In October 2012, Danish glass maker Steffen Dam will officially unveil his Rakow Commission work during the 2012 Annual Seminar on Glass at The Corning Museum of Glass. Dam’s intricate workmanship, passion for detail, and singular vision of invented yet convincingly organic undersea creatures have earned him the title of 27th recipient of the Rakow Commision. The annual award began in 1986 with the intent of supporting both aspiring and established artists in their pursuit of artistic freedom. Named for the late Corning Museum benefactors Dr. and Mrs. Leonard S. Rakow, the commission provides $25,000 to its annual recipient whose work is not already displayed in the museum.
Steffen Dam has credited the insect cabinets and books showcasing plates of animals and plants owned by his grandparents as inspiring his best-known series of glass panels that appear almost like oversized biology slides. His work treasures detail, and how humanity attempts to insert organization into the everchanging panorama of our modern world. Through intertwining these two distinct ideas, Dam produces strikingly beautiful and haunting pieces that play on the conflict of surrealism versus realism, on what the human eye recognizes as plausible and what it doesn’t understand. For instance, in one collection of pieces, Dam creates a series of creatures that, while bearing ocean-like features, don’t actually exist in the natural world. His work is fueled by imagination and, while highly personal, also stands as a testament to a universal childlike sense of wonder.
Dam’s work is currently on display in a large number of museums throughout both the United States and United Kingdom. His work will also be added to the Corning Museum and will officially be displayed to a public audience during the annual Seminar.
IF YOU GO:Steffen Dam 2012 Rakow Commission Illustrated Talk Friday, October 5th, 2012, 5 PM The Corning Museum of Glass 1 Museum Way Corning, New York Website: www.cmog.org