This year is the 25th year for SOFA Chicago and we are proud to say that Jim Schantz has been there for 23 of those years! Unbelievable!!
Lino Tagliapietra has stated that SOFA Chicago is the most important show to present his newest creation, and he works towards that goal. When in the windy city, he enjoys meeting his fans, seeing long time friends, and the fine dining in Chicago.
For the 25th Anniversary of SOFA, Lino has created the Secret Garden, a wall installation featuring leaf forms that are blown and hot sculpted. Additionally he has taken his Florencia Series further…
We hope to see you there and share these and other exciting works by the Maestro with you. Here is a catalog of a selection of works to be presented – be sure you view full screen to get the full effect.
2018 Schantz Galleries Seattle Tour photo album
These photos are taken by Roger Meyers. There were over 1600 images for us to choose from, and for those, he had to edit his images down from about 3000! SO, this is a thank you to him and to all the other participants who journeyed on that 5-day tour and had the best time ever looking at glass, meeting the artists, touring around Seattle and dining on excellent food.
Walking into a hot shop is exhilarating, and even if you have done it before, that sense of wonder never lessens, believe us, as we have been going on these trips to Seattle for over 15 years, and some of our collectors have opted to go back with us 2 or 3 times…. It’s that good!
Below is a link to our online blog where many more photos are posted.
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!
Distinctions in Glass
Distinctions in Glass | Bremers, Janecký, Shimomoto
Distinction can be defined both as a contrast between similar things, and an excellence that sets one thing apart from another. Two discrete meanings for the same word, yet both meanings apply easily to the glass work of the three artists—Peter Bremers, Harue Shimomoto, and Martin Janecký—featured in this exhibition. This gathering of three unique artists highlights the diversity of technique, form, and aesthetic which glass allows the maker. Bremers creates monumental cast glass sculptures—abstract, monochrome references to landscape and space. Shimomoto weaves glass threads into sculptural tapestries, employing clean lines to capture the essence of nature. Janecký is a modern-day Augustus Saint-Gaudens who sculpts molten glass into naturalistic, emotive busts and figures. Their commonality—a gift for manipulating this malleable material into astonishing works of art that elevate the viewer beyond the banal of the everyday.
Peter Bremers was an established light sculptor when he stumbled upon a glassblowing workshop in his native Netherlands, inspiring a journey of discovery in using glass to capture and bend light. The artist sculpts a model out of a dense foam block. By using the kiln cast method, the model is transformed into glass. He is well known for his awesome glass icebergs, inspired by a voyage to Antarctica in 2001, which bridge the psychic gap between humans and the natural world. He masterfully captures nature’s magnificence in flawless glass microcosms, bringing us intimately in tune with nature by kindling our sense of wonder and smallness around her majesty.
Bremers work in this exhibition turns the journey inward with metaphysical cogitations on space that offer a healing salve in a disconnected and anxious world. Bremers takes the interplay of positive and negative space—an element inherent in our physical experience of three-dimensional sculpture—and extends it in a metaphoric direction. He brings negative space into the sculpture in the form of holes and hollow sections; visible through an outer transparent shell of glass, their volume constantly shifts as the light flows through. These studies of space are monochromatic meditations on form and light—at times intricately faceted, gracefully arched, softly geometric, languidly amorphous. Eloquent descriptors such asCircumscribed, Honey Sweet,Illusional, Optical,Sensuous, and Connected title these “spaces,” signposts that encourage our understanding of Bremer’s artistic intention. Of this series, the artist has written, “Finding ourselves in a time of increasingly negative perception of everyday news events and an overall rising feeling of being unsafe in a world of religious, political, and social divisiveness, we may forget to focus on the possibilities and comfort offered by positive action and attitude. Positive space symbolizes tolerance, appreciation, hope, and opportunity.”
