MONTGOMERY MUSEUM of FINE ART | Lino Tagliapietra Exhibition

“Tagliapietra’s creativity and techniques have had a profound impact on generations of glass artists and on the medium itself. We are honored to have artwork from one of his most important series, Dinosaur, in our permanent collection. Many are in awe after seeing the beautiful elongated shape of the sculpture for the first time, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to present a larger body of Tagliapietra’s work to the region.”  Angie Dodson, Director of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Jim Schantz, Jennifer Jankauskas. Lino, Kim Saul, Charles and Winnie Stakely.

We are very honored to be able to participate in curating this solo exhibition of Lino Tagliapietra, Master of Beauty.  This is the first time an exhibition of Tagliapietra’s extraordinary sculptures have been on view in the state of Alabama. The project began several years ago when our friends and clients, Charles and Winnie Stakely suggested having an exhibition of Lino Tagliapietra’s work at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. We have known the Stakely’s for many years and they certainly are very familiar with Lino’s work and we are thankful for their lead sponsorship of this exhibition. We are also grateful to our new friends, Laura and Barrie Harmon, and Dawn and Adam Schloss for their sponsorship and the AACG for a grant they provided.

Lino explaining his technique to the Collectors Tour participants.

We would like to thank Ed Bridges, Jennifer Jankauskas, Margaret Lynn Ausfeld and Sarah Kelly, and the many people on the staff at the museum for all their time and effort in arranging this exhibition. We would also like to thank James Bill and Kristen Johnson, from our staff back in Stockbridge and Jacopo Vecchiato, Lino’s grandson, who is Director of Lino’s U.S. operation.

It was my pleasure to be able to curate the 40 works in this exhibition to represent a cross-section of Lino’s work. With a career spanning more than 70 years, it would be challenging to exhibit the range works that represent his incredible career. The works in this exhibition span the past twenty years.

Below, photography by Becca Beers, provided by the MMFA.

                                   

The entire staff and board members of the museum planned a wonderful two days filled with dinners, talks, and a festive opening reception. We were treated to that warm Southern hospitality and charmed by each and every person we met there.  Lino Tagliapietra and Jim Schantz spoke at a lecture before a member-only opening for the show.  The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art is absolutely amazing, with regional and national collections of very important works, outdoor sculpture garden, the most creative and engaging educational art facility we have ever seen…. and the nearby Shakespeare Theater across the reflecting pond is state of the art. This museum is certainly a destination for the people of the region to learn from and too enjoy.

Lino with Ed Bridges.

Adam and Dawn Schloss with Lino.

The exhibition, Lino Tagliapietra, Master of Beauty runs through January 20, 2019. 

Curating an Exhibition at the Morris Museum

“Although Lino embodies centuries of Venetian traditions in glass-making techniques, he also continually quests to bring new ideas and approaches to the medium”  –Jim Schantz, director of Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

“The boldness of his vision is why he’s so widely celebrated, married with that technical virtuosity. It’s this combination of tradition and innovation that really sets Lino apart from pretty much anybody else working in glass.”   Andrew Page, managing editor of GLASS Quarterly

It began over a year ago with a conversation between a gallerist and a collector; Jim Schantz and Alan Levitan.   Alan asked after learning that Jim had curated the show at the Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass, “How about a show of Lino’s work at the Morris Museum?”

“Of course!” Jim said, “… and we can help with it!”

After hundreds of hours and many phone calls, meetings, committees, detailed lists of arrangements,  The Morris Museum currently showcases a selection of the maestro’s works in the exhibition, Lino Tagliapietra: Maestro of a Glass Renaissance through June 18th. The show features 30 pieces hand-picked by Morris Museum curator Alexandra Willis and Jim Schantz, director of Schantz Galleries.

For the first few months, it was a back and forth between Jim, Alex, and Alan in the beginning, choosing the work from our inventory, deciding which pieces to exhibit, and how to best utilize the space, pedestals, vitrines, and lighting.  After the work was chosen and finalized, Kim Saul, Director of Publications at Schantz Galleries, worked on the catalog.

View online catalog.

The exhibition chronicles the past 17 years of Lino Tagliapietra’s career. It includes a survey of his classical Venetian forms and canework, plus a range of examples of his experimental works. Pieces like those in his Dinosaur series meld sculpture with painting, as color and form accentuate and heighten the aesthetic response.

Russell Johnson

Dinosaur, 2015, 21.5 x 13 x 4.5″

Dinosaur is a seminal work of Lino’s that has become an icon in his repertoire; it’s become a signature form which he goes back to from time to time, while exploring new approaches of essentially ‘drawing’ or ‘painting’ with the glass cane material.

Lina Tagliapietra, Alan Levitan, Lino Tagliapietra, Melanie Levitan and Jacopo Vecchiato, Managing Director for Lino… as well as grandson!

Despite his worldwide acclaim and extensive exhibition record, the Morristown display represents the first solo museum show of Tagliapietra’s work in the New York, New Jersey metropolitan area. This has been a great opportunity for both Lino and the Morris Museum to present this work to both seasoned aficionados and those art enthusiasts new to the medium of glass. In both his life and work, Tagliapietra represents a living bridge between hundreds of years of Venetian glassmaking traditions and the experimental improvisations characteristic of the contemporary glass art movement.

Russell Johnson

Clodia, 2016, 28 x 12 x 6″

Although Lino embodies centuries of Venetian traditions in glassmaking techniques, he also continually quests to bring new ideas and approaches to the medium. He’s been greatly responsible for the incredible growth in the field of contemporary glass as an art form throughout the past 40 years.

