply into a circular opening, as if peering through a portal to witness another endlessly repeating reality.

Tim Tate, 21st Century Guernica - detail .  Said Tim about the imagery of the refugee boats, " Refugees right now are trying to escape unspeakable atrocities and protect their families who are turned away at country after country. This is the shame of our decade. "

Tim Tate, 21st Century Guernica – detail . Said Tim about the imagery of the refugee boats, ” Refugees right now are trying to escape unspeakable atrocities and protect their families who are turned away at country after country. This is the shame of our decade. “

 

The constant repetition of imagery also speaks to us of timelines: ones that go endlessly into the future or extend endlessly into the past. These repetitions reference society mired into static social patterns, some good, some bad.

Tim Tate. "21st Century Guernica" detail.    "Picasso made his painting in mostly tones of black white and gray "to drain the life out of them". I drenched them in red and returned color to them because this horror is happening right now in this world....in fact this very second." said Tim Tate.

Tim Tate. “21st Century Guernica” detail. “Picasso made his painting in mostly tones of black white and gray “to drain the life out of them”. I drenched them in red and returned color to them because this horror is happening right now in this world….in fact this very second.” said Tim Tate.

We look inside these portals as if seeing into a dream, fully realizing that this is but an illusion. But even though we know it is a illusion that should not stop us from freely examining it, and hopefully seeing another world at the same time.

Tim Tate, "The Endless Cycle"; 36 x 36 x 4"; Glass, Aluminum, Poly-Vitro, electronics

Tim Tate, “The Endless Cycle”; 36 x 36 x 4″; Glass, Aluminum, Poly-Vitro, electronics

Uncomfortable with any single defining time, I prefer sliding through the centuries; from 19th century Victorian techno-fetishism, to mid and late 20th century references to endless mirrors and studio glass to 21st century electronics and political focus. Perhaps all my work can be defined by how uncomfortable I am with definitions.” Tim Tate.

For more images of Tim Tate’s newest works – click HERE to have a look at his website

Tim Tate, "The Endless Cycle". Said Tim about this work: "For every man shown here, 1000 people died last year because of gun violence. For every gun shown here, a child dies every day. A hard lesson we have to learn from Orlando.....only by joining together can we hope to curtail gun violence."

Tim Tate, “The Endless Cycle”. Said Tim about this work: “For every man shown here, 1000 people died last year because of gun violence. For every gun shown here, a child dies every day. A hard lesson we have to learn from Orlando…..only by joining together can we hope to curtail gun violence.”

Workhouse Glass National 2015

lorton.glass.national.maurine_littleton.2015.usa.art.virginiaLorton, Virginia’s Workhouse Arts Center opened its 1st Annual Workhouse Glass National Exhibition reception this past weekend. The exhibit was created from an “Open Call” for functional and/or sculptural glass artworks, juried by the legendary gallerist, Maurine Littleton.

Featuring a range of contemporary glass artwork currently being created throughout the United States of America, Washington Glass School is proud that works by two WGS Resident Artists, Veta Carney and Diane Cooper Cabe were among the artwork selected for the exhibit. Congratulation to all the artists!

Artists exhibiting:
Paul Heller, Elizabeth James, Sandi Martina, Nancy Nicholson, Biba Schutz, Barbara Atkinson, Suellen Black, Diane Cooper Cabe, Veta Carney, Eli Cecil, Lauren Cummings,, Dick Ditore, Jean Fernandes, Rhonda Gilbert, Charlie Holden, Jaye Houle, Benjamin Johnson, Winn Jones, Rollin Karg, Laura Beth Konopinski, Andrew Madvin, Ursula Marcum, Jennifer Nauck, Steven Ramsey, Mary Richardson, Scott Slagerman, Paul Swartwood, Natalie Tyler and Janet Wittenberg

Workhouse Glass National 2015

Now thru  - January 17, 2016

9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton, VA 22079

Report from Chicago SOFA

Chicago's Navy Pier was host for the 2015 SOFA expo.

Chicago’s Navy Pier was host for the 2015 SOFA expo.

As the 2015 edition of the Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design fair wound down the red dots were spread around the exhibition spaces at Chicago’s Navy Pier Festival Hall that featured glass. The broadened scope of works included more painting and photography as part of the show’s evolution.

