'Glassen Wonders' opens this Friday, January 5th at LewAllen Galleries

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'Glassen Wonders' opens this Friday, January 5th at LewAllen Galleries
Lucy Lyon, Doppelganger II, 2014. Cast glass, 18 x 23 x 8 inches.

SANTA FE, NM.- LewAllen Galleries is to open the largest exhibition of world-class contemporary glass art in its nearly four decades of representing this category of important art. Entitled, Glassen Wonders, the show includes more than 60 pieces by 23 internationally recognized glass artists. The exhibition features significant works from the museum-quality collection of Dr. Arnold and Doris Roland, as well as important glass sculptures by other of LewAllen’s esteemed glass artists. Glassen Wonders opens on Friday, January 5, 2024 and extends through Saturday, February 17, 2024.

“This major exhibition has been more than a year in the planning and brings important renewed focus to this important area of our contemporary art program. It celebrates the connoisseurship of the Rolands and illustrates how a collector’s scholarship and wide-ranging search for quality and beauty in this art form over many years can be both enlightening and a great adventure,” said Ken Marvel, CEO/Co-Owner of LewAllen Galleries. “In this exhibition too, we are delighted to put the focus on the incredible diversity of possibilities that glass offers for luminosity, color and form in creating magnificent art from around the world.”

The exhibition provides a broad variety of examples of glass art-making techniques such as blown, cast, fused, cut, carved, borosilicate and slumped glass. The artists featured in the exhibition represent some of the most admired and internationally recognized in this medium and include Luigi Benzoni, Alex Bernstein, Latchezar Boyadjiev, Peter Bremers, Jaroslava Brychtová & Stanislav Libenský, Emma Camden, Matthew Curtis, William Glasner, John Kiley, Steve Klein, Lucy Lyon, Jaroslav Matouš, Charles Miner, Greg Owen, Brian Russell, Raquel Stolarski-Assael, Daniela Turrin, Veruska Vagen, Carmen Vetter, Petr Vlček, Eva Vlckova, Hiroshi Yamano, and Brent Kee Young.

Art collectors Arnold and Doris Roland began collecting glass art in the early 1990s. Major art patrons, with homes in California, Arizona and New Mexico, the Rolands began acquiring works from important glass artists, schools, and studios, first in the Pacific Northwest, then expanding nationally, as well as internationally. They share their passion for studio art glass and are regular contributors to museum glass exhibitions, including a recent show at the New Mexico Museum of Art, The Nature of Glass.

One of the highlights of the Roland collection is a rare major work by the late Czech art and life couple Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. Working together, they transformed glass into what they called "color in space," developing a unique mold-making technique that was considered revolutionary by European and American glass artists in the 1960s. Libenský painted and sketched the designs, while Brychtová made the clay models and oversaw the casting. Their work become internationally known and collected later in their career, in the 1980s.

Dr. Arnold Roland said of the Libenský and Brychtová sculpture, Green Eye of the Pyramid, “It’s probably the most important piece in the collection. The Czech Republic became the heart and soul of cast glass. Even today, many artists cast their glass in the Czech Republic even though they are based in the US. The Libenský Brychtová team were really the founders of the cast glass movement. They made it possible to cast these large, geometrically complicated pieces. When we saw this piece, we fell in love with it immediately.”

A variety of glass art techniques and forms are represented in Glassen Wonders. Works range from representational, figurative sculptures to undulating, fluid structures to architectural forms. Many of the works show how glass has the magnificent ability to radiate and transform light and explores the expressive possibilities of the form.

Latchezar Boyadjiev’s cast glass sculptures evoke the sensual undulations of the female figure or the powerful flow of natural forces. Raquel Stolarski-Assael’s plate and carved glass animals have a unique luminosity that change colors depending on the angle of light reflecting through. Dutch artist Peter Bremer’s kiln-cast glass sculptures are characterized by rich earth-hued tones, angular structures and intricately cut channels.

The exquisitely cast glass figures of Santa Fe artist Lucy Lyon capture gestures and nuances with exceptional subtlety and strength. Matthew Curtis’s dynamic sculptures draw upon an ongoing interest in fragments of architectural or biological forms as described through blown glass, colored oxide, and steel. John Kiley’s blown, carved and polished glass sculptures examine the relationship between interior and exterior forms and often inhabit the cusp of liminal space, using color and transparency.

LewAllen Galleries champions glass art and the diversity of the form, as artists around the world work with this material in varied, incredible ways. The gallery brings attention not only to the materiality of the work, but also to the intellectual, conceptional and expressive meanings the artform imparts uniquely and elegantly.

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