Stelle di Neve, 2015, fused glass panel, 18.75 x 18.75 x 1.5″ Previously exhibited at Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass.

The exhibit spotlights Tagliapietra’s work from the 21st century. Since reaching “retirement age,” Tagliapietra has embarked upon a particularly productive period in his career, consolidating and advancing innovations and breakthroughs from earlier times. When curating this exhibition, it was important to focus on works that Lino has created since age 65. During this period he has not only created some of the greatest classical works, but some of the most innovative of his vast career.

Barene, 2012, 48.25 x 27.75 x .75″

The Morris Museum will host a number of special events in conjunction with “Maestro of a Glass Renaissance,” including “The Magic of Glass Through Time,” a historical perspective by Patricia Elaine of the Morris County School of Glass on Wednesday, April 19; a lecture titled “From Murano to Seattle: Lino Tagliapietra’s Journey” by GLASS Magazine Editor, Andrew Page on Sunday, April 23; a “Ladies Night Out” on Wednesday, April 26; and a tour through the exhibition conducted by Jim Schantz on Wednesday, May 17.  Details and ticketing for these and other events are available at the museum’s website.

Tagliapietra and Schantz led a preview tour at the exhibition.

For more information on these or any works in the exhibition, please contact Jim at Schantz Galleries. jim@schantzgalleries.com

Chiocciola, 2008, 16.25 x 18.75 x 7.5″

 

Lino Tagliapietra | “Painting in Glass” at the Philadelphia Museum

Lino Tagliapietra‘s Painting in Glass, on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, now through July 16, 2017.

Giuditta, (detail) Fused glass panel, 2013. photo: Russell Johnson

Lino Tagliapietra is best known as one of the world’s preeminent glassblowers. He imbues each of his vessels with a rare elegance and intelligence. The contours of his Dinosaurs turn gracefully, his avventurine works dazzle, and each new series of Tagliapietra’s demands not only renewed contemplation of great beauty, but also renewed reflection on the locus of Lino’s work in terms of history, tradition, and inspiration.

Lino composing Giuditta in 2013 at Bullseye Glass in Portland Oregon. photo Jen Elek

A Maestro of Glass since age twenty-one, Lino Tagliapietra has kept us admiring and thinking with every twist of the blowpipe for over sixty years. Recently, however, the artist surprised us in a new way, diverging from blown glass to explore a new method within his dedicated medium. As always, Tagliapietra reveals both his mastery of and ability to seamlessly reinvent traditional techniques, employing murrini and cane in the creation of works that read as glass paintings, or more properly, constitute kiln-fused glass panels.

Porta con Finestra, (Door with a Window), inspired by the colorful houses on the island of Burano. photo: Russell Johnson

Lino Tagliapietra’s panels have garnered many comparisons to paintings by artists like Rothko, Klimt, and Van Gogh, placing Tagliapietra’s work in conversation with that of Western Civilization’s greatest painters. Though a Modernist aesthetic presents itself throughout the body of Lino’s work, perhaps his Modernism is most easily sensed in what could be considered one of the glass artist’s most experimental, or unconventional, series.

Lino at work on the Chicago panel in Portland Oregon. photo: Jen Elek

His panels represent risk, a new way of seeing, unyielding exploration, and an unquenchable vitality that pushes past fear and apprehension. As Lino said of his panels, “it’s a big effort with myself to go and explore in this direction. It feels a bit scary to go to the gallery with work like this. But it’s a huge opportunity…”

Chicago, 2015, 31.5 x 39.5 x .75″

We are grateful and humbled to be able to watch as the Maestro transcends conventions and limitations. Lino Tagliapietra inspires with his work, but also with his immense talent, unparalleled dedication, and relentless search to experience and share that next new sense of wonder.

Many thanks to the curators, Andrew Page and Elisabeth Agro.  Andrew Page is the editor-in-chief of GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly, who works with art critics, museum curators, and practicing artists to put the most important work being done in glass into a critical context. Elisabeth Agro has served as Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since June 2006.  Thank you also to sponsors of the show, including The Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation Endowed Fund for Modern and Contemporary Craft, the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Be sure to visit Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge to see an exceptional variety of fused glass panels by Lino Tagliapietra.

Elizabeth Agro, Lino Tagliapietra and Norma Klorfine at the opening event at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

 

Lina Tagliapietra and Anna Ferro with “Field of Flowers.”

 

Visitors with Lino Tagliapietra, at the opening reception viewing “Genesis, Evolution.”

Renwick Gallery Reveals “Wonder”

“Wonder” captivates…

A recent visit to the Renwick inspires this review….  thanks Natalie!

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Gabriel Dawe   Plexus A1                                                           photo: Natalie Tyler

On November 13th, the Renwick Gallery opened it’s newly renovated doors with a captivating new exhibition, called “Wonder”. Which as it’s title suggests, it does just that. From mountains of stacked paper cards, to wallpaper décor  of real Southeast Asian bugs, to a marbled Chesapeake Bay mapped room these nine installations, bring you back to the days of childhood play and curiosity.

Maya Lin

Maya Lin  Folding the Chesapeake                    photo: Natalie Tyler

After being shuttered for 2 years, with a major renovation that unveiled the high ceilings, the Renwick Gallery invited nine contemporary artists to each have a gallery to fill with inspiration. Jennifer Angus, Chakaia Booker, Gabriel Dawe, Tara Donovan, Patrick Dougherty, Janet Echelman, John Grade, Maya Lin and Leo Villareal all diversify the splendor.

