For the past decade, French artist, Baptiste Debombourg, has exploited the fragility of glass to explore the “evidence of humanity" out of scenes of apparent wreckage, as GLASS Quarterly contributing editor Victoria Josslin put it in a Fall 2015 (GLASS #140) profile of the artist. And Debombourg’s three recent exhibitions prove just as gasp-inducing as their predecessors. “RAGING DREAMS—over the horizon” by Debombourg opened May 19 at Gallery S12 in Bergen, Norway to celebrate the gallery’s 10th anniversary. According to the S12 event announcement, energy and the power of dreams are guiding motifs in the installation, composed mostly of laminated broken glass. Like the artist’s previous works, “RAGING DREAMS” references the destructive power of natural forces with large, immersive and engulfing installations that creep from the gallery walls to its floors with edges that resemble a breaking wave.
Glasstress 2017, on view through November 26 in the Palazzo Franchetti in Venice, is a collateral event, which means it's a satellite to the international Venice Biennale. A carefully curated survey of contemporary art in glass, Glasstress includes work by artists who have devoted themselves to glass for their entire careers, but the majority of what's on view in the exhibition is by internationally known artists who came to the island of Murano to have their creative ideas fabricated in glass. This, the fifth iteration of Glasstress, was curated by Hermitage Museum contemporary art department director Dimitri Ozerkov, Austrian artist Herwig Kempinger, and Glasstress founder and the head of Berengo Studio, Adriano Berengo. This Glasstress may be a high-water mark for bringing the biggest names in contemporary art to glass as the exhibition includes work by Sarah Sze, Paul McCarthy, and Ai Weiwei. With artists hailing from Austria to Iraq, the event also includes a site-specific installation in Murano. The "The Unplayed Notes Factory" is an installation in an abandoned glass factory by Loris Gréaud, who is making his Glasstress debut.
When glass artists Anna Boothe and Nancy Cohen come together, artistic accidents are embraced. Instead of tossing aside a mistake, the two consider it important to give value to an accidental creation as part of their effort to create art with a Buddhist sensibility in mind. The artists continue their 5-year-long collaboration in a new exhibit entitled “Permutations: A Collaboration Featuring Anna Boothe and Nancy Cohen,” which will have an opening reception at the Philadelphia Art Alliance (PAA) this evening. The two began collaborating in 2012, fusing together two unique styles and a combined experience of more than 50 years working with glass. Although neither artist considers herself a practicing Buddhist, they self-consciously sought to take on on the Buddhist style of thought as a strategy in the creation of their collaborative art, and they consider the work to share the aesthetic approach of Thangka, an elaborately composed Tibetan Buddhist tradition of painting.
Doreen Garner's exhibition "Doctor's Hours," on view in New York City gallery through June 18, 2017, is an assemblage of drawings, video, and sculptural specimens that blend revulsion and attraction to provoke inquiry into atrocities inflicted on African American research subjects in the name of science. Most visceral is the response to the eerily intestinal yet abstract creations made from careful combinations of petroleum jelly-smeared glass, silicone, crystals, human hair, condoms and glitter, perched on shelves at nearly eye-level, spot-lit in the darkened pop-up gallery space on New York City's Lower East Side. Garner, who is often present in the gallery space, plays the role of both artist and surgeon as she invites her audience to become literally one with her art by receiving an actual tattoo, which she will administer either by appointment or for those inspired by their walk-in visit.
Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist Amy Lemaire explores themes of history as a form of currency in her upcoming exhibit, "History of the Present Moment." The exhibition, which will include glass sculptures seeking to ignite thought and conversation around modern historical documentation, will be on display from June 7 to June 28 in the Window Gallery at UrbanGlass’ Agnes Varis Art Center. (Disclosure: The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet is published by UrbanGlass.)
Seattle-based glass artist Ethan Stern, whose work will be on view at Traver Gallery tomorrow as a part of a new exhibition titled "Cut Clear," is perhaps most well-known for his used of saturated gem-tones in high-contrast, semi-opaque engraved sculptures. This exhibition, however, marks the end of a slow-drifting departure from the chromatic intensity of his previous work. The work in the "Cut Clear" series employs similar forms and textures of Stern’s past work, but without the color that was so aesthetically integral. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet spoke with Stern by phone to discuss the artist’s evolution and his unlikely recent source of inspiration — stylistically dated and aesthetically overwrought cut-crystal.
On a deep-sea archaeological excavation in the Caribbean, designer and glass artist Laura Kramer discovered that she was perhaps too invested in the aesthetic form of each artifact. In the process of cleaning a find, Kramer labored assiduously over the excavated object almost as if each was an individual work of art rather than an objective relic of past civilizations. Her temptation to influence the aesthetic presentation of these pieces helped her decide not to continue her career as an archeologist.
WheatonArts in Millville, New Jersey, is preparing to unveil its second “Emanation” exhibition during its long-running GlassWeekend event, a biennial gathering of collectors and artists to celebrate, discuss, buy and sell glass artwork coming up on June 9, 10 and 11, 2017. WheatonArts is a multi-dimensional nonprofit in Southern New Jersey, with programs ranging from a museum of American glass history to programming celebrating regional folk culture. But “Emanation,” initiated in 2015, is focused on the contemporary moment in art through an ambitious program to break down the barriers between fabricators and contemporary artists, something that other programs such as the high-profile Glasstress program by Berengo Studio in Venice don't directly address. Unlike that program, which brings well-known artists to Venice to have their ideas realized by glass masters, the "Emanation" project is based in the studios of WheatonArts' Creative Glass Center of America, best-known for its long-running fellowship program that allows artists free rein to realize experimental ideas at this unique facility. The New Jersey project is careful to avoid the one-way street of becoming a fabrication station. There are multiple efforts to create synergy between the artists and the facility, including during the installation of the exhibition component. The artists chosen for the second iteration of "Emanation" -- Emily Brown, Vanessa German, Michael Joo, Lorna Simpson, Therman Statom, Matthew Szösz, and the group Flock the Optic -- reveal varying levels of technical expertise working with glass, which creates interactions that cross-pollinate between artists approaching the project with different perspectives.
One of New York’s leading glass art institutions, Heller Gallery presents an exhibition featuring works by artist and designer, Laura Kramer, who synthesizes natural forms and uncommon objects in glass to "explore the liminal." Since 2000, Kramer has created intriguing glass sculptures from found curios and organic objects, like wasp nests and barnacles. Her objects explore the hybridization of fine art and natural findings, mimicking shapes and textures found in the natural world while defying any accepted system of classification.
For the second time, the Vermont Glass Guild, a group of glass artists based in Vermont, will feature the work of 25 artists in an annual exhibition curated by Joan Wilson at the Southern Vermont Arts Center from May 20th through July 2nd, 2017. An opening reception to be held at the gallery on May 20th from 4 to 6 PM is open to the public. The exhibit will represent a range of styles and forms, from blown glass to fused to slumped. This is because it is a representation of the guild itself: a wide range of artists and ideas brought together by a common locality and medium.