Blog Author: Chris Alexander
An interesting discussion in the UrbanGlass publication Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet Caught my attention today. It is about a gallery show featuring art made with or connected to glass at the Heller Gallery in New York. Curated by John Drury they show is titled “The Other Glass: An Alternative History”. I found it provoked thought on what it is the art world expects of glass artists and a call to stay true to one’s motivations within the creative spectrum.
Drury sums up thus: “I hope to educate and share the works, personally deemed of importance, incorporating the properties and applications of the versatile material glass. As practitioners and supporters of the studio glass movement, an unequal portion of what we have historically supported is that of commercial value; sales. I continue to strive in effort to see that changed. While the artist must certainly share in the responsibility this conundrum, it is the perfect storm - a trifecta - also including museums and the glass gallery system as points of fault. Too often works of mimicry (sometimes outright thievery), colonization and the benign decorative find support in replacement, that work with strong conceptual foundation – those works worthy recognition. I use often the comparison of the daily newspaper, produced in an effort for broad appeal and to sell as many copies as is possible, thus geared to the reading level of an eighth-grade education; dumbed down to the detriment of us all. In glass - the result, that enjoying brisk sales is rarely that same work of the highest and lasting quality. We confuse capitalist potential (success?) with true aesthetic value. “