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Maya Lin  Folding the Chesapeake                    photo: Natalie Tyler

Maya Lin used the same industrial marbles, that were once used by the early pioneers of the glass blowing movement in Ohio, to create this installation. The marbles fill the gallery mapping the Chesapeake Bay. Reminiscent of water flowing thorough the valleys of land, reminding us of our need for conservation.

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Jennifer Angus In the Midnight Garden                        photo: Natalie Tyler

Jennifer Angus used thousands of insects, most from South East Asia to create an enchanting wallpaper designs in the James Renwick Alliance Gallery.

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Jennifer Angus In the Midnight Garden                          photo: Natalie Tyler

These artists create exploratory environments, larger than life, with unpredictable materials, that bring the awe back into our worlds. Each installation proving that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

“I wanted people to be overwhelmed, to feel as if there’s something in the world greater than yourself,” says Renwick curator Nicholas Bell

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Janet Echelman A1                                                       photo: Natalie Tyler

Collaborating: Kelly O’Dell and Raven Skyriver

 

Kelly and Raven MOG

Kelly and Raven at MOG               photo: Megan Stelljes

Glass Artists Kelly O’Dell and Raven Skyriver collaborate on new work to create “Remembering”.

Remembering

“Remembering” 2015                      photo: Kelly O’Dell

 

 

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photo: Kelly O’Dell

 

These new series of pieces are inspired by the barnacle encrusted clams they find on walks along the Northwestern shore. Nature’s treasures like these make Kelly and Raven wonder if the barnacles grew over the clam’s opening while it was still alive.

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photo: Brett Franklin

 

O’Dell loves to work collaboratively; her partner Raven makes the clams, while she develops the barnacles. Exploring different techniques in this creative fusion, they used cane in their clam pieces. Kelly says the barnacles are pretty labor intensive, as her process involves a series of steps.

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Photo: Brett Franklin

 

She fuses powder on a kiln shelf to make the “plates” of the barnacles and they attach these texture rich plates, one at  time to a small cone-shaped cup. This gives each barnacle some interior structure and a solid landing pad to attach (while hot) to the clamshell. The barnacles take a team of 6-12 people a full day in the studio to make. The results are enchanting, we are looking forwarding to seeing these new works in person!

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photo: www.Kp-studios.com

If you receive this blog November 28-29, 2015 – Kelly and Raven are working at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma in the Hot shop this week, LIVE!

 

SOFA Chicago, 2015 with Lino Tagliapietra

Admiring the Coral Reef fused glass by Lino Tagliapietra.

Admiring the Coral Reef fused glass by Lino Tagliapietra.

We are just finishing all the details from our recent exhibition at SOFA Chicago on the Navy Pier. This is our 17th year exhibiting on the pier and we are happy to report it was a successful and beautiful exhibition. Many visitors came by to say hello to Maestro Lino Tagliapietra. Here is a short video by John Forsen which gives you a glimpse into the exhibition and Lino working on the next new piece!

[wpvideo Z6UzxUYn]

Schantz Galleries presented both classic and contemporary works by Lino Tagliapietra, some series which have never before presented as a feature exhibition. Blown or fused glass in the hands of Maestro Tagliapietra, convey his remarkable technical ability and communicate the expressive aesthetic of the artist; a light, intelligent and sublime presence.

Jim Schantz chose the work with the assistance of Lino and Lino’s grandson and manager, Jacopo Vecchiato months ahead of time in Seattle, and the focus was on classic combined with the newest creations.

Celebrating 70 years of working with glass, he continues to be inspired to work on new concepts and designs. Some of the recent works included classic forms using the avventurine glass which is very challenging to work with at the scale it was done in. Tagliapietra has written that he is “…totally open. I think that what I like to do the most is research. I don’t want to represent Venetian technique only—even though I was born with it and it is possible to recognize it in my work. Your style is what you are.” He moves fluidly around the globe, incorporating nuance and inspiration from each place visited into a style that is uniquely his, never compromised but always enhanced. His generous spirit and gentle nature make him a true visionary, for whom a single color, a simple landscape, or a chance encounter inspires a masterpiece in glass.

(photo: k.saul)

John Kiley and his long time friend and mentor…

(photo: k.saul)

Celebrating the Fuel their Fire program in our booth!  David Huchthausen, Nancy Callan, Jim Schantz, Sarah Traver, Susan Warner and Steve Linn

During the exhibition, we hosted two receptions.  one was for the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, and their Fuel their Fire residency program.  Many artists, collectors and gallerists attended the reception, to hear Susan Warner, Director of Education and the new director of the museum, Deborah Lenk speak of the importance of the program.  Artist John Kiley commented as well, saying how he has made some great work in the museum program, where he has the freedom to try things that he may not be able to afford to try on his own due to the exorbitant cost of running a studio.

The second reception was to acknowledge Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, in honor of their recent award from the AACG and to acknowledge Lino’s current exhibition there as well as his Seventy Years of Working with Glass!

(photo: k.saul)

Celebration of 70 years with old and new friends. Pictured: Amber Cowan, Tommie Rush, Lino Tagliapietra, Richard Jolley, and Zak Timan.

(photo: k.saul)

Lino has a lot of friends!!!

