Balancing Act: The Glass Sculpture of Steve Klein
CAFAM presents the first solo exhibition in California of Long Beach-based glass sculptor Steve Klein
LOS ANGELES, CA – Celebrating the Studio Glass Movement’s 50th anniversary, the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) presents Balancing Act: The Glass Sculpture of Steve Klein. This is the first museum survey in Southern California of Long Beach-based sculptor Steve Klein, a distinguished sculptor and teacher who interprets original works of architecture, visual art, and natural landscapes as stylized contemporary glass sculptures. This exhibition, curated by Howard N. Fox (formerly curator of contemporary art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, from 1985 through 2008), will be on view from September 30, 2012 through January 6, 2013.
Working in bold geometric shapes, Klein’s glass sculptures are kiln-formed with many hand-blown components. They often feature stripes and geometric patterns, and mostly find their inspirations in sources such as sites in the natural landscape, masterworks of modern art, or remembered events and states of mind. These inspirations are translated into different series in which Klein grants himself the license to experiment, abstract, and stylize the ensuing works.
“Exploration 173” is directly influenced by Kasimir Malevich’s “White on White,” while “Balance 112” is a nod to painter Helen Frankenthaler. Reflecting Klein’s creative process, the CAFAM exhibition will be grouped by series rather than chronologically.
Klein was born in Los Angeles in 1946. He spent most of his adult life in sales and management related to industrial parts and supplies; however, in 1996 at age fifty, he enrolled at Pilchuck Glass School near Seattle where he made his first glass sculpture. Within two years he became a teaching assistant and later an instructor. He continues to teach workshops and master classes at art schools and glass studios around the world. Because Klein regards teaching as an integral aspect of his creative life, the exhibition includes works by several of his students and associates, including Susan Cox, Steve Immerman, Richard Parrish, Els VanDenEnde, and Robert Weiner.
Klein’s art has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and is represented in museum collections in the U.S., England, Spain, Scotland, China, Taiwan, and Israel. He also has been recognized as an esteemed artist-in-residence at many distinguished art schools and glass studios internationally.
This exhibition is supported in part by the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG); Askew Industrial Corporation; the Glass Alliance of Los Angeles (GALA); and The Greenberg Foundation, Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser
Catalogue and public programs:
An illustrated catalogue authored by Fox will accompany the show. CAFAM will offer exhibition-related workshops and events in conjunction with the exhibition. Other events will include CraftLab family workshops, held on the second Sunday of each month from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Conversation between curator Howard Fox and Steve Klein
About the 50th anniversary of the Studio Glass Movement:
The year 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the development of studio art glass in America. To celebrate this milestone and recognize the many talented artists, more than 160 glass demonstrations, lectures, and exhibitions will take place at museums, galleries, art centers, universities, organizations, festivals, and other venues across the United States throughout 2012.
American studio glass art began with two glass workshops held at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962. Artist Harvey K. Littleton conducted the groundbreaking workshops along with scientist Dominick Labino, who introduced a small furnace built for glassworking that made it possible for individual artists to work with hot glass in independent studios. Prior to this, glass was an industrial material and out of the reach of studio artists. Glass programs were subsequently established at major education centers in the country: by Littleton at the University of Wisconsin; by artist Marvin Lipofsky at the California College of Arts and Craft; and later, at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), led by artist Dale Chihuly, to name but a few.
For more information visit http://contempglass.org/2012-celebration