Pioneers of Contemporary Glass

Marvin Lipofsky, American, born 1938,
Kentucky Series #8, 2000-2001, blown
glass, © Marvin Lipofsky, Barbara and
Dennis DuBois Collection, Photo: M. Lee

This exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, explores the origins of the studio glass movement through works by its innovators, including Harvey Littleton, known as the "father of studio glass" because of his role in moving the production of glass from a factory to a studio environment, and Dale Chihuly, one of the early champions of art glass through his foundation of the Pilchuck Glass School, and his success as an artist. Other major figures represented in the exhibition include husband and wife team Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova, credited with introducing conceptual ideas into the movement by working with shape, thickness and depth to create art that utilizes "the light inside" and delivers an experience rich with emotion; Erwin Eisch, whose early and radical rejection of traditional glass vessels in favor of an expressive, sculptural form allowed for political or narrative content within glass; and Toots Zynsky, whose delicate creations are singular in their thread-like construction, prompting her to name the technique that she developed "filet-de-verre", or "fused and thermo formed glass threads."

Featuring works by artists from the United States, the Czech Republic, Germany, Australia, Italy, Finland, and Sweden, the exhibition will be concentrated in the Alice Pratt Brown Gallery of the MFAH, and will reinforce the idea of international artistic collaboration and community, as well as educate viewers about the diversity that is possible with this unconventional medium. In addition, select pieces from the DuBois collection will be displayed in other areas of the museum alongside various examples from the MFAH´s permanent collection, underscoring the relationship between glass and other media and guiding visitors toward an appreciation of the works as part of a larger tradition of world art.

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