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The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design present Thomas Glassford: Afterglow
Thomas Glassford, Afterglow, 2010. Exhibition view at Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City. Photo by Ramiro Chaves.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Afterglow, a large-scale sculptural installation by Mexico City-based artist Thomas Glassford, will be on view in The Galleries at Moore January 26 – March 16, 2013.

A futuristic pleasure garden of industrial materials, Afterglow (2010) has a framework of golden aluminum rods from which transparent liquid-filled tubes cascade and large tropical leaves emerge. More toxic than tropical, the unnaturally florescent green glow of the leaves and tubes are emblematic of a future when the organic can only be simulated.

An opening reception for Afterglow will be held Friday, January 25, 2013 from 5 – 8 pm. A conversation with Glassford is scheduled for Thursday, January 24 at 6 pm.

Originally commissioned by Mexico City’s Museo Experimental El Eco, Afterglow’s presentation at Moore will be the first time the work has been exhibited in the United States. Glassford is known for creating works that utilize industrial materials, including anodized aluminum siding, mirrored Plexiglas, melamine dinnerware, fluorescent tubes and broomsticks. He manipulates these materials into complex sculptures that play against the history of minimalism and high modernism.

Glassford's objects and large-scale installations are distinguished by their engagement with the layered materiality of the modern urban milieu. Often displayed in politically charged spaces, including the U.S.-Mexico border and the Tlatelolco Housing Project in Mexico City,

Glassford’s public projects forge a relationship between the artist’s interest in the history of our materiality and definite physical places.

“Thomas' work is remarkable for its ability to transform prosaic materials into objects that offer an insouciant take on high modernism while simultaneously, and unapologetically, referencing design and decoration,” said Kaytie Johnson, Rochelle F. Levy Director and Chief Curator of The Galleries at Moore. She noted that the large-scale installation, which will fill the entirety of the Levy Gallery for the Arts in Philadelphia, is meant to feel like an “environment.”

"Afterglow is a truly experiential and interactive sculptural installation," she said. "You walk into and through it, rather than simply viewing and experiencing it from the outside."

Born in Laredo, Texas, Glassford received his BFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987. He moved to Mexico City in the early 1990s, where he continues to live and work. His early sculptures and mixed media works were based on local and natural materials found in Mexico City, from dried gourds and leather to chicharron (pork rinds), but are now more industrial and urban in nature.

Glassford’s work is included in numerous public collections including: The Museum of Fine Arts, (Houston); La Colección Jumex (Mexico City); Televisa Collection (Mexico City); the Bruce and Diane Halle Collection (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Collezione La Gaia (Busca, Italy).

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