Austin Museum of Art

Austin, TX

512.495.9224 Downtown - 512.458-8191 Laguna Gloria


Holding Light: Contemporary Glass Sculpture


The Austin Museum of Art announces the September 11, 1999 opening of Holding Light: Contemporary Glass Sculpture at AMOA-Laguna Gloria, 3809 West 35th Street (through December 31, 1999).

Holding Light: Contemporary Glass Sculpture is the last exhibition to be presented during this century at the Austin Museum of Art-Laguna Gloria and includes sculpture made entirely or partially of glass. Artists from throughout the United States and abroad have been selected to exhibit work in Holding Light. These artists are drawn to the luminous quality of glass and make use of its inherent characteristics to express a range of artistic visions. While this exhibition is not specifically about glass as a material, in it can be seen a wide sampling of the hot and cold glass-forming methods being used in glass studios today. The diversity and sophistication of this work signals the maturation of the art glass movement that began in the 1970s, and was galvanized by individuals such as Dale Chihuly during the 1980s and 90s. As this exhibition suggests, glass has become an increasingly accepted and significant fine art medium in the last decade.

The sculptures to be seen range from intimate to architectural in scale, and include figurative works, abstractions, and installations by established as well as emerging artists. These works invite the viewer through the artistic endeavors of each artist, into a new awareness of glass and provide a space appropriate for musings at the turn of the century.

Two artists in the exhibition use the figure to explore the human condition. Texas-born Judy Hill creates doll-scale figures made of dense ceramic and translucent kiln-cast glass. Her self-portraits are psychological studies which move between concealing and revealing private natures. Through her own biography, Hill explores human vulnerabilities and braveries, and the conflict between who we are and how we are perceived.

John Buck, the well known sculptor and printmaker based in Montana and Hawaii, uses clear, lampworked glass for the first time in his career to revisit an image he has explored in other media -- a potato suspended by toothpicks with roots below and new growth above. This familiar science-project image from youth becomes distilled into an image of the interconnectedness of the natural world or a moment frozen between the past and the future. (left: Judy Hill, The Listening Air, 1993, kiln cast galss and raku ceramic, 20 5/8 x 5 5/ x 4 inches; right: John Buck, Untitled (Sweet Potato), 1998, blown glass, 36 x 11 x 11 inches)

Stacey Neff, a Santa Fe, New Mexico artist, also explores growth and the natural world in her wall-mounted larger-than-life pods and blown, sinuous forms. She is interested in biological forms that "possess the information to become something new."

Holding Light: Contemporary Glass Sculpture is organized by the Austin Museum of Art and is curated by Jean Graham, the Museum's Assistant Curator. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated brochure and several educational programs. Funding has been provided by Prentiss Properties and Neal Blankinship and Linda Greene.

Read more in Resource Library Magazine about Austin Museum of Art.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1999 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

Copyright 2012 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.