Santa Fe, NM—LewAllen Galleries is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Luminous Forms. On view from July 2 – August 1, 2010, at LewAllen Galleries’s Downtown venue, the exhibition will present new works by eight world-renowned glass artists working both locally and internationally. Stronger than steel yet permeable by light, instrumental to technologies of both science and entertainment, and the material of choice for items ranging from ancient Mesopotamian ceremonial objects to cutting-edge aerospace components, glass’s manifold cultural associations and singular material qualities continue to inform and extend the possibilities of contemporary art.
Attuned to re-evaluations of the histories and physical properties of glass, Luminous Forms presents sculptural works that evidence sophisticated manipulation of the medium to exemplify the expanding range of its abilities and its uses. Contributing works that range from exacting representations to light-suffused abstractions, participating artists include: Sean Albert, Peter Bremers, Daniel Clayman, Steve Klein, Lucy Lyon, Charlie Miner, Ethan Stern, and Hiroshi Yamano.
In a distinctly modern approach to the conception, design and creation of glass sculpture, Sean Albert has developed a unique process to develop sculptures that enclose intricate chromatic and textural patterns within sleek minimalist forms. In creating each work, the artist must create thousands of glass canes in a manner that ensures modulation of both diameter and coloration. These are then painstakingly arranged in a form before kiln-fusing—a carefully executed process requiring constant supervision to ensure that each cane retains its integrity. After cooling at an angle to encourage mild curling, Albert applies an extensive array of cold work strategies to achieve his final product. Albert holds a BFA in Glass from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Massachusetts, and an MFA in Glass from Alfred University in Alfred, New York. He has participated in workshops at the Pilchuck Glass School, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Penland School of Craft and has had significant teaching experience at these and other significant institutions.
Introducing Dutch artist Peter Bremers to LewAllen Galleries, Luminous Forms will include works from his Icebergs & Paraphernalia and Canyons & Desserts series. Inspired by a journey to the Antarctic in a deep-sea sailing ship, the kiln-cast glass sculptures that constitute Icebergs & Paraphernalia concretize the artist’s recollections of the region’s passing glaciers and swells glistening in dawn sunlight. Merging undulating wave-like shape with angular holes and arches, these works recall both the fissures of melting glaciers and the unfathomable depths of ice below the visible surface of the sea. According the artist, his recently developed Canyons and Deserts series is “inspired by the amazing nature within the United States.” Characterized by rich earth-hued glass, intricately cut grooves and channels, and jagged forms, the works essentialize and evoke the uniquely austere and awe-inspiring landscape formations of the Southwest. Using gestures of the hand to approximate the visual effects of erosion and stratification, the series proposes a dynamic contrast between human and geologic time. Born in Maastricht, The Netherlands, Bremers studied sculpture at the University of Fine Arts and three-dimensional design at the Jan van Eyck Academie. His work is featured in the public collections of Boymans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, The Netherlands; and, National Glassmuseum, Leerdam, The Netherlands.
Daniel Clayman’s Minimalist glass sculptures explore the subtlety and the drama of form and movement, light and shadow. Evidencing total mastery of pate de verre, a process in which tiny shards of crushed glass are worked into a thick paste before being fired in a kiln, Clayman’s most recent works inflect austere geometrics with forms evocative of ancient tools and ceremonial objects. Informed by methods ranging from traditional calligraphy to cutting-edge computer-assisted design, the artist has developed a highly individualized aesthetic defined by the reduction of forms to their absolute essences. The artist holds a BFA from the Rhode Islands School of Design, and his works have featured in numerous solo exhibitions and group shows at venues including the American Craft Museum, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
When discussing his work, Steve Klein notes, "My influences are primarily painters—Diebenkorn, Mondrian, Rothko, Newman, Miro, Pollock—and the ceramist Jun Kaneko. My work seeks to explore and establish a relationship between shape, color and texture. I’m very taken by glass as a material and the fusing and casting processes. I like the idea of having control of the piece during the construction, then losing control while the piece is in the kiln, then being able to regain control through cold working to bring together both forces into a resolved piece.” This precarious balance between control and compromise finds expression in his sculptural forms and designs. “In life,” he explains, “there are moments that require compromise, resolution and action to create balance. I am challenged by that act of balancing and this is what my work addresses.” An alumnus in Theatre Arts from California State University in Long Beach, CA, Klein began his career in glass art almost 30 years later, taking classes between 1996 and 1998 at Pilchuck Glass School. Klein’s art is in the collections of The Studio at Corning Glass; the Nacional Museo Del Vidreo, La Granja, Spain; the Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY; Northlands Creative Glass, Lybster, Scotland; The Bullseye Collection, Portland, OR; and the Museum of the Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. His work has also been reviewed in such periodicals as Neues Glas/New Glass (Germany); American Craft (USA); Glass Art (USA); and Oficio y arte (Spain).Lucy Lyon creates in glass sculpture that is often driven by a narrative impulse. Many of her well-known, evocative pieces include cast glass figures in urban settings, such as a library or bookstore. The figures themselves effectively express a state of mind through gesture. Her art and vision derive from a different, more personal, context than that usually encountered in the modern glass world—individuating her from many contemporary counterparts. Lyon graduated in 1971 from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, earning a B.A. in philosophy, and was further educated at Pilchuck Glass School, WA. She has taken a number of workshops across the country from well-known glass artists, and has cited Edward Hopper as a source of inspiration throughout her career. Her works have been exhibited in significant public institutions including: the Redding Museum of Art and History, Long Beach, CA; the Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM; and, the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM.