 

 

(photo: k.saul)

Lino toasts the upcoming GAS Conference with Director Pamela Koss and Steven Powell.

Not limiting himself to blown glass forms, the artist’s passion for his art has driven him to create large scale fused glass panels, using various forms of his own hand pulled canes, murrini, rondelle and glass pellets. Varying in size, some of the one to two inch thick panels’ measure up to eight feet tall when in the steel stand used to display the work. Chicago, 2015 is a 40 inch wide fused glass panel composed with multi-colored, twisted glass rods and a beautiful blue glass frit. Closer inspection reveals thousands of tiny bubbles within the thick layers of blue glass adding a watery impression. With its bold graphic design, the artist’s use of color and spatial relationships combine, this work evokes the hustle-bustle, of the city on the lake. Subtle and strong, the fused glass panels are uncompromising paintings with glass and light.

(photo: k.saul)

This one is named Chicago for the city on the Lake…

(photo: k.saul)

Admiring the technique of the Nuvola, fused glass panel by Lino.

(photo: k.saul)

Meeting friends is one of the benefits of these expositions.

(photo: k.saul)

We just don’t get these fashions in Stockbridge… there are some very stylish people in Chicago!

(photo: k.saul)

Anish Kapoor sculpture in Millenium Park, Chicago

(photo: k.saul)

Some art just does this to people!

Additional: Lino Tagliapietra has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions and is represented in a global assortment of museums and art institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France; Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Shanghai Museum of Glass, Shanghai, China, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

Jim Schantz, Lino Tagliaietra and Kim Saul at SOFA Chicago, 2015

Jim Schantz, Lino Tagliaietra and Kim Saul at SOFA Chicago, 2015

view the catalog

view the catalog

The 2015 Robert M. Minkoff Foundation Academic Symposium at UrbanGlass

Urban Glass Studio

The Urban Glass Studio, workshop in progress. photo: Natalie Tyler

In October of this year, Urban Glass hosted the 2nd Robert M. Minkoff Foundation Academic Symposium, with a special focus on new technologies and their implications for glass education. Guest speakers included Glen Cook & Amy Schwartz, Chief Scientist & Director of The Studio, from The Corning Museum of Glass, Peter Houk, Director, Glass Lab with MIT Media Lab graduate students, and our very own artist Dan Clayman.

The talks investigated new technologies and innovative glass emerging from MIT and The Corning Museum of Glass and Universities. Glen Cook and Amy Schwartz’s talk New Possibilities with Science and Art: The Corning Museum of Glass also introduced the most recent Corning Incorporated Specialty Glass Residency. Where professional artists will work alongside Corning scientists to make discoveries and advancement in glass art.

Dan Clayman, gave a talk on the evolution of his art practice and process with glass. Clayman, having capabilities in a vast array of skill sets, from the most traditional to 3D modeling and fabrication, uses whichever technique most applicable to bring the object at hand to fruition. The results are elegantly simple yet architecturally complex forms in glass.

dan clayman - dispersion

Daniel Clayman, Dispersion (computer rendering), 2014. Glass and steel cable. H 16, L 32, D 15 ft.

Peter Houk Director, Glass Lab at MIT presented with MIT Media Lab graduate students, their state-of-the-art 3D printed glass forms.  Read more about the 3-D printing at MIT….

While the unveiling of the latest technologies in glass are exciting and seductive, one of the major points that continued to arise, was the value of retaining the human hand in art and glass education.

Some of the questions that arose during the symposium were: Will 3D printers change the way we view art and artists? Will technology make the creation of art faster, more productive and more eventually more economical? Will technology in the art department at schools better prepare students for a job in the workforce after they graduate? If art educators teach primarily with computers instead of hands-on experience, will their students develop tactile problem solving abilities? Will we lose valuable making techniques over time, such as glass blowing, cane pulling, and casting. Will art studios begin to look more like computer labs and less like a creative atelier? Is technology really the answer in art making, when students already spend so much time in front of a computer with their other subjects? How do we keep art making sacred in a technologically dependent world?       

Educators from across the nation, still see the importance of hand-crafted techniques and the significance to retain the teachings of hands on skills to students. Maintaining a balance between introducing new technologies and gaining experience by hands on practice, enables future artists to find their voice within the medium of glass.                       ~NT

a Voyage in Glass – the Art of Rik Allen

With classic science fiction as his muse, Allen employs crafts, rockets, scientific apparatus, and cosmonauts as a vehicle not for space exploration but for inner contemplation.

Tonkon Tannker, Blown Glass, Silver, steel 15 x 19.5 x 13”

Tonkon Tannker, Blown Glass, Silver, steel
15 x 19.5 x 13”

His view is not glossy or futuristic, but nostalgic, timeworn, experienced. Star Trek meets wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetic of transience and the beauty of use. The antiquated and chimerical feeling of the work belies its sophisticated construction, allowing the viewer to revel in a simple narrative of personal exploration. His dynamic amalgamation of metalwork and glasswork, in which imperfections like oxidized joints and bubbled glass are not only welcome but encouraged, creates a harmonic balance between weight and lightness, opacity and transparency.

Rik Allen with Seeker

Allen with Seeker at Museum of Northwestern Art.