While Bremers articulates the grand physical phenomena of nature, artist Harue Shimomoto relishes in its small gestures and broad strokes. Diaphanous curtains of glass express abstract notions—weather shifting with the seasons, light morphing throughout the day, leaves changing their hue, air circling a pond, fields blowing in the wind. Simple colors and forms mingle in a complex but soothing mesh of layered glass rods. Illusionistic depth emerges as Shimomoto deftly wields positive and negative sculptural space and carefully handles light and shadow, distilling moments into shimmering immersive impressions. Like with Bremers, Shimomoto’s work goes beyond mere physical exploration, becoming a meditative journey that holds tightly to the impermanence of fragile moments and shifts the viewer’s gaze beyond the tangible.
fused glass, stainless steel wire, pigment, epoxy, metal hooks,
51 x 37 x 7"
Shimomoto was born in Japan and received her BFA from Tokyo’s Musashino Art University, then came to the United States to get her MFA, settling afterwards in Rhode Island. Simplicity and ephemerality have a storied tradition in the Japanese aesthetic, a way of being that Shimomoto embodies, but also one from which she diverges. There is a quiet strength to her work—in its construction but more so it in its message—that makes her a unique amalgam. She has said: “I do not want the viewer to be too conscious of the glass. I almost believe that glass itself is too beautiful to be a medium. Many people see glass as functional object or decorative material. I want to break these images of glass and give it a different quality. Therefore, I am careful to make my work stronger than my medium.”
Martin Janecký is a master handler of the medium of glass, coaxing impossibly naturalistic figures and animals out of the material. Janecký was born to be a glassmaker, working in his father’s glass factory in the Czech Republic beginning at the age of 13. He likes to say “I didn’t pick glass, glass picked me.” After graduating from the glass school Nový Bor, he embarked on a path that has taken him to glass programs all over the world as a visiting artist and instructor to over 600 students a year. Teaching has been accompanied by endless learning, the time to formulate and hone his personal aesthetic, and the opportunity to push and perfect his innovative glass molding technique.
By “sculpting inside the bubble,” (blowing the basic bubble, then opening a hole and molding it with different tools from both the inside and the outside), Janecký achieves extraordinary realism and startling detail in his faces. Nooks, crevices, lines, and protuberances gradually emerge, a map of human emotion drawn in glass, radiating from within as is from a living, feeling soul. When asked about the meaning of his work, he has said: “I make things which fascinate me—not just from the workmanship point of view—I try to give them an expression. I don’t want to make just a realistic portrait. I want to capture feelings and emotions.” The external calm of the artist as he deliberately and slowly works the material belies his own creative mind—active, passionate, always seeking challenge.
A distinctive characteristic of glass as a medium is that it responds to challenge, yields to the vision of the passionate artist and skilled technician. A simple set of ingredients heated together to molten consistency, pushed, blown, poured, shaped, colored, etched, and altered in ways as myriad as the imagination can conjure. Peter Bremers, Harue Shimomoto, and Martin Janecký demonstrate the breadth of the physical and creative possibilities of glass because each brings deep devotion to the art, a unique ability to work with the material, and a drive to explore new experiences in glass.
“Cosa vuol dire amare il vetro?” (What does it mean to love glass?) For Lino, to love glass is also to love life.
STOCKBRIDGE, MA: Schantz Galleries proudly presents an exhibition of works by Maestro Lino Tagliapietra, whose spirit of adventure, risk and learning drives him to push the medium of glass and test the seemingly boundless limits of his skill. His intricate work in filigrana, murrini, reticello, zanfirico, incalmo, and aventurine prove him to be a master of glass techniques and a creator of transcendent art experiences.
Lino with Medusa, 2006, at Schantz Galleries.
Glass is deeply ingrained in Lino Tagliapietra; his astonishing body of work both chronicles his life and transcend his personal journey. They are artful illuminations of the myriad elements that make all our lives so full. From the tangible—things like colors, places, and animals, to the intangible—ideas like balance, strength, fragility, passion, whimsy, and freedom. Lino has said that “an exhibition is a long process made of life experiences.… Every object represents something I would like to be, like a tree that has many roots. It is crucial to recognize Lino—the tree—in each object.” Like the roots of a tree, the works by Lino in this exhibition unfurl in many directions, all the while retaining the quintessential qualities of their creator.
