3 Glass Artists and Their Innovative Work

February 2, 2016

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In the first century BC, the invention of glass blowing serendipitously co-occurred with the establishment of the Roman Empire, and the craft was carried throughout that era’s vast range. The “studio glass movement” officially began in 1962 when a chemist and a ceramicist held two workshops in Toledo. Since then, the medium has been used to produce glass paintings, glass sculpture, and other forms of glass artwork.

Patrons looking to buy glass art maybe be drawn to the internet, which has helped at least 71% of art collectors purchase some form of art, visit art glass galleries, or attend an art auction. Before making purchases, however, it is wise for an art collector to familiarize themselves with contemporary artists in the field and develop an informed opinion about what kind of art they want and from who. Here are three talented artists who have produced in contemporary glass art:

1. American artist Karen LaMonte is known for her life-sized sculptures in ceramic, bronze, and cast glass. Her famous series of floating, bodyless glass dresses is defined by the medium — opaque and ethereal, the dresses capture the movement of cloth and the garments’ invisible wearers, evoking the sensation of witnessing a ghost frozen in the icy sea of time.

2. Albert Paley is a Rochester-based artist who deals primarily in metal sculpting, but who has folded glass into many of his works quite seamlessly. By juxtaposing the delicacy and crystal qualities of glass with the sharp edges and jagged lines of steel, Paley’s work is evocative of the work of American modernists and their concentration on industry and production. Paley was selected as the first artist for a new artists’ residency at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York, which celebrates the relationship between glass and art from the time of the Romans to today.

3. Contemporary Venetian artist Laura DeSantillana has an impressive glass legacy — her grandfather was Pablo Venini, the founder of an innovative glass works outside of Milan, Italy. Both she and her brother Alessandro have successful solo careers, and her glass sculptures are gorgeous explorations of color and form. Her colorful glass slabs retain the ripples and texture acquired during the 2,4000 degree Fahrenheit transformation of raw materials to glass. While many artists choose to smooth out these imperfections, in de Santillana’s work, they are reminiscent of looking down into a still body of water.