The elegant, colorful pieces included in Studio Glass in Focus: Dialogue and Innovation commemorate the 50th anniversary of studio glass, the contemporary art form that began in a workshop at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962. If you have not yet visited the show, come soon—the exhibition ends its run at the Cleveland Museum of Art this Sunday, April 14. Below, we highlight a few of the show’s exquisite pieces.
Ruby Crossed Forms, 1985 by Harvey Littleton
Ceramics professor Harvey Littleton and chemist Dominick Labino were among the earliest pioneers of the studio glass movement. Their artistic collaboration resulted from a fascination with the material properties of glass, experimenting with layered veils of color and shaping the form by stretching it with minimal blowing. Littleton, Labino, and their contemporaries had little knowledge of earlier glass blowing techniques, so they taught themselves and invented their own process. The infinite possibilities for color and shape always took precedent over composition or decoration.
Standing Stone, 1989 by William Morris
William Morris was part of a later group of studio glass artists that pushed the limits of the medium beyond color and form. Morris created techniques that stripped the glass of its recognizable qualities and made it look like other materials, such as leather or metal. Standing Stone retains the emphasis on color, valued by the early glass artists, yet reveals a new disciplined form. Morris set up pieces of wood as a mold to contain the molten glass that he would blow into the cavity. The hot glass then took the shape and texture of the scorched wood inside.
Red Leaf, 1995 by Dante Marioni
Emboldened by the delicate, colorful sensibilities of Venetian glass, Dante Marioni dramatically increased the scale and use of color in his designs while becoming one of the first American glass artists to reference classical antiquity in his work.