Tim Tate talks about his work at Habatat Galleries space.

Tim Tate talks about his work at Habatat Galleries space.

Washington Glass School artists Tim Tate, Michael Janis, Allegra Marquart, Audrey Wilson and Sean Hennessey were featured at Michigan’s Habatat Gallery, Maurine Littleton and Alida Anderson Art Project spaces that featured works by internationally acclaimed artists.

The art expo also featured talks by the artists about their work and notable critics such as William Warmus and American Craft Editor Monica Moses hosted lively discussions on the future of collecting. 

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Editor-in-Chief of American Craft, Monica Moses, with curator/critic/art consultant Bill Warmus presenting a talk about the future of collecting @ SOFA Chicago 2015.

One of the best activities for this visitor was to wander amongst the incredible artwork and strike up a conversation with the artists that you had a craft-crush and obtain real insight into their work and process. Some of the works truly left the viewer gobsmacked – with details and depths to the work that jpeg photos simply could not show. Although the show was just a long weekend, I could have kept finding new works to be mesmerized in each aisle. 

Michael Janis talks about his work at SOFA Chicago

Michael Janis talks about his work at SOFA Chicago

I can’t wait till next year’s iteration! But until then – have a look at some of the glass works photos in the Washington Glass School’s flickr album – click HERE to jump to SOFA Chicago album. Or- want to see a short local PBS (WTTW) vid? Click HERE.

Detail of "The Gun Eater" by Carmen Lozar.

Detail of “The Gun Eater” by Carmen Lozar.

 

Carmen Lozar's "The Gun Eater" at Bender Gallery.

Carmen Lozar’s “The Gun Eater” at Bender Gallery.

Washington Glass School At S.O.F.A. Chicago 2014

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Every fall – for the past 20 years – Chicago, IL hosts the internationally acclaimed Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair (aka SOFA Chicago).  

The 21st SOFA Chicago will be held November 7 – 9, 2014 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall where masterworks from top international galleries and dealers from numerous countries will exhibit. Opening night gala preview will be held Thursday, November 6.

Washington Glass School is represented by artists Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart at Maurine Littleton Gallery and Sean Hennessey and Tim Tate are exhibiting at Habatat Galleries Space.

Allegra Marquart, "On The Bus", 2014,  cast glass, enamel OA dimensions 48" L x  24" H.

Allegra Marquart, “On The Bus” (detail), 2014, cast glass, enamel; OA dimensions 48″ L x 24″ H. Photo by Anything Photographic

Allegra Marquart will present a number of her new wall installations. Her new works are not strictly narrative but relate to etchings the artist made years ago when she first moved to the city and began interpreting what she saw on the streets with humor and an eye for juxtaposing disparate situations and individuals.

Sean Hennessey, "The Fur-Suit of Happiness" Cast Glass, Paint, Video (Photo by Anything Photographic)

Sean Hennessey, “The Fur-Suit of Happiness” Cast Glass, Paint, Video
(Photo by Anything Photographic)

Sean Hennessey will be showing his cast glass/ mixed media panels at Habatat Galleries. His new works integrate electronics and videos into the panels.

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Tim Tate, “The Healing Polyopticon”, Poly-Vitro, Glass, Video

Tim Tate will be showing his installation “The Healing Polyopticon” – a 5 ft wide installation consisting of 16 video pieces in varying sizes of cast black frames. Each video is in the form of an eye blinking; each eye different. Surrounding this cluster of 16 video frames are cast black flowers that fills out the 5 ft wide circle . The work is based on a terminal diagnosis he received 30 years ago – and he imagined that he was being kept safe by those who passed before him – all keeping an eye on him thru portals. In this sculpture he portrays people who had effected his life in a positive way…keeping him from passing over, making him safe; imbuing him with self healing energy. This powerful sculpture will at Habatat Galleries space.

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Michael Janis, “Breathing In The Quiet” and “Waiting For The Lover’s Words”, fused glass powder imagery, glass, steel. (Photo by Anything Photographic)

Michael Janis will be showing a number of new works at Maurine Littleton Gallery space. The American Institute of Interior Designers (ASID) chose his work as part of their picks for SOFA Selectswhere highlighted pieces chosen by noted curators, designers, and critics give viewers of the fair way to navigate the huge show.

If you are going to the show – be sure to stop by and visit with the artists – all will be at the Chicago Fair!

