Traver Gallery, Nancy Callan, October 2016

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nancy callan from here to infinity TRAVER GALLERY / OCTOBER 2016

nancy callan from here to infinity TRAVER GALLERY OCTOBER 6 - 29, 2016




From Here to Infinity Nancy Callan is continually expanding the possibilities with pattern, scale, and design in her art. From Here to Infinity embodies this experimental spirit with variations on String Theory in a contrasting dark and light palette, the gracefully composed Palomas, and the colorful Droplet series, as well as new two-dimensional work titled, Quilt. Her work investigates how material and technique are used to create graphic abstractions and offers both an expansive and intimate view of elegantly blown forms. Elaborating on time-honored Venetian cane and murrine techniques, Callan takes full advantage of the plasticity of glass to explore shape, line, and repetition. In String Theory, thin white canes encircle a dark tapered body. Sometimes referred to as the “theory of everything,” string theory is a hypothesis of a universal connection between all objects. Callan visualizes this abstract concept by bending and stretching cane—forming lines that a viewer can follow endlessly around the sculpture. In a similar vein, a work such as Unravel Orb represents the enigmatic nature of the universe and suggests that theories and well-constructed ideas might indeed, come undone. Callan shifts from the ever-expanding universe of orbs to a small and intimate world in Droplets. Here she portrays the tiniest of environments as she imagines them to be. She manipulates and inflates murrine, forming hollow transparent tubes that might be particles on a microscope slide or floating sea creatures suspended on soft matte surfaces in delicious colors such as citrine, heliotrope, grenache, and apricot. Patterns have long been a source of inspiration for Callan, who began her career as a graphic designer. Her newest work, Quilt, is a collage of more than a dozen individual concepts in black and white. The arrangement of checkerboards, stripes, spiraling circles, and gauzy woven arrays vibrates with repetition and harmonious, yet distinctive, compositions. To make each panel, Callan organizes her slices of murrine and cane and exposes them to heat, a process that allows for stretching and enlarging of the patterned glass. The arrangements are then blown into cylinders and sliced open. The hot glass slumps into flat sheets—the same way in which window glass was produced in the nineteenth century. For Callan, the process of creating a patchwork quilt is like a personal history: it develops with the passage of time. Her glass “quilt” is fabricated from a visual and technical language accrued over two decades of glassmaking; it is a summary of her knowledge, experience, and creative expression to date. Callan’s work conveys the potential for synthesizing excellence in craft and innovative design in glass—challenging the viewer to ask, “how is this possible and what might the future hold?” Diane C. Wright, with Carrie Greif











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(by page number)

2 Citrine Droplet, 2016 20 x 17 x 17 inches

13 Bengal Paloma, 2016 26.5 x 12.5 x 8 inches

6 top Heliotrope Droplet, 2016 16 x 16 x 16 inches

14-15 Chip Weave Panel (detail), 2016

bottom Apricot Droplet, 2016 16 x 16 x16 inches 7 Azure Droplet, 2016 13 x 14.5 x 14.5 inches 9 Shadow Violet Anemone Orb, 2016 16 x 16 x 16 inches 10 Hyacinth Anemone Paloma, 2016 27 x 13 x 8.5 inches

17 Unravel Orb, 2015 15.5 x 15.5 x 15.5 inches 18-19 Quilt Installation (detail), 2016 21 String Theory, 2016 18.5 x 14 x 6 inches 22 Manifold Vectors, 2016 23 x 15.5 x 7 inches

NANCY CALLAN FROM HERE TO INFINITY OCTOBER 6 - 29, 2016 TRAVER GALLERY photography by Russell Johnson design by Traver Gallery


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