Flux: Four Artists Redefining Glass
October 3, 2014 through November 29, 2014
PHILADELPHIA- In the newly renovated main space, Wexler Gallery is pleased to present Flux: Four Artists Redefining Glass, a group show of contemporary glass artists. Featured artists will include Dan Cutrone, Amie McNeel, Charlotte Potter and Wes Valdez. The show will run from October 3rd through November 29th, 2014. *An Opening Reception will take place on First Friday, October 3rd, from 5 – 8pm.
FLUX: Four Artists Redefining Glass will investigate the resonating voice of glass in the artistic landscape. By showcasing a variety of young artists that are turning their talents to create new possibilities for glass, Flux will consider the connections between glass and traditional notions of fine art, a theme widely explored by the experimental artists of the 1960’s Fluxus movement. In conjunction with other art movements of the time, the artists associated with Fluxus sought to redefine fine art politically and socially, but also challenged the accepted aesthetics of “fine art” using a variety of media to produce avant-garde works. Our exhibition brings together four glass artists who are embracing this way of thinking and elevating glass in the contemporary landscape.
Dan Cutrone, a Philadelphia-based glass sculptor, is interested in exploring the relationship between the natural world and a digitally designed world. Cutrone’s mixed media work combines traditional glass making techniques with the aid of computerized design programs and machinery. One foot in the hand-made and one foot in the manufactured world is where Cutrone’s work lies, embracing the overlap between art, craft and design.
An assistant professor of glass at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, Dan teaches his students that relevance and meaning are derived from the desire for understanding. In the artist’s words, “The most fertile ground is one littered with inquiry.” Rooted in this point of view, much of Cutrone’s work involves active participation by the viewer. Cutrone commands attention by using repeated themes in his work, specifically mountains and birds, engaging the viewer to notice subtle differences. The artist recently began a new series of small digital birds and tree branches, which were on view during his solo exhibition at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts in July 2014, and will also be included in this exhibition.
Dan Cutrone received his BFA in Painting from the University of the Arts and his MFA in Glass from the Tyler School of Art. His work is on permanent display at the Museum of American Glass at WheatonArts in Millville, New Jersey, The Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida and Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey.
Aimee McNeel is a mixed media artist who uses nature-based imagery to illustrate the dynamic and unpredictable state of our natural world. Working in a variety of materials such as metal, clay, steel, wood and glass, McNeel creates conceptual work that is both uniform and chaotic in pattern. The glass works selected for this exhibition are reminiscent of organic forms found in nature.
McNeel received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA from the University of California at Berkeley. McNeel has completed residency programs at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Michigan, The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass, The Pilchuck Glass School and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma Washington. She has taught sculpture in many academic institutions, serving as the Chairperson of Sculpture for fourteen years at the University of Utah and the Cleveland Institute of Art. McNeel is currently teaching sculpture within the new 3D Forum Studio Program at the University of Washington in Seattle. McNeel’s sculpture can be found in the collections of the Museum of Glass and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and at Hahn & Loeser Parks in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio.
Working in Norfolk, Virginia, Charlotte Potter is a conceptual artist who is interested in developing glass as a performance medium. Trained as a traditional glassblower, Charlotte uses old techniques to create captivating, conceptual glass works. In the example of Sideways Chandelier, a historical replica of the 18th century Murano chandeliers, Charlotte displays a chandelier on the wall to render it useless, elevating the functional form to art. This dramatic mode of display challenges the definition of glass as a craft-based medium while mimicking the way she works with glass out of the furnace. In her Hybrid Series, Potter uses glass to form imagined animal head sculptures. Sideways Chandelier and select works from her Hybrid Series will be on view during the exhibition.
Potter has co-founded several glass troupes that have performed at the Corning Museum of Glass and the Toledo Museum of Art. Potter’s sculptures, installations and performances have been exhibited worldwide at galleries such as S 12 in Bergen Norway, The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Corning Museum of Glass and the Toledo Museum of Art. Charlotte Potter’s work can be found in the permanent collection of the American Museum of Glass, Chrysler Museum of Art, Museum of Jurassic Technology and the Henry J. Neils, Frank Lloyd Wright house.
Texan born Wes Valdez produces cast glass work that focus on the concept of death and decay, loss and redemption. Strongly influenced by his mother who worked in the cardiovascular intensive care unit when he was a child, Wes became interested in human anatomy and the fragility of life at a very early age. In his work, Wes incorporates “memento mori” in his artistic and symbolic reminders of death. Drawn from an appreciation for urban decay, much of his work is a direct commentary on the abandoned landscape in and around Philadelphia. Wes Valdez received his BFA in Glass from the University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale in 2011 and earned his MFA in Glass from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 2014.
Fascinated by the notion of challenging the traditional labels that categorize art, Wexler Gallery exhibits work that can coexist in the worlds of design, fine art, decorative art and craft. By questioning and challenging the boundaries of these fields, we aim to present functional and non-functional work that consistently celebrates innovation. Unified by a commitment to excellent craftsmanship and true dedication to their art, we are proud to showcase some of the world’s most esteemed artists working in their areas of pursuit.