In Memoriam: Marvin Lipofsky (1938- 2016)

Marvin Lipofsky

Marvin Lipofsky

Some sad news just came to the studio – we received word that Studio Glass great Marvin Lipofsky passed away. 

Marvin Lipofsky was one of the six students that Studio Glass founder Harvey Littleton instructed in a program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in fall 1962 and spring 1963. He was a central figure in the dissemination of the American Studio Glass Movement, introducing it to California through his tenure as an instructor at the University of California, Berkeley and the California College of Arts and Crafts. 

Marvin Lipofsky - L'viv Group, No. 2, 2001-2002. Blown, cut and sandblasted glass. 8.5 x 18.5 x 18 in.

Marvin Lipofsky – L’viv Group, No. 2, 2001-2002. Blown, cut and sandblasted glass. 8.5 x 18.5 x 18 in.

Many of Lipofsky’s works are colorful “bubbles” of glass. Often semi-translucent they allow the viewer to examine their depths. He was best known for the organic form of his pieces. “His art is about the visceral and the gestural,” wrote Studio Glass connoisseur Dan Klein. “The forms are inspired by internal organs, intestines, breast, stomachs, brains; their colorful, mottled, crumpled, broken shapes and expression of turbulence and restlessness.” Lipofsky is well known for having devoted his career in glass to endless variations on the turbulent, broken bubble form.

His work, in short, was about glassblowing and the way the ways in which a blown glass sphere could be opened, shaped and distorted.

Tina Oldknow, the retired Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass, has written that she admires Lipofsky “for his devotion to material and form. His non-objective vessels break apart and rearrange the blown glass mass while retaining the breathy, ephemeral quality that is one of the medium’s most intriguing characteristics”.

Marvin Lipofsky’s beautiful work provides a powerful and enduring legacy.

8 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Marvin Lipofsky (1938- 2016)

  1. Мы с Марвином ровесники, рождения 1938.Познакомились с ним в 1988 году на симпозиуме в Кенте, увидели его работы на его персональной выставке и полюбили и работы и его самого. С тех пор мы встречались на различных симпозиумах и встречах в России, Украине, Чехии,Испании и других странах.Стекольное братство не знает границ, и политики – есть искусство, которое объединяет нас.We Marvin peers 1938.Poznakomilis birth to him in 1988 at a symposium in Kent, we saw him working at his personal exhibition, and fell in love and work and himself. Since then, we met at various symposia and meetings in Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Spain and other stranah.Stekolnoe brotherhood knows no boundaries, and politicians – is the art that unites us.

  2. Marvin was my friend, my mentor, my professor and supportive of my professional career as a glass artist. He was unique, kind, sometimes “not so kind”, but definitely influential to so many in the glass community and I will miss him very much.

  3. When I moved to the bay area Marvin was kind enough to give me darkroom space in his studio. We had fun together and I enjoyed him a lot. I will miss not running in to him in various places on earth.

  4. I was an undergraduate art major at Univ. of Wisconsin Madison in 1962 when I met Marvin in the ceramic studio while taking a class from Don Reitz. He was a teaching assistant in that class. At this time Harvey Littleton was just starting his glass blowing revival and only grad students were allowed to take the class. Marvin was an ambitious artist and big influence in the glass revival.

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