Lino with Florencia, 2018. Click to view additional works currently on exhibition.
Recent works include the Florencia series, symbolizing the energy and exuberance of the Florentine culture. Few artists possess Lino’s skill at translating the essence of a place into a piece of glass. Fiery flames lick up the sides of Etna. Africa’s organic color palette adorns a basket-like vase. Urban sprawl and a mountainous backdrop form the minimalist decoration of Tapiei, and the magnificent peak of Fuji emerges from rings of evocatively colored glass.
Lino brings this characteristic expressiveness to his interpretation of animals. The curved ellipse of the belly of the Oca (Goose) supports the bird’s trumpeting neck. The humble Chiocciola (Snail) adorns a delicately balanced ovoid of clear glass. Boisterous patterns cover the powerful Fenice works, whose necks pull into long and impossibly curved forms.
When Lino Tagliapietra thinks about the meaning of his work, he must invariable think about the meaning of his life. He asks himself: Cosa vuol dire amare il vetro? (What does it mean to love glass?) For Lino, to love glass is also to love life. It means to embrace the harmonious elements of life that are so uniquely reflected in glass. It means to communicate this reverence and spread joy through beautiful works of art.
Lino and Lina looking into Celtica, 2018.
View the catalog online!
Kelly O’Dell and Raven Skyriver Demo | Schantz Galleries June Weekend
Each year we feature artists to exhibit in Gallery One for the opening event of the summer in Stockbridge. This year, Paul Stankard, Kelly O’Dell, and Raven Skyriver were the featured artists and the gallery looks fantastic! These three artists are all deeply in tune with their environment and appreciate how glass can be a compelling medium for interpreting flora and fauna. Stankard’s floral paperweights are diminutive and detailed meditations on a flower’s elegant countenance—and the brimming underbelly beneath the soil. O’Dell’s sumptuous ammonites, coral, and fossil-like panels see the long view of nature—its far-reaching past, its captivating present, and its precarious future. Raven Skyriver also brings awareness to the fragility of the ecosystem through his glorious interpretations of marine icons of the Pacific Northwest, captured in an array of forms, colors, and textures as diverse as sea life itself.
Another aspect of the weekend is the Glass Demo which is held at a nearby hotshop in Canaan, NY, called hoogs and crawford. Nathan Hoogs and Elizabeth Crawford have been working in the area for over 20 years, and have a really nice shop.
Following are photos of the demo, where Kelly and Raven created a Nautilus Cephalopod, an awesome sea creature, and an amazing feat in sculpting glass. There was a rapt audience for over 4 hours as we watched the entire process from start to finish, supplied with breakfast and lunch, of course! Assisting artists included Nathan Hoogs, Elizabeth Crawford, Bob Dane, Mike V, Jen Violette and Wren Skyriver. The photos were taken by Amy Postlethwait, and videographer, Jeff Masotti will be sending us a video for our collection as well.
hoogs and crawford hot shop
Jen Violette and Raven Skyriver
Raven Skyriver and Bob Dane
Kelly's special tool she invented to curl a nautilus!
Sculpting the tentacles or arms of the Cephalopod
Kelly and Wren
High drama was featured here!!
CHIHULY BASKETS: CELEBRATING FORTY YEARS
“Baskets was the first series that I did that really took advantage of the molten properties of the glassblowing process. Now, for the first time, I really felt I was breaking new ground with an ancient technique.”
For many celebrated artists, the path to creative achievement is gradual, studied, and often plagued by self-doubt. David Galenson, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and the author of Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity (2007) calls these people “experimental innovators.” On the opposite end of this spectrum are what Galenson terms “conceptual innovators”—those whose brilliance arrives in a relative blaze, at a fairly early age, disrupting convention. Dale Chihuly is a conceptual innovator whose Baskets were a flashpoint for his originality. Forty years later, he is still a leader of the avant-garde and prodigious creative force, and the Baskets remain vital in the fascinating arc of his career.
