WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.- The Norton Museum of Art
is presenting Years of Glass: The Norton Collection 1982 -2022, on view from April 9 through September 4, 2022. This exhibition marks 40 years since the Norton began building its collection of glass sculpture and decorative arts, while coinciding with the International Year of Glass, a United Nations initiative that celebrates the history of glass and its role in our sustainable future.
Organized by guest curator William Warmus, Years of Glass spotlights the Nortons expansive holdings of modern and contemporary glass and reflects more broadly on the significance and influence of the medium in the context of the fine arts. Artists including Dale Chihuly, Olafur Eliasson, Rob Wynne, Larry Bell, Beth Lipman, and Toots Zynsky represent the achievements of the 20th and 21st centuries as well as emerging themes in the contemporary artworld such as the power of narrative and the investigation of the natural environment. As it traces the evolution of the medium, Years of Glass also demonstrates the ways in which many artists working with glass have adopted and advanced abstraction and the role of color in sculpture.
"Years of Glass offers the opportunity to examine more deeply the Nortons outstanding collection of contemporary glass," said Ghislain dHumières, Director and CEO of the Norton Museum of Art. "The exhibition prompts audiences to consider how glass fits into a comprehensive modern art collection such as the Nortons, offering an overview of both the rise of the studio glass movement in the second half of the 20th century, and the emergence of new trends in recent years."
"The Nortons significant holdings of glass works showcase the ways in which artists have elevated the medium to an artistic practice on par with more traditional media," said William Warmus, Guest Curator. "The exhibition traces the myriad lifeforms of glass, from its use in the construction of utilitarian and decorative objects, to its role in expanding the boundaries of fine art through abstract sculptural forms."
In addition to its collection and continued acquisition of glass works, the Norton has a robust history of supporting permanent glass installations in its galleries. In 2019, the Norton commissioned a site-specific Rob Wynne work-an expansion upon his earlier work I Remember Ceramic Castles, Mermaids & Japanese Bridges-which wraps around the three-story-high Muriel and Ralph Saltzman Stairway. In addition to the Wynne installation, the Norton has in one of its hallways an iconic Chihuly piece, Persian Sealife Ceiling (2003).
Years of Glass continues the Museums commitment to and recognition of the medium as a significant development in contemporary art. In 2003, the museum organized a major exhibition titled Fire and Form, which examined a diverse group of studio glass and emerging artists.