Habatat Michigan’s 42nd International Glass Invitational Opens Next Week

Habatat Galleries was established in 1971 in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. It is the oldest and largest gallery in the United States devoted exclusively to artists working with glass as their medium. The 12,000 sq. ft. gallery in Royal Oak, MI, is the home of the International Glass Invitational, which for 42 years has introduced and exhibited the greatest artists working creatively with glass. This year, three artists from the Washington Glass School – Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis and Tim Tate are included in the exhibition.

habatat.michigan.international.invitational

Habatat Galleries – Michigan works with many museums and art centers where they have developed exhibits that have been displayed in over 100 public institutions. Each year Habatat publishes catalogs celebrating these both national and international events.

michael janis.glass. habatat_michigan.international.martin.janecky

habatat.gallery.mi. 42nd.international.invitational.glass.dc.secessionism.post_studio.art

Habatat Gallery has the catalog for the 42 International Glass Invitational online – click on image to jump to online publication.

Report From SOFA Chicago

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Finally had a chance to catch my breath from a rushed viewing of the 18th Annual Sculpture Objects and Functional Art Fair (SOFA) held at Chicago’s Navy Pier!.
This year’s SOFA Chicago
featured more than 60 international art galleries and dealers presenting museum-quality artworks and design, as well as lecture and tour series.
SOFA CHICAGO 2011 highlights included:

Maurine Littleton Gallery
The Washington, DC gallery showcased the newest works by WGS artists Michael Janis and Allegra Marquart alongside some of the “glass superstar legends” like Harvey Littleton, Therman Statom and Ginny Ruffner.


Works shown include Colin Reed, John Littleton, Kate Vogel, Harvey Littleton, Michael Janis, Therman Staom, Allegra Marquart, Ginny Ruffner and Drew Storm Graham.


Allegra Marquart’s new narrative sandcarved glass panels (L) and Drew Storm Graham’s wood assemblages (R).


John Littleton and Kate Vogel’s cast glass artwork.

Michael Janis’ painterly fused glass artwork

Jane Sauer Gallery
The Santa Fe gallery had a strong mix of artists in a variety of media.

Tim Tate’s delicious new works – cast glass sweets! Tim also featured framed hand-colored prints of his imagery.


Tim Tate’s video reliquaries are always a show favorite.

Hawk Gallery
The Cincinnati gallery had a stunning solo show of cast glass work by Bertil Vallien.


A stunning cross-section of Bertil’s works.

Bertil’s ladle cast glass encases beautiful imagery.

Bullseye Gallery
The Portland, OR based gallery featured the new directions kilnformed glass is heading.


April Surgent’s cameo-etched work.

Silvia Levensen’s fun sculpture and fused glass panels.

Catherine Newell’s new fused glass panels.

Heller Gallery
Always a must-see, the New York gallery had some instant favorites.


Susan Taylor Glasgow’s “Communal Nest” -a large-scale assemblage consisting of glass twigs, real branches, a chair and a glass pillow. The work was built with help from the community and from artists around the world, all of whom contributed glass twigs to this “collective” nest. But despite these and other it-takes-a-village aspects — Susan’s work ultimately suggests a rather ironic view of home.

Susan Taylor Glasgow’s visions of domestic bliss.
Steffan Dam’s glass recalls scientific analysis.

Marc Petrovic’s roll-up process and stunning technique and aesthetic continues to amaze and impress.

Beth Lipman’s table of fish.

Duane Reed Gallery
The St Louis gallery featured some glass beauties.


Kari Russell Pool’s beautiful flameworked sculptures.


Cassandra Blackmore’s abstract glass panels.

Some works that also caught our eye:


Janis Miltenberger’s flamework sculpture at Thomas Riley Galleries.

Australia’s Beaver Gallery showed Jeremy Lepisto’s crate series.

Wexler Gallery showed how the simplicity of Sydney Cash’s work plays with the light.

Blue Rain showed the fun and beautiful work by Rik Allen. Here a glass spaceman floats amongst the glass.


The annual show was a great time to see the best of media-based artwork and meet some of the artists I’ve only read about.
Many thanks to Betty Py for the photos – for more of her images of glass art shown at SOFA – CLICK HERE to jump to the Flickr site she set up for Washington Glass School.