The new issue of GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly is hitting newsstands and subscriber mailboxes over the next few days. On the cover of the latest edition is a detail from Bertil Vallien‘s Black Bend (2006) sculpture that brings together sand-cast glass and encaustic on wood. Vallien is not only the co-recipient of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Glass Art Society conference (Joel Philip Myers was also awarded the artist organization’s highest honor this past June), but the Swedish artist and designer is also having a major retrospective of his work at the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti in Venice, in an exhibition entitled “Nine Rooms.” Scott Benefield, in his cover article, examines the complex and enigmatic figure of Vallien, known as an innovative Studio Glass sculptor in the U.S. and primarily as a designer in his home country of Sweden. With Vallien’s long career as a designer for Kosta Boda in transition due to the closure of the hot shop at Afors, Benefield finds that this widely traveled artist is comfortable with change and a nomadic approach to life and work.
Joel Philip Myers unique place in the Studio Glass movement is charted by scholar Diane C. Wright, who traces the artist’s early work with glass as a designer at Blenko Glass Company, and his technically advanced sculptural efforts that stood in contrast to much of the early work in the field thanks to his access to the knowledge and resources of the factory. The history of the field is further explored by GLASS contributing editor James Yood, who posits that it was the events at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and not the Toledo Museum of Art, that set the course for the Studio Glass movement’s rapid expansion and ascent, as he argues in his atmospheric article.
GLASS contributing editor William Ganis brings us back to the present day with his astute analysis of the work of Dutch artist Maria Roosen‘s lush sculptures and installations. Roosen’s deep knowledge of the material, drawn from both her own training in glass as well as her collaborations with master glassblowers, allows her to use glass to celebrate organic associations. GLASS editor Andrew Page examines the evolution of Marc Petrovic‘s glass birds, the newest of which are made through an exacting mixed process of kiln forming and hot-sculpting that results in strikingly expressive figurative forms that share the stage with artifacts of their process — abstract fused murini tablets that give the work a rich conceptual dimension.
Four reviews round out this issue, including Jessica Jane Julius at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Anja Isphording at Heller Gallery, New York; Isabel De Obaldia at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Marianne Weil at Kouros Gallery, New York; and a group exhibition at Museo Gallery, Whidbey Island, Washington.
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