Lecture by Nikolas Weinstein
Presented by the Glass Program
Nikolas Weinstein was born in New York in 1968. His aesthetic derives from a long-standing interest in the natural world, established at a young age during internships at the American Museum of Natural History and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. After graduating college with a degree in comparative literature, he moved to San Francisco, where he briefly worked as an assistant to a prominent graphic designer before founding his studio in 1991. His site-specific installations leverage new technologies to build glassworks that lie at the intersection of art, architecture, and the natural world.
Nikolas Weinstein Studios is a place where art, architecture, technology, design, and engineering come together in large-scale, site-specific glass installations. With an aesthetic drawn from the natural world, Nikolas's work appears animated and unrestrained but at the same time each piece must be a strictly controlled and carefully engineered system. These opposing imperatives, and the artistic and technical challenges they pose, have drawn a rich and idiosyncratic mix of artists, engineers, craftspeople, gadgeteers, and other creative problem solvers to the studio team. In a very real sense, the studio is defined by the team's willingness, even eagerness, to take on new and unusual challenges.
Solutions to these challenges include: building a room-size kiln from scratch for a one-off project; shipping containers packed with flat-folded glass "fabric" that can be unfurled and shaped on site like origami; harnessing gravity to lend a gentle curve to a piece of glass the size of a tree trunk; or sometimes a magnet on a stick is all that's needed.
This evening the artist will be sharing videos, images, and stories from a number of recent projects, illuminating the problems they posed and the processes and solutions that made them possible.