IN New York - April 2017

Page 16

on exhibit




The Glass Menagerie Glass is usually categorized as craft, not art. But artists are redefining this ancient medium, bypassing bowls and bottles for sculpture, marrying it with materials like metal and wood and reveling in the magic achieved by mixing molten sand, minerals and imagination. With shows around town including a Dale Chihuly extravaganza at the New York Botanical Garden, glass is having a New York moment. (1) As an art student, Chihuly protégé Michael Glancy discovered glassmaking and never looked back. Using cold glass, he carves complex cellular structures, adding layers of copper, silver or gold. In “Proof: The Alchemist Transmutation” (2016), Glancy sets an intricately patterned vessel atop a platform, an effect former Corning Museum of Glass curator Tina Oldknow compares to “a figure in a landscape.” Heller Gallery, 303 10th Ave., 212.414.4014, April 21-May 26 (2) Glass art takes many forms. Consider Norbert Brunner’s mischievous “Breathe” (detail, 2017) combining a silkscreen, mirror, LED lights and Swarovski crystals. By deliberately distorting the viewer’s reflection, Brunner poses questions about the reality we see in a mirror. Claire Oliver Gallery, 513 W. 26th St., 212.929.5949, April 13-May13 (3) With 20 installations harmonizing with an exquisite landscape, “Chihuly” envelops you in the boundary-pushing work of a master glassblower fascinated by contrasts



4 between glass and the environment. Note how the artist situates his sensuous “Blue Herons” (2006), created for his first NYBG show, in the 1902 Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, itself a work of glass art. New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, 718.817.8700, April 22-Oct. 29 (4) “It’s like a life-size umbrella,” says gallery director Simon Abrahms of Robert Mickelsen’s fanciful “Parasol” (2009), rendered in deceptively lacy lampworked glass. As part of “Lit,” it helps show the extraordinary range and inventiveness of contemporary glass. Chesterfield Gallery, 109 Norfolk St., 212.388.0609, April 15-May 15