Rik Allen, Arterial Phase Finder sm

Arterial Phasefinder

Works such as Arterial Phase Finder and Veniel Recollector (both from 2013) recall Allen’s earliest artistic explorations making phasers and communicators out of scotch-tape and cardboard. Like with many of his works, these vessels combine an anthropomorphized  bug-like quality with a mid-1960s vision of the future. As viewers, we feel the quiet and comfortable solitude of being inside that rocket. We want to climb in, take off, and see where the ride takes us.

contemporary glass

Seeker

When a glass artist incorporates metal as a structural element, it also allows him to achieve feats impossible with glass alone. Some of those feats are mental ones, because the pace of metal working is so much slower and more contemplative than the exigent speed of working with hot glass. His largest work, Seeker, which was on display at the Museum of Northwest Art, is a fifteen-foot glass and steel construction standing on graceful attenuated legs. A slender ladder invites viewers on a metaphorical climb into the glass-and-steel hull. Inside sits a small red chair and a telescope—the ideal props for both inward and outward looking.

Inspired by the conception and creation of Seeker, Allen is himself seeking new opportunities to create large-scale, multi-media installations of his work. In many ways, space exploration is a metaphor for the artist’s development, as he too seeks new frontiers in his art form. As viewers of the work, we too can be transported—backward to a time when life was easier and Americans had big dreams of conquering space, forward towards something unknown and maybe even better, and inward to a more complete understanding of ourselves.

Blown glass, cast aluminum 16 x 9 x 9” Previously exhibited at the Science Fiction Museum in 2007-2008

Blown Glass, Silver, steel 23.5 x 16 x 8.5”

 

To read more …. view the online catalog.

read more....

read more….

 

Contemporary Glass: 21st Century Innovations | The New Britain Museum of American Art

Catalog Essay by Jim Schantz

“There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that arts were invented; Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.”                                                                                                                                           ~ Robert Henri, “The Art Spirit

New Britain Museum Exhibition

New Britain Museum Exhibition

In the early part of the 20th century, Robert Henri helped define the American vision of freedom, spontaneity and experimentation in art.  Contemporary Glass: 21st Century Innovations at the New Britain Museum of American Art pays significant homage to the spirit of experimentation in the medium of glass, celebrating the American Studio Glass Movement as well as the international influence and exchange from Italy, Australia, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden.  Europe has long had a glass tradition. In Italy there is Venini and Barovier; in France there is Daum; in Sweden, Kosta Boda, and in Ireland, Waterford. But since the latter half of the 20th century, the United States has been at the forefront of glass as a fine art. The Studio Glass Movement spread quickly from America to Europe and the United Kingdom, Australia, and more recently, Asia. It is distinguished not only by freedom and experimentation with the medium, but by open sharing of technical knowledge and ideas among artists—both of which have contributed to its growth.  Through the history of the Studio Glass Movement, one discovers that the associations that have made glass so vital can be traced back to those who brought glass to the forefront as an art form—artists who formed the  glass programs at colleges and universities throughout the U.S., as well as schools focused specifically in the medium of glass like The Pilchuck Glass School near Seattle, The Pittsburgh Glass Center, The Studio of The Corning Museum and the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center in Millville, NJ. Today, through these and many other educational programs, the lineage in the glass community continues to flourish. The Beginning of American Studio Glass: The idea of glass as art was broadened by the arts and crafts movement in England and art nouveau in France in the late 19th century. It was led by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the United States and Emile Gallé in France. Works in glass were primarily produced in a commercial setting.  In the 1950s and 1960s, notable artists like Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti and Pablo Picasso were invited to create designs for the venerable Venini factory, however the artistic design process was separated from the glassmaking itself. The development of glass as an art medium, where the art was produced in a studio instead of a factory, began in the United States just over 50 years ago when University of Wisconsin, Madison professor Harvey Littleton and chemist Dominick Labino conducted workshops at the Toledo Museum of Art’s School of Design.  Littleton and Labino were the first to demonstrate that molten glass is feasible for artists to create using a small scale furnace.  The artist and the glass technician could be one in the same. Littleton went on to create the first glass program at University of Wisconsin. Among the first students in his Master’s program were Marvin Lipofsky, Dale Chihuly, and Bill Boysen, and it was here that these artists would first learn about experimentation and collaboration in the act of glass making. Harvey Littleton would go on to teach some of the most important contemporary glass artists, such as David Huchthausen and Christopher Ries, who also graduated from the program. Both Huchthausen and Ries are today among the most important artists using cold-working techniques to produce their glass sculpture.

Marvin Lipofsky, Chico Group 4
Marvin Lipofsky, Chico Group 4

In the late 1960s Marvin Lipofsky founded the glass program University of California at Berkeley and the California College of Arts and Crafts,(CCAC), which he headed for two decades. Lipofsky was one of the first American glass artists to travel to Czechoslovakia, where a studio glass movement had arisen in the 1950s. This would prove to be the first of many of Lipofsky’s exchanges with artists and glass studios throughout the world. His work has been largely focused on the exploration of organic form in a free form gestural approach.  In 1969, Dale Chihuly initiated the glass program at Rhode Island School of Design, (RISD) and Bill Boysen later built the first glass studio at Penland School of Crafts in NC.