Dale Chihuly, The Boathouse hotshop Seattle, 1993
Dale Chihuly had a meaningful encounter with traditional Northwest Indian basketry in 1977, during a visit to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. He was a young vanguard in the field of glass (he had become the head of the glass program at Rhode Island School of Design and co-founded the Pilchuck School of Glass in Washington by age 30). Chihuly was enthralled by how time had transformed the woven baskets into bowed and slumping objects. This touchpoint precipitated a breakthrough not only in Chihuly’s forms but also in his techniques for achieving them. He harnessed the interconnected powers of heat, gravity, centrifugal force, breath, and glass to achieve impossible thinness and dynamic asymmetry. Chihuly has stated: “Baskets was the first series that I did that really took advantage of the molten properties of the glassblowing process. Now, for the first time, I really felt I was breaking new ground with an ancient technique.”
His earliest Baskets, such as his 1979 Tabac Basket Set with Oxblood Jimmies, are daring and seemingly effortless. Like an alchemist Chihuly uncouples form from function and instead forges undulant containers of hue and luminosity. The muted palette reminiscent of Native American baskets defines the early work but is also an enduring muse. The extraordinary forms of Tabac Basket with Drawing Shards and Oxblood Body Wraps (2008) are like feats of Art Nouveau architecture writ in glass. This series is done in natural fiber tones akin to the objects that informed them, but the native formline design of the baskets is abstracted in Chihuly’s hand.
Tabac Basket Set with Oxblood Jimmies, 1979, 6 x 14 x 14″
These forty years of Baskets are not a linear progression, wherein one builds upon the next until superiority is achieved; rather they are collection of transcendent moments through time.
While some works have maintained an aesthetic affiliation with the baskets Chihuly saw in the 1970s, others are merely kindred spirits. Jasper Black Basket Set with Red Lip Wraps (2000) revels in the drama of the color black; opaque obsidian is complemented by deep blues and shimmering violets, sheathed in a sanguine red. Six nested containers produce a panoply of shapes and crevices where light is absorbed and refracted by the lustrous surfaces. With the recent Golden Sapphire Basket Set with Midnight Blue Lip Wraps (2017), Chihuly continues to push the limits of the material. The outer vessel is turned on its side—its form part basket part sea creature, variegated blues dancing around the cresting and plunging contours. Nested inside this frame, six unique forms coalesce in a masterpiece of blown glass, the splendid blues enhanced by peeks of golden yellow.
Jasper Black Basket Set with Red Lip Wraps, 2000, 6 x 13 x 13″
Entwined with the narrative of the Baskets are Chihuly’s drawings, in which we see the artist’s instinctive and spontaneous creativity most viscerally. In a medium not bound by gravity, design elements can be liberated from their surfaces, nested forms emancipated, circles need not close. Not studies for specific works, the gestural drawings express Chihuly’s big ideas to both his glassblowing team and his viewers. Then, as if the works on paper could shatter like glass into “shards,” details from the drawings become design elements of the Baskets themselves, exemplifying the creative loop that characterizes Dale Chihuly.
Pablo Picasso once said that “to search means nothing in painting. To find is the thing.” Such a prophetic statement could only usher from a true conceptual innovator, one who inspired a paradigmatic shift in art-making without seeming like it was any effort at all. Dale Chihuly has done the same for modern studio art glass, and the Baskets are the bellwether of this movement. Chihuly’s magic is intangible and unmistakable—a mix of technical genius, limitless imagination, fearlessness, experimentation, and an unfailing eye for the beautiful.
Jeanne Koles is an independent museum professional with a focus on cultural communications.
