Illuminate: Design in Light

Jennifer Scanlan
Apr 1, 2014 1:57PM

With “Illuminate: Design in Light,” the exhibition I curated at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, I wanted visitors to see in the gallery the kinds of things that were being made upstairs in the glass “hotshop.” UrbanGlass is a facility that offers artists and designers, as well as the general public, the opportunity to explore glass in all of its forms.  The NYC designers that I chose demonstrate the versatility of the material with their pieces.

LIQUIDITY Glass can take on all kinds of forms in its molten state, which it then retains as it hardens. Two of the designers who use this quality are Lindsey Adelman and Thaddeus Wolfe. Lindsey's Knotty Bubbles seem to bulge and burst out of the ropes that hold them. Thaddeus's pieces take on the craggy forms of rocks and ice from the unique molds he uses to create each one.

TRANSLUCENCE The quality that has made glass an essential component of any lighting source—light passes through it, modified by the nature of the glass. Bec Brittain uses colored glass to mute and transform the light to the soft colors of a Miami sunset.

REFLECTION Jeff Zimmerman makes the most of glass's mirrored effects in his Unique Rain Drops. A large installation at UrbanGlass allows visitors to walk among them, alternating their own reflection with the glow of the light source.

HISTORY Two of the designers play with glass's long history as a lighting source. Sebastian Errazuriz recreated his memories of his grandmother's house, where birds would occasionally enter and perch on the crystal chandelier.  Mary Wallis uses neon, a form of lighting usually seen outdoors, for a new twist on interior illumination.

The exhibition contains more works than I could describe here, so come by and see it before it closes on May 31st.

Jennifer Scanlan