The Influence of Chihuly:

Dale Chihuly, Silvered Venetian with Saturn Orange Flowers
Dale Chihuly, Silvered Venetian with Saturn Orange Flowers

In 1968, Dale Chihuly was awarded a Fulbright grant to study glassblowing at the Venini factory on the island of Murano in Venice. Chihuly was the first American to have the opportunity to study the masters of the factory. It profoundly affected Chihuly’s ideas about glassblowing, while at the same time Chihuly introduced the Venetian glassblowers to the idea of glassblowing as an artistic process. In 1969, Chihuly traveled to Germany to meet Erwin Eisch, whose family had a glass factory in Frauenau. Eisch was also encouraging experimentation with glass among the artisans. Chihuly continued on to Prague to meet Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová, who were leading an artistic movement in glass in communist Czechoslovakia. At RISD, Chihuly befriended another artist, Italo Scanga, an Italian-born multi-media artist with whom he subsequently collaborated on many projects.  Chihuly’s early students at RISD included James Carpenter, and Toots Zynsky.  These artists went on to join Chihuly at a new summer program in the hills of Stanwood, Washington called Pilchuck.  Chihuly had imagined a school in the woods of his native Pacific Northwest that could be devoted to glass. It was at Pilchuck that the momentum for Seattle’s glass movement really began, and the European artists Chihuly had met in the late 1960s such as Eisch, Libenský and Brychtová would become major contributors to its educational program.  Forty years later, Pilchuck Glass School is established as an international center for training and new ideas in glass. Dale Chihuly and Marvin Lipofsky continued to play seminal roles in raising awareness of studio glass throughout the world and successfully took glassblowing in experimental and innovative directions. Focusing on the execution of artistic ideas in glass, they searched for ways to go beyond glass’ traditional associations with functionality by exploring sculptural forms. While American studio glass began with a free-form and expressionistic approach, by the late-1970s this was no longer sufficient to drive the field forward.  American Studio glassmaking had reached a crossroads, and one by one, artists followed Chihuly and Lipofsky’s lead to study abroad and seek the expertise of Swedish, Czechoslovakia, and especially Italian glassmakers in order to better harness its technical capabilities in the service of artistic expression.

Benjamin Moore, Exterior Fold Series
Benjamin Moore, Exterior Fold Series

The European Influence:

Benjamin Moore was introduced to glass at the California College of Arts and Crafts while studying under Marvin Lipofsky. In 1974 he became Dale Chihuly’s first assistant and from 1974-1987 was Pilchuck Glass School’s Creative and Educational director. After receiving his MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design, Moore began an apprenticeship at the Venini factory in Murano with Maestro Checco Ongaro. In the summer of 1978, Moore invited Ongaro to teach a two week workshop at Pilchuck Glass School. The following year Ongaro recommended his brother-in-law, Lino Tagliapietra, an equally accomplished maestro. Tagliapietra believed that if glassmaking at its highest level was to survive, it must expand beyond the island of Murano.

Lino Tagliapietra, Dinosaur
Lino Tagliapietra, Dinosaur

At age 45, Lino Tagliapietra made his first trip to Seattle and on to Pilchuck during the summer of 1979. Tagliapietra generously shared what he knew with artists in the United States and subsequently throughout the world. During his more than 30 years of teaching, he has instilled a demand for excellence, a work ethic, and a love of the medium that has changed and elevated the glass art movement forever. Tagliapietra’s career is defined by a dedication to workmanship, innovation, and collaboration. Born in 1934 on the renowned glass-blowing island of Murano, Italy, Tagliapietra began his apprenticeship at age 11 with Muranese master Archimede Seguso from whom Tagliapietra achieved the status of Maestro Vetraio by the age of 21. For over forty-two years, Lino worked in various for-profit Murano factories including Vetreria Galliano Ferro, Venini & Co., and finally as the Artistic and Technical Director of Effetre International (1976-1989). Tagliapietra has exhibited in museums around the globe, receiving countless honors, openly sharing his far-reaching knowledge of the medium and his skill as one of its finest practitioners, and helping to create a new renaissance in studio glassmaking.  Defying criticism from the community back home, Tagliapietra never stopped sharing his knowledge. But the giving was not a one-way street; Tagliapietra benefited equally from the young artists that he taught and with whom he collaborated. After years of factory production work, Tagliapietra came face-to-face with new ways of regarding the material and with individuals who considered it a medium for art. They were blowing glass for the sheer joy and challenge of it.

Richard Marquis, Dustpan
Richard Marquis,Dustpan

Richard Marquis studied both ceramics and glass at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1969, he received a year-long Fulbright Scholarship to study the making of art glass at the Venini Glass factory in Murano, Italy and was among the first Americans ever to work in a Venetian glass factory. His modern glass creations tend towards the humorous, and often incorporate other materials. Marquis has had an extraordinary influence on the development of contemporary studio glass in America and around the world. The effect of Venetian glassblowing techniques on American studio glass enabled glass artists to expand their technical vocabularies and, combined with new and experimental approaches, led to the redefinition of glass as an artistic medium.

 

Vladimira Klumpar, Origami in Topaz
Vladimira Klumpar, Origami in Topaz

Other great European influences on contemporary glass come from the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia) and Sweden. The artist Stanislav Libenský had a profound effect on generations of artists through his teaching at the Academy of Applied Art.  Vladimira Klumparova was born in the Czech Republic in 1954 and began her studies at the Specialized School of Glassmaking High School in Železný Brod. She completed her studies nearly a decade later at the renowned Academy under the tutorship of the renowned Professor. Libenský and his collaborator, Jaroslava Brychtová brought new technical advances in casting. Klumparova has continued Libenský’s legacy of creating formalist monumental cast glass sculpture.

