If you’ve ever seen an artist blow glass, you know this isn’t all fun and games. (Trust us we tried) As easy as it may look, blowing glass takes skill, patience, diligence and vision. From icy dress sculptures and kaleidoscopic cubes to crystallized streams and iridescent panel installations, this art form is steadily growing in popularity.
Through their work, it’s evident that these artists are innovative and brilliant. Take a look at seven glass artists that you should know.
Simplicity and completion describe Jean Pierre Canlis. Canlis picked up a glass blown pipe in 1991 in Honolulu, Hawai’i and it was uphill from there. For him it’s, “taking the complex and translating it into the simplest form” that inspires his work. Having worked with artists like Dale Chihuly, Canlis has successfully developed his name and his style in the glass world. He’s one you have to have on your radar.
2. Chris Wood
Chris Wood creates optical projections to form these psychedelic patterns of color light. Working with installations, outdoor works, and panels, Wood’s medium is light itself. Harnessing light patterns, she creates visual representations that suggest brief glimpsed moments of the natural world. As a result, her pieces become worlds of their own; abstract, vibrant, and truly mesmerizing.
All dressed up and nowhere to go. These vacant intricate dresses draped like Roman sculptures are created by Karen Lamonte. Lamonte is known for her lifelike bodiless glass sculptures that are haunting and intriguing. She portrays the fabric and movement through glass which is extremely fragile and static. Her juxtaposition of the two turns these elegant gowns into powerful representations of absence and concealment. It’s a shame you can’t try them on…
4. Steve Tobin
Steve Tobin works with a range of mediums including bronze, steel, ink, wood, and paint. Tobin’s work is either an overload of content and material or just simple organic forms. His Waterglass series is the perfect cross between the two. Made out of discarded glass tubes, his towering waterfalls stand at 60 feet tall and explode with wonder and curiosity.
He eats, breathes, and blows glass. From glass orbs and vessels to panels, installations, and sculptures, Lino Tagliapietra was deemed a master glass blower in his early twenties and by 1990 was practicing his craft on his terms. With a distinct style and breathtaking patterns, when you spot his vibrant coiling structures and obvious line work, you know it’s Lino. His work has been exhibited at the De Young Museum of San Francisco, The Victoria and Albert Museum of London, and The Met.
6. Jack Storms
Jack Storms is a force of nature, pun intended. He took a universal form, the cube, and turned it into a kaleidoscopic dream. Looking into the center of the cube, he creates the illusion of a floating shape. Made with the finest optical lead crystal, he works from the inside out surrounding the center with crystal camouflages that refract, reflect, and cast color shadows. His process is repetitive to say the least, cutting, grinding, and polishing the glass hundreds of times before he gets the result he’s looking for.
Can’t have a list of glass artists and not include Dale Chihuly. From Wisconsin to Rhode Island to Venice, Chihuly made his rounds learning the art of glass making and would later lead the avant-garde, making glass a fine art. In his Seaforms series, Chihuly creates these dynamic basket-like sculptures glow with vitality as if they were pulled off the ocean floor. Chihuly has a knack for bringing the complexity out of the simplest forms and ideas. His series Rotolo consists of the grand sculptures all originating from a simple coil of glass.
Bonus* Chihuly just so happens to be on view at the New York Botanical Garden until October 29, 2017. The exhibition showcases more than 20 installations and includes drawings and early works. We recommend going at night and checking out Chihuly Nights. The sculptures look even more breathtaking (if you can believe it) when they are illuminated at night. The evenings include live performances, cocktails, and more. Get the details here.
top image // Jack Storms, Chroma Cube