TMA features two new glass artworksWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) recently purchased two glass sculptures for its collection: “Pyramid” by German artist Josepha Gasch-Muche and “Blizzard Amulet Basket” by Canadian artist Laura Donefer.
The museum is always trying to add pieces to its collection that fill gaps and bring in new ideas and these two pieces do that, said Jutta-Annette Page, TMA curator of glass and decorative arts.
“I always look for the highly unusual things for our museum. I don’t want people to come here and see what they can see anywhere,” Page said.
“Pyramid” was constructed with liquid crystal display (LCD) glass that was made for another purpose, so it addresses the issue of recycling in art, Page said.
“All of the pieces that we have [at the Glass Pavilion] are perfect vessels that have a purpose in itself. We’ve never addressed what you do with things that have been broken,” she said.
“Pyramid” looks different as viewers walk around the sculpture or change their height. Made of colorless glass, the piece also reflects the artwork and colors around it.
“It’s just such a fascinating dichotomy of feeling when you look at it,” Page said. “It looks precious because it sparkles. It’s sharp when you look at it … but it has a very tactile, very soft sort of feeling to it at the same time… it looks like the slivers are shattered ice that you see in the Antarctic. It’s cold, warm, soft and brittle. I think Gasch-Muche encompasses all of those qualities in this very simple work so beautifully.”
“Blizzard Amulet Basket” is an unusual piece for Donefer, Page said. Inspired by a blizzard outside her home in Canada, Donefer made a completely white sculpture.
“She normally is brightly colored, so to have a work by her that is colorless and still have something that captures the essence of what her work is all about, is really important,” Page said. “It was probably a struggle for her to do, to come up with a work that is so very different than what she normally does.”
“Blizzard Amulet Basket” is a traditional glass-blown piece that also combines elements of flamework to it, Page said.
“Most artists are not sort of straddling several techniques as she is, with her combinations of flamework elements and blown vessels, as successfully,” she said.
Donefer worked at TMA as a visiting artist in the Guest Artist Pavilion Project in May 2010. She completed artwork at the museum, but “Blizzard Amulet Basket” was made elsewhere, Page said.
“Pyramid” is currently on display in Gallery 1 of the main museum building and “Blizzard Amulet Basket” is in Gallery 5 of the Glass Pavilion.
Eventually both sculptures will reside in the Glass Pavilion, Page said.
The pieces are the first by each artist acquired by the museum.
TMA is open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
Admission to the museum is free.
For further information, visit the museum’s website at www.toledomuseum.org.