Bertil Vallien, Book of Rules
Bertil Vallien, Book of Rules

In addition to Libenský and Brychtova, Bertil Vallien has been the major force from Sweden in the medium of cast glass.  Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Vallien developed ground-breaking methods for sand casting in glass and has been a principal designer for Orrfors Kosta Boda. Another European who greatly affected American glass is Eric Hilton. After finishing his studies at Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland, he eventually moved to the United States in the early 1970s to teach at the glass program at Alfred University. He was a designer at Steuben Glass for over 30 years. Hilton helped redefine the cut and cast glass art form.

Other Early Contributors:

Dan Dailey, Sunsetting,  photo: Bill Truslow
Dan Dailey, Sunsetting,       photo: Bill Truslow

The exhibition at the New Britain Museum of American Art bears witness to Tagliapietra, Chihuly and Lipofsky not only as pioneers of the Studio Glass Movement in the United States but as legacies who have influenced generations of artists working with glass. Other early contributors to Studio Glass Movement and the Pilchuck program include Dan Dailey, Richard Marquis, Dante Marioni, Paul Marioni, and Benjamin Moore. Dan Dailey became Chihuly’s first graduate student at Rhode Island School of Design. Along with other students, Dailey assisted in building the RISD glass studio and began to develop concepts for illuminated sculpture. In 1972 Dailey received a Fulbright Fellowship and was invited by Ludovico Diaz di Santillana, the director and owner of the Venini Factory in Murano, to work as an independent artist/designer. This industrial experience became a model for Dailey’s future work in several glass factories later in his career. In 1973, Dailey founded the glass program at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. The influence of the first generation of the Art Glass Movement has gained a great deal of momentum throughout the past four decades. The advances that have been made with the glass medium are represented in this exhibition in three primary areas of approach: Blown Glass, Cast Glass and Cold Working, (Cut and Laminated). Blown Glass:

Dante Marioni,, Leaf Vase

Dante Marioni,, Leaf Vase

Beginning in 1979, Dante Marioni spent summers at Pilchuck Glass School where his father Paul Marioni taught. Marioni learned his glassblowing skills from Lino Tagliapietra, Benjamin Moore, and Richard Marquis. His work integrates classical Greek and Italian form with modernism. Although Marioni grew up in Mill Valley, California and Seattle, he has embraced the traditions of Italian glassblowing from his mentor Lino Tagliapietra. Richard Royal, also from Seattle, has been a faculty member of Pilchuck Glass School. He has pushed the limits of large scale blown glass sculpture for the past twenty five years. Richard was the first Artist in Residence at the Waterford Crystal Factory in Waterford, Ireland in 1998 and 1999. Artist Debora Moore also developed her unique approach and technique while at Pilchuck Glass School. By combining her innovative approaches with traditional glassblowing, her wall reliefs and installations have helped define blown sculptural glass installations.

Martin Blank, Thirsting,
Martin Blank, Thirsting,
SG06 KILEY IntersectedVerticalOverlap (alt) photo Jeff Curtis
John Kiley, Intersected Vertical Overlap

Martin Blank graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, worked for Dale Chihuly for eleven years, and was instrumental in working on Chihuly Over Venice. Blank also trained at Pilchuck School and subsequently developed his own methods for sculpting monumental forms in blown glass. John Kiley grew up in Seattle and began his professional career at the age of 19 at The Glass Eye Studio. During his early 20’s, he had the opportunity to work in Finland, Ireland, Mexico and Italy as part of the Chihuly Over Venice team. He was a principal member of Lino Tagliapietra’s team until 2011 when he became the Glass Director at the Schack Art Center in Everett, WA.

Stephen Rolphe Powell, Sassy Frazzled Flirt

Stephen Rolphe Powell, Sassy Frazzled Flirt

Stephen Rolfe Powell has worked closely with Lino Tagliapietra throughout the past twenty years. Powell founded the glass program at Centre College in Kentucky and has been instrumental in developing a wide range of blown glass applications employing Italian cane techniques.

SCHANTZ GALLERIESSG05Jolley Suspended in Dreams #10

Richard Jolley, Suspended in Dreams

Richard Jolley’s work represents the expressive glass sculpting techniques that grew out of the Penland School, led by artist Richard Ritter, a descendant of North Carolina artist Harvey Littleton. Recently, Jolley has recently made major advances with large-scale sculpture that employs both glass and steel. Artists continue to combine approaches to hot glass techniques. Another notable artist, José Chardiet has continued to experiment with a variety of processes in combination with blown glass. Chardiet trained at Kent State with artist Henry Halem.

 

Cast Glass:

Three Volumes

Daniel Clayman, Three Volumes

Daniel Claymans cast glass sculpture combines the formalism of the Czech tradition with new technologies in casting methods.  Clayman was a student of the glass program at Rhode Island School of Design and has been at the forefront of utilizing three dimensional printing to create his sculpture.  Latchezar Boyadjiev was born in Bulgaria and is also a graduate of the prestigious program at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague with Stanislav Libenský. Peter Bremers, a graduate of the University of Fine Arts in the Netherlands, has been greatly influenced by Czech contemporary glass and is at the forefront of casting and cutting glass to create sculptural forms. Thomas Scoon combines cast glass and stone to create his unique and monumental, sculptural work. He is a graduate of the program at Massachusetts College of Art and has taught at the Pilchuck School.

