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ORIGINAL VOICES 2014
March 21 - April 30, 2014
Armelle Bouchet O'Neill
Anne-Lise Riond Sibony
When mounting our exhibition Original Voices the gallery’s staff and I make an effort to explore the variety of work being made in glass that hasn’t been promoted and exposed to the public. It is exciting to find that artists working in Europe, Asia and Australia are developing aesthetic approaches to the medium that reflect the cultural traditions as well as transgressive contemporary practices that are specific to each geographic region. The search for work that will delight and intrigue is a pilgrimage that I take each year and that becomes with every journey a richer and more personally fulfilling venture.
There is a heroic quality to the efforts these artists have made to be able to participate in the exhibition. Faced with many challenges, the artists have presented us with thoughtful, relevant and wonderfully wrought objects in all kinds of shapes, sizes and styles. Visually the exhibition is a treat, and hopefully well after it has had its run we can continue to consider the place of this work in the context of Studio Glass and Contemporary Art.
Armelle Bouchet O’Neill hails from France and currently works and lives in Seattle, Washington. The artist creates blown vessels that are heavily worked on the surface to create sensuous lines forming intricate designs reminiscent of topographical surveys and maps. Working with dark opaque glass that has been sandblasted to a luxurious luster the artist focuses the viewer’s attention on form and shape. The subtlety of the cold work on the exteriors of her objects invites intimate viewing and even touching, as if in tracing the surface fingers might receive a hidden message.
In his Boston, Massachusetts, studio Wayne Strattman works his magic, harnessing rarified neon and other gases inside his glass tubes. Ionizing the gas with electric charges creates spectacles of form and color. Artists working in this noble gas create compelling sculptures by exerting a mastery over the physical world that is delightful and confounding. In this tradition, Wayne Strattman has created a body of work that amazes and excites.
Steve Jensen, who lives and works in Seattle, Washington, creates sculptures that incorporate glass elements but in many ways achieve their emotive impact by combining alternative materials with glass to produce iconic, resonate images. The shape of a boat variously expressed in cast and painted forms plays a central role in Jensen’s oeuvre. At once these objects are gallant and spectral, embodying quite powerfully the essence of a form that has inspired artists since man began shipbuilding.
Anne-Lise Riond Sibony lives and works in Paris, France. She creates surrealistic forms that reference anatomy. Fecund forms with soft sensuous surfaces in fleshy colors with odd protuberances stand and lay in casual groupings. There is a Seussian quality to the strange blown and ground shapes that are simultaneously comforting and unsettling.
Adam Waimon’s biomorphic forms are produced in monochromatic colored glass that accents the artist’s rigorous attention to his detailed exterior decoration. Delicately ground surfaces refract light, creating quite dazzling objects that are often presented in intimately scaled pairs that explore formal context and negative space. The artist works in Providence, Rhode Island.
I am proud to mount this edition of Original Voices at the gallery. I extend my thanks to all of the artists for putting forth such a strong effort to make this exhibition a fascinating and illuminating survey of new glass sculpture.
Ken Saunders 2014