Here is a very quick look at the creation of a huge roll of molten glass, which Martin Blank and his team created for our group during our visit in March of 2018. The total time to create this was about an hour and a half! It is a small file to save space… let us know what you think!
Demeters Song detail
Winged Victory (male) detail
Winged Victory (female)
Hot Sculpted Glass
25 x 9 x 9″
Martin at Museum of Glass
Martins Epic Installation at Museum of Glass
Ode To Icarus, 2013
Hot Sculpted Glass, 24 x 13 x 9″
Martin is FULL OF LIFE AND PASSION for his work, his friends and his family.
… and loves to create LARGE WORKS OF ART!!
… he is a consummate draftsman…
Martin can sculpt hot glass and capture the movement and energy of the human figure.
…and finds his inspiration in nature.
Excerpts from a catalog published by Schantz Galleries ~ View the entire publication online or contact the gallery for a copy.
Life, like molten glass, is in a constant state of flow.
Descending Wings by Martin Blank
We ebb and rise from hardship to triumph to the everyday in between. Despite the demands of reality, human beings are defined by a quest to live inspired—seeking knowledge, needing peace, and hoping for a few transcendent moments. Meeting sculptor Martin Blank and beholding his glasswork is like putting that message in a bottle. A deft draftsman, Blank infuses his sculpture with both physical and metaphorical marks of his presence. He pours himself into each work with such fervor and intensity that we cannot help but feel the life that is given and honored in each piece. The bowed figure in the panel Thirsting is a vessel reaching artfully towards golden books. The rawness of his articulated musculature creates compelling tension when set against his graceful posture and the luminous clarity of the glass. He is thirsting for truth and knowledge, looking both inwardly and outwardly for answers to the questions of life. The books, though exquisitely crafted and gilded, are timeworn and ravaged by use and symbolize the elemental human need to tell stories and pass wisdom. Blank, in concert with his team, is a master of his medium whose aesthetic incorporates rough-hewn, organic handwork within the sexy tradition of glossy and sleek glass. Icy tree branches reticulate around the shadowy torso of Breathing in the Moon, a reflective and refractive composition that demonstrates Blank’s innate understanding of the physical properties of glass in relationship to light. Evoking the eerie brightness of a cold, moonlit night, the elegant blown branches are set in harmonic contrast to the body’s hand-crafted mass. Ethereality and earthiness also combine in Winged Victory. What begins as a molten mass of liquid emerges as a female form as Blank manipulates the material with a variety of tools from taglia to tweezers to tongs. More glass, colors, and surface treatments are integrated into the sculpture, resulting in a form that celebrates both corporeality and idealism. Furrowed amber wings alight gracefully around her, a symbol of inspiration enveloping and lifting the human body. A variety of influences come out in Blank’s work, but he riffs on his artistic ancestors instead of mimicking them; the Winged Victory recalls Jim Dine’s Spanish Venuses as much as she does the Ancient Greek Nike of Samothrace. Blank talks about modernist American sculptor Albert Paley as a strong influence for his ability to manipulate cold, hard, metal into seemingly impossible organic forms, his equal consideration of positive and negative space in sculpture, and the architectural nature of his installations. Many of the figures in this series of work by Blank are reminiscent of caryatids—figural female sculptures first used as columns on Ancient Greek buildings and reconsidered in the 19th century by bronze sculptor Auguste Rodin in his Gates of Hell. If a building is an icon of human grandness, then the caryatid is a reverential figure that carries the weight of human endeavor upon her head. Inspired by the great influences of nature, culture, and the people around him, Blank creates sculptures as imperfectly beautiful as life itself. Jeanne Koles is an independent museum professional who writes for the cultural sector.
Life, like molten glass, is in a constant state of flow.
Transcendence, the Art of Martin Blank. Published by Schantz Galleries, 2013
Contact the gallery to receive a catalog in the mail.
We ebb and rise from hardship to triumph to the everyday in between. Despite the demands of reality, human beings are defined by a quest to live inspired —
seeking knowledge, needing peace, and hoping for a few transcendent moments. Meeting sculptor Martin Blank and beholding his glass work is like putting that message in a bottle. A deft draftsman, Blank infuses his sculpture with both physical and metaphorical marks
of his presence. He pours himself into each work with such fervor and intensity that we cannot help but feel the life that is given and honored in each piece.
Gesture has no precise edges…
The forms are in the act of changing. Gesture is movement in space.
~ Kimon Nicolaides
The artist and teacher Kimon Nicolaides (1891–1938) captures in words the action and energy within the figurative sculpture by Martin Blank.
Nicolaides states that the human form can be better understood through the gestural approach to drawing. What makes Martin Blank’s figurative sculpture so phenomenal is that he captures the gesture and movement of the figure in space with the medium of hot glass. In order to create these works, Martin has to possess not only the academic training in the figure but the expertise and mastery with the medium of glass.
We witness in Martin’s work the passion, movement and life that can only be accomplished when one has an intrinsic understanding of the figure and the ablilty to convey rhythm and movement with each changing line or form. We began the discussion about this catalog of allegorical
figurative works last year. Martin has gone far beyond our expectations with the expressive use of the material and the imagination. We are very proud and excited to debut this new series of figurative work at Schantz Galleries.
Jim Schantz and Kim Saul