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.

Penland School of Craft Auction Features Michael Janis’ “Flying In Place”

Michael Janis, "Flying in Place", fused glass powder imagery, steel, silver

Michael Janis, “Flying in Place”, fused glass powder imagery, steel, silver, 24″ x 7″

With less than one month to go until the 2015 Penland Benefit Auction, Penland, the national center for craft education located in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains featured Washington Glass School co-director Michael Janis and his artwork “Flying in Place”. Below, Michael Rogers, Professor of Imaging Arts and Sciences at Rochester Institute of Technology, describes Michael’s work and his process. “Flying in Place” and many other works of glass will be up for bidding at the 30th anniversary of the Penland Benefit Auction this summer. You can now view all of these works online in the 2015 auction catalog.

“Michael Janis is an exceptional visual artist, an innovator, and a master of the technique of fusing with glass powder-essentially ‘painting with glass on glass.’ It takes years of trial and error for an artist to achieve fluency in an area of artistic endeavor where one must charter unknown territory to make discoveries unique to themselves. Through skill, vision, tenacity, and dedication, Michael has created a strong and clear voice with the material that is truly his own. Certainly painters would envy Michael’s ability to orchestrate translucency, opacity, and transparency in tandem with chromatic diversity to achieve depth in the two-dimensional plane. However, Michael is much more than technically adept.

Michael Janis, "Flying in Place",glass, glass powder imagery, silver, steel, 24"dia x 7"

Michael Janis, “Flying in Place”,glass, glass powder imagery, silver, steel, 24″dia x 7″ The frit powder imagery is presented as distorted in the front-on viewing, and the distorted image is viewed un-distorted in the reflection of the silvered glass cylinder.

“After all, Michael is a storyteller, an artist who draws simultaneously upon the past, present, and future to develop the content of his work. Through memory, awareness, and intuitiveness, one could say Michael evokes meaning in his work. With Flying in Place, we are presented with a stunningly beautiful and fascinating piece of poetic narrative. Metaphorically rich in associations, this work preserves its mystery while engaging the viewer’s curiosity. In the end, Michael’s intense ability with material and technique allows him to transcend these aspects of making to communicate his intention directly. Michael’s genius is in suspending reality and creating an illusion one can get lost in. In this way, he captivates the viewer.

“When I see this work by Michael Janis I think that here is a mature artist, an artist at the top of his game.” – Michael Rogers

Please join the Penland Benefit Auction on August 7 and 8, 2015.

Join Penland’s event page to stay up to date on the latest auction news and stories.

Absentee bidders can register by clicking this link. For reservations, please contact Jackie Head at 828-765-2359 x 112 or auction@penland.org.

For more information about the 2015 Annual Benefit Auction, click here to visit Penland’s auction website or call 828-765-2359 x 112.

American Craft Magazine Features Washington Glass School Artists

Check out American Craft Magazine online.

The April/May issue of American Craft Magazine is now out – within the sheets of the magazine – or at the ACC website, one can see familiar faces names and artworks.
The magazine cover lists the contents: Fossils, Claws, Fur, Chicken Legs, Fangs, Fungi, Spider Eggs and Twigs – so clearly, the magazine is all about WGS.
Marc Petrovic’s beautiful blown sculpture “Not The Brightest Bulb” is featured with an article by Glen Adamson, from London’s V & A Museum, that asks if craft can connect the viewers more to nature.

Great article by Glen Adamson on the rise of technology and the disconnect with nature.

“Mermaids Past Their Prime”photo by Pete Duvall

Tim Tate is also featured in the article by senior editor Julie Hanus, titled “More Than Human“. Julie’s article is a fun look at how artists create human/animal imagery to create compelling insights to who we are. His featured work, one of his pieces from his eries ’21st Century Sideshows’ – a mixed media reliquary titled “Mermaids Past Their Prime”. Daily Art Muse blog author Susan Lomuto was the starring actor for the video portrayal of a chain smoking world weary faded maid.

Other glass artists – Martin Janecky and Anne Wolff‘s works were in an article about Habatat Galleries upcoming 41st International Glass Invitational, which opens April 24. The Michigan gallery will have a concurrent exhibition, titled “eXpose,”at that time that includes works by our Sean Hennessey.

Getting a big spread of 8 pages, Michael Janis is profiled by Rebecca Ritzel.

Forget “Being John Malkovich” – the American Craft Magazine article is about “Becoming Michael Janis”!
sgraffito on glass, scraffito, glass frit powder drawing
photo by Robert Severi

Rebecca talks with Michael and uncovers his past life as an architect in Australia, and how, in a short amount of time, became one of leading ‘sgrafitto’ glass artists in the world.

If you get the subscription for the magazine – it should be delivered in the next few days. If you want it online – you can get the digital subscription to the magazine HERE.
Or – run right out to the newstand and demand your copy – AT ONCE!