AN ALTERNATIVE HISTORY: The Other Glass
Curated by John Drury
New York -- Heller Gallery is pleased to present An Alternative History: The Other Glass, an exhibition curated by John Drury. In this exhibition glass is the medium and the subject, the theme and the inspiration. Drury explores unique artistic practices and works, which engage with glass at the edge of easy classification, placing academically trained and self-taught artists side-by-side. To thoroughly reveal the material’s diversity, Drury includes paintings of glass and paintings on glass, that which mimics glass and that, which is made possible by glass; glass that embraces whimsy or is the result of experimentation. An Alternative History: The Other Glass includes historical objects, ephemera of interest and contemporary works by Nancy Cohen, the Hansen Brothers (Eli Hansen & Oscar Tuazon), Lonnie Holley, Amy Lemaire, Shari Mendelson, Robbie Miller, Jerry Pethick, Walter Robinson, Buster Simpson, Megan Stelljes and Robin Winters.
Drury’s lifelong passion for work just outside of any movement or ‘ism’ and for autodidact artists shines through in An Alternative History: The Other Glass. In his curatorial statement Drury writes: ‘Each artist included in the show exhibits a certain ad hoc tendency to reach far beyond the merely decorative and reaches a place of unique reclamation. Theirs is not a random, undirected or haphazard action; these are the bricoleurs - adept at recycling, re-use and re-purposing. Their achievements are not acquired by luck, but by purposeful and self-directed action. The hand is rarely hidden in their work with both process and matter evident in a broad range of expression. All pieces included in the exhibition show concern for recycled material, reclaimed image and repurposed commercial product. Acutely aware of their time, the participating artists celebrate what it is to be human with a visual language that clearly reflects a concern for the salvaged engaging the viewer, questioning conventional beauty and altering physical space to affect outdated beliefs.’
John Drury is an artist, writer, curator and teacher. The father of two teenagers, living in New York City, John has received the prestigious Louis Comfort Tiffany Award (1997) for his own works of sculpture. He is a contributing editor of GLASS magazine and a member of the influential art duo CUD, which celebrated thirty years of collaboration in 2018.
Drury’s texts can also be found in the monograph Shooting the Sun/Splitting the Pie (2015), on the life work of multi-media artist Jerry Pethick (1935-2003) and in the upcoming release of glass artist Preston Singletary’s catalog (February 2019), accompanying his experiential exhibition Raven and the Box of Daylight (Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA through September 2019).