Cut and Laminated Glass:

SCHANTZ GALLERIESSG08 Kuhn Clear to Blue Pendulum Cluster

Jon Kuhn, Clear to Blue Pendulum Cluster

For more than 30 years, Jon Kuhn and Sidney Hutter have been pioneers in the field of cut and laminated techniques. Both artists have made great advances with laminating complex forms to create intricate patterns of refracted light.  This synthesis of art and engineering grew out of the technical advances made in the 1970s and 1980s. Kuhn originally studied ceramic art and received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. His early work incorporated the use of organic glass forms before developing his intricate geometric approach to his sculpture.

Sidney Hutter, PPGV

Sidney Hutter, PPGV

 

Hutter was a graduate of the program at Illinois State’s glass program and also Massachusetts College of Art led by Dan Dailey.  Another artist using cut and laminated glass techniques is Linda MacNeil. Her work employs innovative approaches to the wearable art form while drawing upon historical references. Also notable in laminated work are New England artists K. William LeQuier and Martin Rosol. LeQuier, a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, began his career with blown glass. He eventually developed intricate cold-working methods to create his delicate cut pieces using industrial plate glass.  Martin Rosol came to the United States in 1988 to pursue his career as a sculptor, a path unavailable to him in communist Czechoslovakia. He has led the way in perfecting cut and laminated approaches to redefine sculptural approaches to the glass medium.

Lequier, Curl number 6
Lequier, Curl number 6

The Tradition Continues and Evolves:

With the addition of the next generation of emerging artists such as Nancy Callan, Beth Lipman, Ethan Stern and David Walters, Contemporary Glass: 21st Century Innovations at the New Britain Museum of American Art celebrates the evolution of contemporary glass by several generations. Certainly there are other important and talented artists that could be included with this group. The glass art movement continues to push forward with new innovation and ideas as we enter the 21st century. This drive to develop the medium technically and artistically has spawned a movement united by artists who have a strong connection to the material and to the sharing of ideas. We see a lineage within the movement which can be traced to those who brought the medium to the forefront.  It has been a remarkable journey thus far and we look forward to seeing where it will bring the art form. We thank these artists for their contribution, their energy, and their dedication to the fascinating material that unites them.

Jim Schantz ~ 2014

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Eric Hilton, Search for Life (detail)

Eric Hilton, Search for Life (detail)

Ripples

Ethan Stern, Ripples

Dave Walters, The Cost For Hot Water/Slow Boil, 2014 20 x 10"

David Walters, Into the Fire

Ruby Velvet, 2014

Richard Royal, Ruby Velvet

David Huchthausen, Eclipse, 2011

David Huchthausen, Eclipse, 2011

Debora Moore, Pink Lady Slipper

Debora Moore, Pink Lady Slipper

Nancy Callan, Storm Stinger

Nancy Callan, Storm Stinger

Peter Bremers, Ice Fire

Peter Bremers, Ice Fire

Martin Rosol, WIng

Martin Rosol, WIng

Celebrating Cycle of Life with Richard Jolley and Tommie Rush

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Far left side of the installation, depicts the Primordial and the Emergence.

This past weekend, we were honored to be among the hundreds of guests attending the unveiling of Richard Jolleys incredible three-dimensional installation, “Cycle of Life: Within the Power of Dreams and the Wonder of Infinity” at the Knoxville Art Museum. It is a tour de force that surpasses anything that Jolley has created to date.

The artwork took five years to complete and was made possible by Ann and Steve Bailey from Knoxville. The Bailey’s who have known Richard and his work for many years gave Richard complete freedom to create a piece that would fit in the large hall in the museum. The piece which is composed of blown and cast glass elements along with welded steel extends 100 feet by 12 feet, making it the largest figurative glass artwork in the world.

Jolley grew up in Knoxville and along with his wife and artist Tommie Rush, chose to make Knoxville his permanent home and place for making his work.  Jolley’s blown glass work has always had narrative themes depicting aspects of human emotion. The Cycle of Life has given Jolley the opportunity to explore an epic theme which depicts phases of life: Primordial, Emergence, Desire, Tree of Life, Contemplation, and Sky.

In Richard’s words: “It’s a figurative range of people and nature,”…”The question was how to distill the life cycle to fit the space and answer the questions: Who are we? Where are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?”

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Sky

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Desire and the Tree of Life

The figurative relief sculpture along the 100 foot wall is then brought into the great hall space culminating with a three diminutional blown glass and steel structure which evoke a Buckminster Fuller geodesic form, with the sky elements

“A sense of place was one of first things I wanted in the narrative, and then an emergence of youth and how it finds its way and develops a personality,” Richard says. “Then there’s the transformation to freedom and growth and mystical things.”

The unveiling ceremonies throughout the weekend included a presentation by Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass at the Corning Museum and Richard Gruber, Director Emeritus at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. Dr. Gruber talked about Richard’s life growing up in Knoxville and the importance of Southern Literature in particular James Agee. His work simultaneously is rooted in his native Tennesee while grasping the universal.

Richard’s art has reached audiences throughout the world as he has established himself at one of the most important American Artists working in Glass. It is a profound moment for this artist to have the opportunity to make such a major work at home for audiences from all over to experience when they visit Knoxville. It is a work that has to be experienced first hand.

We witnessed such an outpouring of of love and support for this artist, among his peers, friends and supporters throughout the weekend. Among the attendees from throughout the U.S., were over 80 members of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe are very honored to show both Richard and Tommie’s work at our gallery. We will have a special weekend event hosting them at the gallery on June 27th and 28th. Richard will be doing a glassblowing demonstration on Saturday.

For further information, please contact the gallery at 413-298-3044 or contact@schantzgalleries.com