Note from Kenn Holsten
Summer greetings! It’s been a hot one in Santa Fe and there have also been two major wildfires in our area. The largest one, near Los Alamos, is now starting to be contained with the onset of the summer monsoon pattern. It’s a relief to be breathing clean air again!
This month I am featuring pieces by four of my favorite artists. I will go into some detail as to why I chose these four pieces out of the hundreds of pieces on my website. I invite you to view other works by these and other artists at www.holstengalleries.com.
Quote of the Month
The golden anniversary of American glass art is the perfect opportunity to celebrate artists nationwide and showcase exquisite glass collections, as well as introduce sculpture in glass to others through education, awareness and community.
– Harlan Fischer, President Elect, Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass
(see more below)
Puckering Prissy Tickler by Stephen Powell
This piece is another great example of Stephen’s latest series of (relatively) smaller scale works. It is so new that Stephen photographed it only yesterday. I am including a detail shot of the beautiful murini work. Most of you already know that a murine is like a glass bead (with no hole) that is a cross section of a piece of colored cane. Stephen is one of the best known glass artists in the world who employs this ancient technique. Lino Tagliapietra also uses this technique in some but not all of his works. The technique involves laying out a pattern of murini on a metal table and then gathering it up on a bubble of hot glass before that bubble is blown out to its full size. This particular piece is one of my very favorite of Stephen’s new smaller work because I love both the colors and the form.
Tatoosh by Lino Tagliapietra
This is one of Lino Tagliapietra’s most unique pieces in many ways. It is more opaque than many of the series such as the Dinosaur or Bilbao series. The combination of colors along with the unusual cane work gives it the feeling of having a net, a sheet of lace or even a spider web stretched over the surface. The tall form with the high shoulder is extremely graceful and somewhat reminiscent of certain Native American ceramic pieces. I love this Lino Tagliapietra piece!
Blue Amulet by Preston Singletary
Once again, here is a Singletary piece that is so new it was just photographed. I love the horizontal shape which is a bit out of the ordinary for Preston’s work. The surface carving is very interesting and the blue color is spectacular. Because Preston is traveling at the moment I was not able to discuss with him the symbolism depicted on the surface. The upper right figure is almost certainly a raven, a frequent subject in Preston’s work and a common symbol in his native Tlingit art and mythology. The crawling figure toward the left could almost be humanoid and the overall shape of the piece appears to be a wing. If you have other ideas about this let me know and then we’ll ask Preston!
Blue Planet Orb by Nancy Callan
Here is another example of Nancy’s most recent work, the Orbs series. The simplicity and universality of this globe form makes it feel very familiar and soothing and at the same time this piece is very compelling. The swirly blue and green canes are very natural looking and indeed remind me of planet earth with its blue waters and green forests. I like its transparency which allows me to look through to the other side and see a second, more subtle caned surface.
2012: 50th Anniversary of Contemporary Glass Art
Next year will mark the golden anniversary of the founding of the so called studio glass movement in this country. It all began in 1962 with two workshops in Toledo, Ohio, when Professor Harvey K. Littleton of the University of Wisconsin joined scientist Dominick Labino to construct the first small scale glass furnace in this country which would allow an individual artist to blown glass. Littleton went back to Madison and began a graduate level glass art class. Among his first students were Marvin Lipofsky and Dale Chihuly. The rest is history!
As always, I’m happy to receive your comments and questions. Thanks for allowing me to share some great artwork with you each month!
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