Golden Sapphire Basket Set with Midnight Blue Lip Wraps, 2017 (detail), 19 x 22 x 22″
Master of Beauty | Lino Tagliapietra
To behold Lino Tagliapietra’s glass art is to perceive pure beauty, inspired by the magnificence of the artist’s surroundings, travels, and experiences. In his 1753 volume Analysis of Beauty, English painter and writer William Hogarth (1697-1764) laid out the six principles that affect our perception of beauty: fitness (fitting parts of a whole elegantly together); variety (blending shapes and colors harmoniously); uniformity (balancing symmetry with shifting perspectives); simplicity (discarding superfluous elements); intricacy (leading the eye with thoughtful composition); and quantity (inspiring awe through grandness). Hogarth’s ground-breaking tome also described the serpentine “line of beauty,” an s-shaped curve used in art that awakens the viewer and is pleasing to behold. Flawlessly orchestrating all six of Hogarth’s tenets and deftly employing the “line of beauty,” each work by Tagliapietra beguiles the viewer, transporting them to a place of unadulterated grace.
The Fenice series epitomizes the lively allure of the curving line. Impossibly elongated pulls of glass twist dynamically through the air. Hot reds give way to fiery oranges, which cool to deep blues, manifesting the myriad colors of flame as the glass phoenix rises. The interplay of curves in the installation of three Fenice works reveals myriad expressions as the viewer moves around the piece. Equally in the Dinosaur works, a sense of infinity defies their physical boundaries. The magnificence of the extinct beasts are expressed, softened through graceful bends in their necks and modernized through the graphic patterns of the glass. A repetition of circles plays delightfully against the kaleidoscopic swathes of color that surround the surfaces.
The graceful arcing forms of the Forcola works are also enhanced by undulating layers of design. Concentric circles—in some cases from a single color family, in others from complimentary hues—stretch like taffy to reveal the exquisite patterns inlaid in the glass. So named because their shape artfully recalls the rowlocks of Venetian gondolas, the Forcola works—like so many by Tagliapietra—expressively celebrate a place of affection for the artist.
Geography has had a considerable influence on the artist, who has traveled the world extensively to work and teach; each location leaves its mark on his soul and in his work. Recalling woven African baskets in form and pattern, the globular Africa vase sits nimbly on a narrow foot and revels in a vibrant, jewel-like palette. Rippled “lines of beauty” wind their way up the vase in both directions, culminating in a vivid blue lip of gently waving canes. The rolling swells of a sand dune are captured in the intricate Sahara, its amber coloring punctuated by an azure oasis. Like the blue sea that gives way to the volcano for which they are named, the Stromboli works erupt with cascading cerulean lava, punctuated by frenetic green swirls and daubs of crimson.
Just as Tagliapietra brings a unique perspective to the places he visits by rendering them abstractly in glass, so he brings his forward-looking ideology to artistic traditions. A long-lost glass making technique using avventurine glass is reborn in Tagliapietra’s hands. In a triumph of alchemy, suspended metal in the glass infuses the material with shimmering luster. Hogarth wrote that “simplicity gives beauty even to variety.” In the Avventurine works, minimal and classical shapes are brilliantly juxtaposed with a mosaic of swirling, sparkling designs.
Whether by the 18th century standards of a thinker like Hogarth, or by modern codes, Lino Tagliapietria is a master of beauty. To combine centuries-old traditions with contemporary explorations of the medium, to pay homage to the intimate places he knows and the faraway worlds he has visited, and to do so with such an inherent understanding of what makes things beautiful—this is a true gift. Tagliapietra’s sumptuously articulated forms and dazzling designs are masterfully balanced yet playful. A “line of beauty” unfurls in front of our eyes in each work and in the body of work as a whole.
CAST, CUT and COLD October 2017
Karsten Oaks in the Cold Shop.
Glass is an amazing medium. Whether in front of a furnace or a grinding wheel, the nature of the glass allows it to be formed by who holds it and the only limit to its potential is the imagination, and of course the technical acumen of the maker. It must be the only medium from which so any different artistic techniques can be used, and so many uses are yet to be discovered. Out of necessity and the inherent nature of the medium, working with hot glass is a quicker process than when it is cast or cold worked; as a result, much of the available glass is hot glass. Because it is not quite as mesmerizing as glass blowing, and it is so time consuming to make, many people do not realize that cold working can take months for one piece. Realistic, abstract, simple, or complex sculptures may be realized through these process’. This October, Schantz Galleries features works by artists whose work is Cast, Cut and Cold.