In creating delicate cast-glass open vessels imprinted with highly detailed natural forms, Charlie Miner employs a complex system of lost wax casting informed by his considerable background in bronze. First an original is made from carving wax, porcelain or clay; and, a rubber mold is made from the original. The wax piece is placed in a wooden form and completely covered with a soft plaster investment bearing air vents. Next, the wax is melted out by forcing steam through the vents. Once dry, a large block of plaster with a negative image of the piece is applied. The mold is then placed in a large electric kiln. Next the mold is filled with powderized 24% lead crystal glass is heated in an electric kiln, which often reaches temperatures of 1600⁰C degrees. It is then slowly cooled over the next week or two to prevent cracking. Finally, it is polished with sanding blocks impregnated with diamond chips. The process of crating a single piece may take upwards of three months to construct a single piece. The results are imparted with an irreproducible texture; often resembling stone, it holds all the attraction of glass. Miner comments: “These pieces represent my goal to have a body of work that is visually pleasing on both the interior and the exterior, but that retain a strong utilitarian feeling.” Educated at Pilchuk Glass School, Miner founded Tesuque Glassworks in 1975. His works are included in the permanent collections of the Corning Glass Museum, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the New Mexico Museum of Art, and the Tucson Museum of Art.
Ethan Stern studied ceramics at the TAFE Institute in Brisbane, Australia, and began his transition from ceramics to glass while enrolled at Alfred University in New York. Instead of figurative or abstract glass sculpture, he was most intrigued by the functional form of the blown-glass vessel. Stern’s study of ancient Greek and Chinese vessels was influential in his current exploration of the dynamic relationship between surface and form. He began examining the effects he could achieve through engraving and carving while at the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. Cameo engraving and carving the surface allowed him to “pull together elements of color, form, pattern and texture to create a unique voice within the material.” By transforming the traditional glossy surface of glass, Stern’s technique directs focus to the surface as well as to the form, adding another dimension to the design and aesthetic of blown glass. Similar to a ceramist’s direct manipulation of clay, Stern works with glass in a way that reveals the artist’s highly individualistic touch. He explains, “The evidence of the hand, the subtleties of surface and the creative process are vital to the creation of my work.” Featured in solo and group exhibitions internationally, Stern’s work has been reviewed in such publications as American Craft Magazine, New Glass Review, and American Style. His innovations in glass design continue to establish his reputation as a noteworthy emerging artist of glass sculpture today.
Harmonizing ancient traditions with cutting-edge techniques originating in Japan, Europe, and the United States, Hiroshi Yamano’s glass art exemplifies the generative potential of cultural interchange while commenting on his own search for experiences that transcend borders. His pieces frequently incorporate silvery glass fish that appear in constant motion – slipping in and out of elegant vessel forms that evoke the constant flow of water. Referencing the ocean as both a bridge and a barrier between Japan and the West, hi sart offers the sea as an evocative symbol of the conflicts between tradition and change, isolation and openness – an elemental space that both encloses and embraces the complex dialogues of personal and national identity. Celebrated equally for their astounding formal innovations and considerable conceptual richness, Yamano’s sculptures are praised as instances of the most technically accomplished glass art produced today. In a unique method the artist adapted from Japan’s history of metal crafts, complex forms of blown, sculpted, cut, and polished glass are fused with delicate layers of silver leaf while still hot and preceding copper plating – allowing him to emulate the intricate decorative surfaces of Japanese screen paintings. Born and raised in Japan, Hiroshi Yamano received his arts education from the California College of Arts, the Tokyo Glass Art Institute, the Pilchuk School of Glass, and the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he earned his MFA in 1989. His work is included in such significant public collections as the Corning Glass Museum, the Wheaton Glass Museum, the Chrysler Museum, and the Grand Crystal Gallery of Taiwan.
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