"Paracosm" is a technical term for an imaginary world. The most famous examples are literary, like J.R.R. Tolkein's Middle Earth or C.S. Lewis's Narnia; but in the visual arts, narrative works are often set in manufactured worlds. In an independently organized exhibition in Brooklyn, New York, the work of six experimental artists has been organized into “Paracosm: new worlds in glass,” which showcases the capacity of glass art to provide a transporting experience in a wide range of works, all with a conceptual foundation. Brooklyn’s Norte Maar, a nonprofit focused on “connecting emerging artistic communities and uniting cultural forces to foster artistic expression and raise the imaginative energy in us all,” is the setting for this fanciful exhibition, which runs through October 23, 2016.
A video by Mücahit Aydınhan, a "calligraphy artist" based in İstanbul, Turkey, shows him breaking a sheet of glass with a hammer, selecting the right shaped shard, and then expertly writing the word "Glass" in scarlet red ink. A brief but elegant diversion courtesy of YouTube.
Chorus (2012) is a stained-glass installation by Kiki Smith presented by the Art Production Fund from May 24th to September 4th on one of the few remaining undeveloped parcels in the area, located on 46th Street and 8th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Comprised of a dozen-or-so colorful stars, the main point of interest is an image of Josephine Baker who is apotheosized in this medium associated with spirituality. Baker was not only one of the twentieth century’s most important stage entertainers, but fitting the feminist and body-political themes in much of Smith’s work, someone who overcame many prejudices against her being female and a person of color.
A Brooklyn-based artist is using glass to pay tribute to an oft-overlooked architectural icon in New York City: the water tower. Commuters crossing the Manhattan Bridge can see Watertower, a kaleidoscope of salvaged plexiglass and steel sitting on the rooftop of 20 Jay Street, where artist Tom Fruin has worked for the last 15 years.
Dan Flavin, untitled (in honor of Harold Joachim) 3, 1977. Pink, yellow, blue, and green fluorescent light. 8 ft square across a corner. Collection of Stephen Flavin © 2012 Stephen Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photography: Graham S. Haber, 2012
A soft glow emanates from the Clare Eddy Thaw Gallery on the ground floor of The Morgan Library & Museum. Inside the spare white room, an eight foot square grid of pink, yellow, green and blue fluorescent lights bathes you in warm light. Dan Flavin’s untitled (in honor of Harold Joachim) 3 takes over the entire room, setting the tone for Dan Flavin: Drawing, the retrospective upstairs.
Every so often there comes an artist crossing so many boundaries, mixing so many mediums, that their place in the echelon of artistic society is hard to determine. Was Robert Mapplethorpe, for instance, a photographer, glass artist, or sculptor? Southern author Flannery O’Connor’s illustrations are prized almost as much as her award-winning literature. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet discovered such an artist at the PULSE Contemporary Art Fair in New York City in early May. Jordi Alcaraz, a Spanish artist shown widely across the European continent over the past two decades, found a place of prominence in New York City due to representation at the fair by both Galeria Nieves Fernandez (Madrid, Spain) and Tomlinson Kong Contemporary (New York City).
Prow Art Space in the Flatiron Building in New York City.
Chinese artist Hu Bing makes her mark on the Manhattan landmark Flatiron building this month. “Shattered Glass Sheer Transformation,” her colorful installation of broken glass bottles molded into sculpture with resin and hung from the ceiling in stockings, occupies the Prow Art Space in the Flat Iron building from now until June 2nd.
Brothers Doug and Mike Starn, perhaps best-known in New York for their tree-themed installation at the South Ferry stop on the Number 1 train, and their Big Bambúexhibit atop the Met, are back in Manhattan with a new sculpture for the “Glasstress New York” exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design. They constructed the untitled work from delicate rods of acid-etched glass, echoing at smaller scale the intricate composition of their much larger bamboo installations, which rise to heights of 100 feet.
A newly opened East Village design boutique fills its narrow space with design objects, many from glass, that is both affordable and contemporary, featuring work from up-and-coming designers. photo: nora wolf
Still House, a recently opened design boutique in Manhattan’s East Village, occupies a narrow storefront on East Seventh Street. Inside, owner Urte Tylaite presides over a carefully curated selection of design objects, many in glass, that represent her unique aesthetic — a marriage of the clean precision of minimalism with the unruliness of the organic. Tylaite, a native of Lithuania and a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn (BFA, painting, 08), aims to keep her prices accessible (read: affordable). This means the merchandise she sells is a mix of carefully selected imports from affordable design wholesaler Roost (a museum-store staple) and one-of-a-kind works by young designers who are still establishing their names and are priced accordingly.
The production of glass objects is possible only through highly technical means, yet the material itself exists organically. Helena Kågebrand, a visual artist trained at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, explores this dichotomy in her latest collection, in which it is often hard to determine whether her sculptures represent internal organs or medical devices. In an age of pacemakers, titanium limbs, and arthroscopic surgery, her stylized glass objects conjoin these seemingly opposing worlds.