Judy Youens Gallery’s “Big Four” will present the top glass artists that emerged in the early 1980‘s at the beginning of the Studio Glass Movement: Michael Taylor, Martin Rosol, Jack Schmidt and Lawrence Morrell. Judy Youens represents all of these artists, with the exception of Morrell, in her gallery in Houston, Texas.
Michael Taylor and Martin Rosol work with pure crystal glass and transform glass into abstract forms in both color and clear crystal. Michael Taylor was a pioneer in the glass movement. He opened the door for glass to be considered a medium for creative expression in craft and as a type of metaphysical geometry. Taylor combines the science of glass with the medium’s poetic capabilities, “The forms of glass spear upward in geometrical abstract forms with the light fusing through the glass producing prison color on the walls surrounding the environment.” Taylor is still an active participant in the glass community and was head of the glass department at Rochester Institute Technology for several years.
Martin Rosol mastered his craft in the European tradition. Unable to work in his home country of Czechoslovakia as a free artist, Rosol learned his trade in a Czech “company school” which trained the craftsmen to execute limited edition designs for art glass manufacturers. He worked with his trade during the day and at night collected the glass left over from production to make his own art work. Martin Rosol came to the U.S. in 1986 to join the American glass movement. His work is inspired by architectural studies made with glass cut from blocks of crystal. These studies become “monuments to light” and showcase both opaque and clear surfaces.
Jack Schmidt’s work is described as “sculptural fabrications of glass, metal and/or stone”. Schmidt completed his education in Ohio as one of the first glass students at the Toledo Museum of Art School of Design. He was appointed Secretary of the Glass Art Society in 1974 and has been a recipient of prestigious awards from the National Endowment of the Arts and many others. One of the major themes of Schmidt’s work is the “idea of isolating quiet and tranquil moments”. Schmitd’s work represents simple moments in nature and beauty that is often over looked.
Lawrence Morrell’s glass work is inspired by science and nature. He uses innovative techniques inspired by scientific research to create sculptures that resemble different textures often over looked in everyday life. Morrell completed his education in Oregon and after spending fifteen years in New York City has returned to Oregon where he now works.
Martin Rosol, Calla