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Michael Glancy: Infinite Obsessions

Barry Friedman Ltd.
515 West 26th Street, 212-239-8600
May 5 - July 15, 2011
Reception: Thursday, May 5, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Barry Friedman Ltd. is pleased to present, “Infinite Obsessions”, a solo exhibition of glass and metal sculptures by the contemporary American artist Michael Glancy. This will be Glancy’s first solo show in almost five years and his largest to date, including more than 35 new works. Accompanying the show, and covering the last 15 years of the artist’s work, is a 228-page, full-color book published by Arnoldsche Art Book Publishers, Germany and Barry Friedman Ltd, featuring an interview by Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass. The catalogue will be available through the gallery for $75.00. The exhibition will open with a reception for the artist on Thursday May 5, 2011 from 6:00-8:00pm, and will be on view through July 15, 2011.

Extraordinary and elegant in quality and beauty, Michael Glancy’s sculptures reveal the artist’s exacting struggle towards perfection. Drawing inspiration from natural macro- and micro- environments, Glancy translates cellular landscapes into elegant jewel-toned sculptural objects. Made with blown and plate glass, copper, bronze, silver, and gold, his works reference science, biology, molecular physics, and mathematics. Glancy’s process of electroforming metal and glass is both magical and scientific, so much so that Glancy walks a fine line between alchemy and art. The hand-carved surface details – intricate and complex – are extraordinary in skill. “The fun part for me,” Glancy states, “is the meticulous work. With a pair of visors that cuts my reality, really tunnels my reality down into a different plane, [I can get] into a micro area. By occupying my hands, it frees my mind.”

Glancy’s vessels are organic and undulating, suggesting elements of topography. His base plates in contrast, flat and angular, suggest latitude and longitude. Tina Oldknow explains, “The finished objects—elegant, self-assured vessels grounded on a field, or base plate—to me have the demeanor of a figure in a landscape.”

Critic William Warmus explains, “Michael Glancy magnifies nature in order to reveal its underlying structure. He uses electron microscopes to inspect the eyes of insects; geology inspires him with its stratifications and crystallizations; and the vortex of randomness and chaos theory not only fails to intimidate him, but provides a template for much of his work. Glancy’s two-dimensional sketches contain his musings on all of these matters, and he has found that sketching on glass is best suited to his ambitions. These become the flat glass panels that form sculptural bases for his artworks, and their structures unfold into and inspire the vessels that sit astride them.”

Michael Glancy’s work is represented in the permanent collections of museums worldwide including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; The Chrysler Museum, Virginia; The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; The Corning Museum of Glass, New York; Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan; Ebeltoft Glass Museum, Denmark; de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California; French Ministry of Culture, Fond National d’Art Contemporain, France; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Japan; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliques/Contemporains, Switzerland; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Museum of Art and Design, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston,Texas; National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Michael Glancy was born in 1950 in Detroit, Michigan. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and has lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad. He received a B.F.A. from the University of Denver in 1973 and went on to study with Dale Chihuly at the Rhode Island School of Design where he earned an additional B.F.A. and an M.F.A. Glancy is currently on the faculty of the Metals Department at RISD.
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