Photos from 21st Century Glass Exhibit

21st Century Glass post studio glass

Maryland’s Salisbury University Galleries had an exhibition of glass artworks reflecting the expanded nature of contemporary sculptural glass art. Curated by Steven Durow, the head of Salisbury University’s glass program, the show featured a diverse roster of artists. 

Sculpture by Sibylle Peretti

Sculpture by Sibylle Peretti

Said Steven about the exhibit’s effect on the students in Salisbury’s glass program:  ” I can say for certain that it was an eye opener for the students here! The students were blown away by the variety of the work. They had no idea that the material had so many possibilities”

Salisbury University exhibit on 21st Century Glass

Salisbury University students got schooled on glass as sculptural medium.

Steven also added that he felt the show was a success, and it was a success solely because of phenomenal  work done by amazing people.  

Artists featured in the show included Davin Ebanks, Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Weston Lambert, Carmen Lozar, Sibylle Peretti, Margaret Spacapan, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson and Walter Zimmerman. 

Glass sculptures by Carmen Lozar

Glass sculptures by Carmen Lozar

21st Century Glass

Glass in the 21st Century Exhibition @ Salisbury University

21st Century Glass exhibit at Salisbury University

21st Century Glass exhibit at Salisbury University

Maryland’s Salisbury University Galleries will present an exhibition of glass artworks by a diverse roster of noteworthy artists, reflecting the expanded nature of contemporary sculptural glass art. Glass, as a medium, is undergoing a sea change. What started as a bohemian enterprise in the garage of the Toledo museum of art in 1962 turned into a cultural force by the early 1990’s. Artists like Dale Chihuly and the strong influence of Venetian glassworking techniques set the tone for the Studio Glass Movement for more than three decades. The early spirit of experimentation and a devil-may-care attitude toward process gave way to an emphasis on bright colors, skillful execution, and mastery of increasingly complicated techniques. However it is evident that momentum for a new paradigm is building.

Audrey Wilson, "Jacob's Ladder", Pâte de verre, kiln formed tempered glass, refractory glass, found objects

Audrey Wilson, “Jacob’s Ladder”, Pâte de verre, Kiln-formed Tempered Glass, Refractory glass, Found objects

 

Artists who have no previous connection to the material like Roni Horn, Anish Kapoor, and Kiki Smith (among many others) are including major glass sculptures in their body of work, and finding an audience for that work in some of the most prestigious museums around the globe. This would have been virtually unheard of 20 years ago as glass was dismissed out of hand as a purely ‘craft material’. Artists like Josiah Mcelheny take traditional glassmaking processes and turn them on their head by incorporating social commentary and by connecting his work to a historical context., “21st Century Glass” looks at the future of the medium as artists move away from technique-driven work into a more modern approach to the material. Movements like Glass Secessionism (placing the focus on artistic vision) and Hyperopia Projects (artists with glass backgrounds drawing from multiple disciplines and media) are included in this survey of sculptural glass.

Davin Ebanks, "Portrait of the Artist: Redaction: 13.05.17, Pterois volitans", Blown, Hot-sculpted, Sand-blasted & Mirrored Glass, Wood, Aluminium

Davin Ebanks, “Portrait of the Artist: Redaction: 13.05.17, Pterois volitans”, Blown, Hot-sculpted, Sand-blasted & Mirrored Glass, Wood, Aluminium

Steven Durow, the Head of SU’s Art Department Glass Area was the curator of the exhibition. Durow gave some insight on the show: I chose the title for this exhibition, Glass in the 21st Century, because I wanted to take note of this moment in time as we settle into the new millennium and to take a glimpse down the road to see where glass as a material for artistic expression might be headed. The work in this exhibition comprises a sampling of artists whose approach to the material of glass exemplify the changes”.

Durow continued: “The digital revolution has given artists access to technologies for video, sound, and interactive media that is unprecedented. Advancements in glass studio equipment and the inclusions of glass programs in the university setting (as well as artist retreat centers like Penland, Pilchuck, etc) have given more people access to the material than at any time in human history. What were once fiercely guarded secrets are now a YouTube search away. Artists have become their own educators. Harvey Littleton, the recognized founder of the Studio Glass Movement in America famously quipped, “Technique is cheap.” Today, it is free. Now that an artist working in glass can do whatever they want, the focus becomes what will they choose to say with it? That is the focus of this exhibition.”

The artist in this exhibition represent the changing way artists are approaching the material of glass. Featured artists include: Karen Donnellan, Davin Ebanks, Sean Hennessey, Michael Janis, Weston Lambert, Carmen Lozar, Sibylle Peretti, Margaret Spacapan, Tim Tate, Erwin Timmers, Audrey Wilson, and Walter Zimmerman

21st Century Glass

January 20th – February 21, 2015

SU Art Galleries, Fulton Hall, 1101 Camden Avenue, Salisbury, MD 21801

Artist Lecture by Karen Donnellan: Thursday February 19 at 5:30pm, Fulton Hall 111
Reception to follow in the University Gallery. SU Art Galleries programming is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council.

Glass Secessionism

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Tony Oursler

The Internet and social network groups continue to create changes and offer options in art criticism and discussions. A new Facebook group “Glass Secessionism” has sprung up, creating a venue for artwork with a narrative or content-driven aesthetic.


According to the group description:

The intent of this group is to underscore and define the 21st Century Sculptural Glass Movement and to illustrate the differences and strengths compared to late 20th century technique-driven glass. While the 20th century glass artists contributions have been spectacular and ground breaking, this group focuses on the aesthetic of the 21st century.

Kiki Smith

The object of the Glass-Secession is to advance glass as applied to sculptural expression; to draw together those glass artists practicing or otherwise interested in the arts, and to discuss from time to time examples of the Glass-Secession or other narrative work. This movement is modeled after Alfred Stieglitz and the Photo-Secessionists and how they redefined photography.

It was said of Stieglitz” What, then, was this secession from? It was not only from artwork that had gone stale through the copying of Victorian, conventional styles, but more importantly from the dictatorship of the entrenched institutions, galleries, art schools and professional art organizations that enforced or at very least sanctioned copying or imitation.”

Stephen Paul Day & Sibelle Peretti

Keep in mind, by Glass Secessionism it is not to say that we as artists are seceding from glass, just from the aesthetic of purely technique, material and process driven sculpture. There is no disrespect meant towards technique driven work. Glass Secessionism is a different branch of the glass tree. Think of them as separate but equal.
Glass Secessionism, with notable exceptions, is focused on 21st century sculptors in glass – and can include mixed and new media. There is a strong movement which begins at the graduate school level, to focus more on the narrative content and less on materiality. The newest emerging artists in glass tend to be much more focused on this direction.


Christina Bothwell

Glass is finally being allowed to be just another sculptural medium. The fine art world is certainly beginning to take notice, as so many notable fine art galleries and museums (not focused on glass in the past) are allowing and, in fact, promoting work and artists that are glass based.

Members are encouraged to post and share their own or others examples of 21st century glass sculpture and open discussion topics regarding this issue. Click HERE to jump to the Facebook group.