It is rare that an artist has the opportunity to change the history of art, let alone during their lifetime. Beginning in the 1970's when William Morris worked as Dale Chihuly's gaffer to his retirement from blowing glass in 2007, he has been a major player in the studio glass movement for over three decades. Morris approached the medium with a unique vision, one that was not dependent on solely achieving beauty. Rather he took glass down a different path than his predecessors, a path that embraced the ability of the material to transform into wood, bone, fiber and sinew- objects that appear as if they have been unearthed as part of the archaeological record. Viewers often pose similar questions about these contemporary sculptures as they would about the ancient objects that inspired them. How was it used? How was it made? What is it? Much of the power of the art created by William Morris resides in this element of mystery. By tapping into the psychic unity or collective unconsciousness shared among all people regardless of where or when they lived, Morris attempted to harness a universal energy. This inspiration guided his work, as he strove to create new forms that did not already exist yet were sprung from the mindset of the specific people or cultures that captivated him. Numerous artists have attempted to follow the course laid out by Morris, but he is unique not only for his vision but the exceptional technical ability displayed by the artist and his team.
During his active career, William Morris created a number of significant sculptures that were deemed to be pivotal. Some of these works were archived, or secreted away to be released at a later date. This exhibition features over 20 archived sculptures that may have appeared in museum exhibitions or literature about William Morris, but are being released onto the market for the first time. We are both honored and excited to host this important exhibition of blown glass by this influential artist.
William Morris' work can be found in many museum collections, including Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Smithsonian National Museum of American Art (Washington DC) and Musee des Arts Decoratifs (Paris).