Transformation 6: Contemporary Works in Glass

MAY 7TH - OCT 17TH, 2010

Transformation 6 features the work of 24 glass artists—both emerging and internationally recognized—who are finalists and winners of the Raphael Founder’s Prize. This prize honors artists who are working in glass, metal, clay, wood and found materials, and expanding the boundaries in their fields through new techniques, ideas and approaches to their mediums. Techniques used by the participating artists combine traditional forms of glass-making with painting, sculpture and installation.

Since its inception in 1997, the Raphael Prize competition has provided a valuable opportunity to recognize emerging talent as well as seminal figures in the field, and to introduce the public to new ways of thinking about contemporary craft.

“Transformation 6: Contemporary Works in Glass will provide some amazing examples of the innovative ways in which artists are using glass in contemporary art,” said Kate Lydon, director of exhibitions at SCC.

This is the sixth in the Raphael Prize exhibition series, which features a different medium for each show.

Many of the artists in the exhibition use glass alongside other materials including metal, antiques, wood, bones, and photographs. The artists also employ a wide range of techniques including screen-printing, fusing, painting, casting, blowing, engraving, and hot-sculpting. This gives each piece its own distinct merit.

The winner of the prize was Mark Zirpel’s entry, Pair, which consists of two hand-blown glass pitchers, water, tubing and two rubber gloves suspended in mid-air. A motion-activated machine lifts the two glass pitchers up and down, like a teeter totter, moving the water and air from pitcher to pitcher and as the water level changes, the rubber gloves, attached to the top of each pitcher, inflate and deflate like a breathing mechanical being. Zirpel’s work is inspired by the cyclical changes in the natural world.

For him, “the movement of water is a means of measuring time like the motion of the oceans’ tides and their relationship to celestial mechanics.”

Organized by the Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Exhibition support provided by the SunTrust Foundation.

Rob Snyder, Emergence, 2007, Lost twig and lost wax cast glass, Courtesy of William Taver Gallery