Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shattering Glass

Sunday after I finished with stuff at the church, we drove up to the Katonah Museum of Art to see their “Shattering Glass: New Perspectives” exhibit. Normally looking at pieces of glass doesn’t have much of an allure to me, but I’d been told by a friend that I’d find this exhibit to be different and she was right. The exhibit has 22 different artists each coming at the idea of glass from very different approaches. Some of the artists--

such as Karen LaMonte in her Dress Impressions with Drapery--used glass to capture ancient art forms in a different medium than we’d traditionally find used.

Italian artist Angelo Filomeno also combined his ongoing fascination with death and skeletons, most often done in works of embroidery, with glass in his Cold (which reminded me very much of the skeleton paintings often done on ancient church walls to remind people of their mortality).

But most of the works try to push the envelope in the way people experience the medium of glass.

Josiah McElheny, for example, plays with blown glass and two way mirrors in its attempt to capture what being a contemporary person—ever reflective, ever inward-focused-- is like. And my two favorite works in the show were a piece of glass sculpture by Mark Zirpel in which Zirpel creatively used eyeglass lens and old ash trays to have us see in a new way and Bill FitzGibbons jellyfish, made out of a combination of blown glass and neon lights.

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