Cooperative Glassmaking and the Individualism of the Creative Spirit | Dante Marioni & Preston Singletary
Stockbridge, MA Schantz Galleries is pleased to present an exhibition of works by two contemporary artists working in glass. Having worked together on and off over the past 30 years, and maintained a friendship, the two men are each masters of their techniques and have developed extremely different thematic concerns. Each in their own time has studied and then taught their specialized techniques.
Dante Marioni and Preston Singletary at work together in 2011 during Schantz Galleries June Collectors Weekend.
Glassblowing is by nature a team endeavor, members moving in often-wordless harmony towards a single goal. Glass artists are the conductors, sometimes physically participating but always orchestrating the various participants around their vision. Though the production process requires a skilled and trusted team, the creative process is more often an individual one. When two creative forces come together in collaboration, however, a deep union of their spirits can blossom. Dante Marioni and Preston Singletary, friends and colleagues since high school, have periodically teamed up on collaborative work over the past seven years. This is more than just a marriage of prodigious technical talent and diverse aesthetics, it is a collective honoring of two artistic lights resulting in a sublime body of work.
Marioni and Singletary’s synergy grows out of certain philosophical commonalities. Both express their reverence for nature with graphic or stylized representations. “Marioni’s leaf vessels are elegantly elongated forms whose delicate veining is captured through fine reticello or striking cane work patterns. Singletary’s spirit animals, soul catchers, and glass baskets pay homage to his Tlingit ancestry through economy of form and refined Northwest Coast formline design. Though employing different styles and techniques, both artists convey the essence of their subjects instead of providing direct reproductions. Color is also an evocative tool for both artists, though their palettes differ. Marioni uses translucent purples, sparkling blues, shimmering reds, and luminous greens to impart the innate characters of a leaf. Singletary calls upon earthy reds, rich golds, and deep azures to conjure flora and fauna and suggest the land, sea, and sky upon which they reign.
Singletary uses his glass making skills to connect with his native heritage, translating Tlingit cultural traditions of Chilkat basket-weaving, stone, and wood working into a contemporary medium that bridges new audiences to traditional narratives. In Marioni’s hands, ancient and primitive forms are completely metamorphosed. In his African Gourd, an archetypal shape is translated into a sleek vessel, an opaque container with primitive markings is transformed into a diaphanous surface with stylized graphics, and a utilitarian object becomes an exquisite work of art.
The extraordinary amalgamation of these viewpoints and aesthetics is visually arresting—merging Marioni’s graceful forms, delicate cane patterning, and luminous surfaces with Singletary’s sand-carving technique, Tlingit mythical designs, and deep earthy colorations. Adornments on Marioni’s sleek vessels are traditionally rare and, when existent, clean and streamlined. To their artistic collaboration, Singletary brings the addition of blown glass figural and animal elements. Instead of delicate spherical handles, two black wolves (a symbol of a Tlingit clan) stand upon the shoulders of a graceful vase, melding Venetian and Tlingit traditions in a singular and striking association.
Dante Marioni and Preston Singletary met as teenage boys, when life was about playing music and having fun. Today, each has forged a prodigious career in the field of glass art and gained notoriety for their distinctive skills and styles. With their artist collaboration comes a revival of their youthful camaraderie, along with an egoless openness to the creative process and receptivity to the interchange of ideas. In both their collaborative and individual work, Dante Marioni and Preston Singletary embody both the cooperative nature of glassmaking and the individualism of the creative spirit.
View Catalog Online
Dante Marioni, Green and Purple Leaves, Trio, 2017
Preston Singletary, Medicine Woman (Raven Woman), 2012, 12.5 x 23 x 8″