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.

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