GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet: What are you working on?
Gene Koss: I’m currently working on a monumental sculpture 13-by-10-by-30 feet titled Line Fence. It’s inspired by the feeling of a particular site in the Wisconsin landscape. I’m in the metal fabrication stage now working with the fabrication shop. I’ve already spent two years in research and engineering prior to beginning fabrication.
The metal is stainless steel with a dull surface rather than polished. For 35 years, I’ve cast the glass for my sculptures with a well-orchestrated team of assistants. However, I’m going to experiment with a different type of glass for this piece. I’m looking for a glass that will meet my aesthetic requirements and withstand the extreme heat and cold of the elements. This sculpture doesn’t exist yet to be able to photograph it, so I have included a photograph of Silo, my most recent large-scale sculpture. I’m also working on various maquettes or models for future sculptures.
GLASS: What artwork have you experienced recently that has moved you, and got you thinking about your own work?
Gene: While I appreciate and enjoy the artwork of others, what usually moves me most and makes me think about my own work are outdoor sites around the U.S. and the world and the various found objects I come across.
I travel as much as possible. I can look at a space and visualize a sculpture there, and I can look at the found object and envision it as part of a large sculpture with glass. I’m very close to my sketch books. I draw a lot to bring the sculpture along, and I do a lot of research before I actually go into fabrication of each monumental piece. My sculptures are very costly to build, and they are not commissioned. Sales of my smaller solid and mixed media works help finance the large works.
GLASS: Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you can talk about?
Gene: I’ve got a one-man exhibition of Line Fence as well as with smaller solid and mixed media works at Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans in 2011. I currently have a two-year exhibition “Gene Koss: Outdoor Sculpture” at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia in Virginia Beach consisting of Bridge, one of my large scale sculptures, and two additional mixed media sculptures. I also had a gallery exhibition there from January – March 2009. And Amish is touring throughout museums in the Southeast United States for two years with ‘Tradition/Innovation: American Masterpieces of Southern Craft and Traditional Art.”