It’s been a busy year for the French architectural glass artist Thierry Boissel, who is also the head of research and experimental workshops for glass painting, mosaic, and light at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Alongside his inclusion in a major exhibition at the International Centre of Stained Glass in Chartes, France, he is also the subject of a hefty art book released this year that catalogs works spanning his entire artistic career. Published by Arnoldsche Art Publishers, the 184-page hardcover book features 120 illustrations along with essays by Carlo Baumschlager, August Heuser, Ulrike HoppeOehl, Christine Jung, Florian Matzner, Sara Sepehri Shakib and Jerry Zeniuk.
The book’s title, GLAS – LICHT – ARCHITEKTUR (In English: “GLASS – LIGHT – ARCHITECTURE”) could not more accurately or succinctly describe the artist’s approach to his work. Whether Boissel’s panes transparently divide a space or arc passively above it, the effect is always one of subtle transformation. Since the 1980s, he has relied on his ability to interpret an environment through its availability of light and the way it is used; he has produced work that seeks to match its environment in terms of drama and complexity, to converse with it in terms of its history and function
The purpose of the dome Boissel installed at a luxury hotel in Rottach-Egern, Germany, for instance, was to passively complement a tranquil space. With more visually complex compositions like his installation in a private home in Munich, he created an intimate space with certain personal touches–writing and drawing directly on the surface of the glass. His new book features his experimentation with hot glass or enamel in order to create multiple layers of varying complexity.
As Boissel wrote in an article for Neues Glass: “Glass design, glass windows, art of glass in architecture, church windows, architectonically integrated glass art: these are all terms that attempt to describe or define a certain sphere of activity by some artists. But what do these terms mean? The question as to definition may seem trivial and superfluous at first, but becomes relevant in my own work with light in architecture.”
In addition to his new book, Boissel will also be featured in the upcoming “Contemporary Art of Stained Glass in Germany” at the International Centre of Stained Glass.
—Isabella WebbeIF YOU GO: Thierry Boissel et al. at “Contemporary Art of Stained Glass in Germany” April 21, 2012 — September 30, 2012 International Center of Stained Glass 5, rue du Cardinal Pie 28000 Chartres France tel: 02.37.21.65.72 fax: 02.37.36.15.34 website: http://www.centre-vitrail.org/