The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, October 14, 2019

Schantz Galleries exhibits a collection of Bertil Vallien's glass sculptures
Vallien is known as a pioneer in the use of the sand-casting technique in glass, which he originally learned in an industrial capacity before developing it for use in fine art.

STOCKBRIDGE, MASS.- Through November 3, Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge presents a stunning collection of Swedish artist Bertil Vallien’s signature sand-cast glass sculptures and installations. The exhibition of unique glass sculptures reveals the artist’s thoughtful exploration of the multi-faceted relationship of the human journey.

Bertil Vallien loves stories, from local folklore and international news to history and religion. He consumes stories, churns them around in his imagination, layers in personal influences and interpretations, then releases this amalgam of inspiration in glass form. Vallien is a builder, thoughtfully constructing both the physical materials and the narrative content of each piece of art. Different themes, symbols, and characters populate his work, but one common thread is Vallien’s interest in the innate dualities of life—hot and cold, light and dark, internal and external, life and death, to name a few. This dichotomy is tangibly expressed in the process of hot molten glass being manipulated then suspended in final frozen stillness and further highlighted by Vallien’s technique of casting glass in molds and placing objects within the glass.

Vallien is known as a pioneer in the use of the sand-casting technique in glass, which he originally learned in an industrial capacity before developing it for use in fine art. The Swedish artist’s early training in clay brought him to Los Angeles to work in a small ceramics company; his budding interest in glass at the time collided fortuitously with a revolution in American Studio Glass in which glassmakers were encouraged to create art inspired by their own intrinsic ideas and passions. Returning to Sweden, Vallien spent many years working for Kosta Boda as a designer but, pulled by the promise of artistic freedom, he gradually began dividing his time between commercial work and creative pursuits. He has not only contributed indelibly to the expansion of glass as a medium, but he has told the world stories that might have otherwise remained unwritten.

Several works center on the theme of the boat, an apt metaphor for the journey through and beyond life. Vallien says “I like fantasies and stories and the boat, of course, is a wonderful archetype that everybody can relate to. The hull is the only thing that protects what is inside from the lethal waters.” Yet, Vallien’s boats really have no hull at all. Inside and outside merge into one as the marine blue and earthy brown shape seems made from water itself, stilled into canoe-like form. The petrified objects encased within serve as clues about whomever sought safe passage within her. Human figures, crosses, and circle symbols lend a spiritual undercurrent to these works, which Vallien has called “dreams of an eternal life.”

Over the years, Vallien has worked a series he calls Area II. Area II is an imaginary zone (to get a sense of it, see the landscape made from glass in the work entitled Map) discovered in the future and struck by either freezing cold or destructive fire (there is that duality again). The idea for The Watcher began as figural inclusions in works in the Area II series, then emerged as if from an archaeological dig to become powerful hybrid land-figures which caused these catastrophic events. Heads rise pharaoh-like from earthly bondage, cryptic clues suspended within the blue glass body. Rough edges meet smoothly polished surfaces, protruding bubbles sit upon etched lines, different surface treatments eliciting complex emotional responses.

Detailed planning, textural nuance, elaborate narrative, and the intelligent play of contrasts define Vallien’s work, as exemplified in the Landscape works. Layers—both physical and psychological—are created through a multistep process. Surface textures result from the imprint of objects placed on the walls of the mold, which are also dusted with powdered metal oxides to release color. As the molten glass is poured into the mold, Vallien incorporates a variety of objects from sheet metal and glass threads, to figures and other colored forms.

This master of duality offers a contra point to his intricate cast pieces with new works called Super Eggs. Vallien says that he sat down with his casting crew one day and said: “no casting today, let’s blow, let’s show what the human breath can do with glass.” The result is the most natural form glass can make, a bubble, expanded to the limits of fragility and lightness.

Confucius said “yin and yang, male and female, strong and weak, rigid and tender, heaven and earth, light and darkness, thunder and lightning, cold and warmth, good and evil…the interplay of opposite principles constitutes the universe.” That the same artist could conceive and execute such seemingly disparate works—from the thoughtful and weighty Landscapes to the spontaneous and diaphanous Super Eggs—may seem counterintuitive. In fact, this is the mark of an artist who truly relishes in the range of his material and who continues to explore the universal dualities of life and glass.

Schantz Galleries Contemporary Glass, 3 Elm Street, Stockbridge, Massachusetts 01262 Tel: 413-298-3044 Exhibition Hours: 10:30 - 5pm, closed on Wednesdays.

Today's News

October 10, 2019

Schantz Galleries exhibits a collection of Bertil Vallien's glass sculptures

With a $450 million expansion, MoMA is bigger. Is that better?

Online map leads archaeologist to Maya discovery

Monet's 'Charing Cross Bridge' to lead sale at Sotheby's New York

Christie's results: The Alfred Cortot Collection and the Book sales realised a combined total of €2.5 million

Rehs Contemporary now representing Mitsuru Watanabe

National Gallery to lend its Crivelli masterpieces to Birmingham's Ikon Gallery for award-winning exhibition

Napoleon Chagnon, 81, controversial anthropologist, is dead

First ever travel guide to go on rare public display at the British Museum this week

Beck & Eggeling opens an exhibition of works by Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Beverly Watkins, fiery Blues guitarist, is dead at 80

Ex-president Bush's paintings tell of toll on those he sent to war

Installation of outdoor sculpture delayed by Medieval graves discovery

Honolulu Museum of Art opens an exhibition of contemporary landscapes by Li Huayi

The Shed opens the most comprehensive retrospective exhibition to date of the work of Agnes Denes

Sworders to offer works by two respected Suffolk artists

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago opens a solo exhibition of the artist Mika Rottenberg

Six important works by Dia Azzawi offered at Bonhams Modern & Contemporary Middle Eastern Art sale

The founder of one of the largest prison arts programs in the world dies at 80

Exhibition explores development of Abstract art through the work of black artists

The complete series of The Prophecy makes U.S. debut at the Chazen

Phoenix Art Museum announces new interim curator of fashion design

Frieze London 2019: Most international edition to date closes with outstanding sales and critical acclaim

Single-owner, Civil War rarities collection features finest period photographs ever offered at one time

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Old lady discovers Renaissance masterpiece in her kitchen

2.- Clark Art Institute announces online open access to more than 2,700 works in its permanent collection

3.- Vincent van Gogh's inner circle explored in new exhibition in the artist's homeland

4.- Four ultra low mileage and one-owner treasures to be oofered at H&H Classics

5.- Classic Frank Frazetta painting offered for first time in Heritage Auctions' Illustration Art Auction

6.- Urban Culture Auctions to host Sept. 26 sale of works by "Bruce of Los Angeles"

7.- Sotheby's presents rare 17th century Mexican 'biombo' folding screen in online sale

8.- The exhibition "Inspiration Matisse" opens at Kunsthalle Mannheim

9.- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, acquires rediscovered Delacroix

10.- Bonhams NY Jewels sale led by a rare blue diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful