Corning, NY -
The ever-evolving work of American artist Richard Craig Meitner, distinguished by its intellectual wit and poetry, reflects a variety of influences and ideas, from Japanese textiles, Italian painting, and German Expressionist graphics to science and the natural world. A new survey of his work, Masters of Studio Glass: Richard Craig Meitner
, will be on view at The Corning Museum of Glass from April 4 - October 18, 2009, and will feature 30 objects dating from 1978 to 2001, including early blown vessels with graphic images made of fired enamels, and later multi-media sculptures.
The exhibition is the third installment in the Museum's ongoing series, Masters of Studio Glass,
which was developed to provide a platform for in-depth surveys of a range of artists represented in the Corning Museum's permanent collection. The exhibition includes an installation commissioned for the Venezia Aperto Vetro exhibition in Venice, Italy in 1998, a series of four sculptures on the theme of the four seasons, titled Ognico/Sahala/Suasta/Gione
(For Everything There is a Season)
In his work, Meitner explores unusual juxtapositions of forms and communicates his ideas in a distinct visual language. He has said that his aim in making images and objects is to create moments of astonishment and surprise, "magical" moments when the viewer, questioning what he or she is seeing, begins to think about things and the relationships between them in new ways. "Magic," he says, "is a moment in which something happens that does not fit into your belief system."
"Through his work, Meitner does not aim to make statements about anything and he is not trying to tell the viewer what he knows," says Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass at the Museum. "Rather, Meitner is trying to communicate what he does not know, and he does so using pictures rather than words. For him, art functions as it ideally should, which is as a place where questions are asked and not necessarily answered, a place where any and all things may be considered. If you think you understand Meitner's objects at first glance, you need to look again."
Meitner's desire to change the ways in which things are perceived and his on-going pursuit of beauty link him with the French Surrealists, who also worked in the realm of the marvelous (la merveille
), where beauty was convulsive, a force of power and meaning. Meitner's objects are related to the Surrealists' "object-poems," universes unto themselves where the physics of poetry reigns.
The glass surfaces of Meitner's eccentric objects often incorporate assorted materials such as rust, enamel, bronze, tile, paint, and print. For Meitner, glass is beguiling in its ability to assume a variety of physical guises. As a transparent material, it is paradoxical in its quality of being there and not there: it is mass that can be seen through. The qualities of fragility and preciousness attributed to glass, Meitner says, also create meaning and context.
Meitner was born in 1949 in Philadelphia. Inspired by the career of his great-aunt, the famous Austrian physicist Lise Meitner (1878-1968), and other scientists in his family, he began his university studies in science. However, he completed his undergraduate coursework in 1972 with a degree in fine arts from the University of California at Berkeley.
Later that year, he traveled to Amsterdam for postgraduate study at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, one of the few European art academies offering instruction in glass. Thirty-seven years later, Meitner continues to live and work in Amsterdam, where he has maintained an independent studio since 1976. From 1981 to 2000, he was the head of the glass program at the Rietveld Academie with Dutch artist Mieke Groot.
Meitner's work is represented in 48 museum collections worldwide, including The Corning Museum of Glass, the Detroit Institute of the Arts, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art (Sapporo, Japan), Musée des Arts Décoratifs du Louvre (Paris), Museo Vetrario (Murano, Italy), Museum of Arts and Design (New York), National Gallery of Victoria, (Melbourne, Australia), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Victoria and Albert Museum (London).
About The Corning Museum of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass (www.cmog.org) is home to the world's most comprehensive collection of glass. Spanning the globe and encompassing more than 3,500 years of human ingenuity, the collection includes masterpieces from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome; the great civilizations of Islam, Asia, Europe, and the Americas; and the range of artistic and studio glass movements beginning in the late 19th century and extending to the present day. Interactive exhibits tell the story of life-changing historic advancements and contemporary innovations in glass technology.
Live glassblowing demonstrations (offered at the Museum, on the road in the U.S. and abroad, and at sea on Celebrity SolsticeSM
) bring the material to life for audiences of all ages. Daily Make Your Own Glass experiences at the Museum enable visitors to create their own work in a state-of-the-art hot glassmaking studio.
The Museum's campus includes a year-round glassmaking school and the Rakow Research Library, the world's foremost archive and reference collection on the history of glassmaking. A center for scholarship, the Museum also publishes glass-focused periodicals, books, and exhibition catalogues.
Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State, the Museum is open daily, year-round. Kids and teens 19 and under receive free admission. The Corning Museum of Glass is conveniently located directly off I-86/Rte. 17, mid-way between Niagara Falls and New York City.
For more information, please contact:
|Maggie Berget / Christine D'Aleo
|Resnicow Schroeder Associates
||Corning Museum of Glass
|212-671-5157 / 5178
One of four pieces in the installation Ognico/Sahala/Suasta/Gione
(For Everything There is a Season
), flameworked and blown borosilicate glass, enameled, rust patina; found furnace-worked glass flower; cut glass tiles mounted on wood, enameled, enamel transfers; water. Richard Craig Meitner (American, b. 1949), with the assistance of Edwin Dieperink (Dutch, b. 1952) and Fabio Fornasier (Italian, b. 1963). The Netherlands, Amsterdam, 1998. H. 109.1 cm, W. 51.4, D. 41. Collection of The Corning Museum of Glass (2003.3.2 gift of Barry Friedman Ltd.)
Untitled, blown and fumed soda-lime glass, enameled. Richard Craig Meitner (American, b. 1949), with the assistance of Mieke Groot (Dutch, b. 1949). The Netherlands, Amsterdam, 1984. H. 30.7 cm, W. 19.2 cm. Collection of The Corning Museum of Glass (84.3.47)
blown soda-lime glass and flameworked and blown borosilicate glass, enameled. Richard Craig Meitner (American, b. 1949), with the assistance of Richard Price (British, b. 1960) and Edwin Dieperink (Dutch, b. 1952). The Netherlands, Amsterdam, 1994. H. 37.8 cm, W. 44.8 cm, D. 35.3 cm. Collection of The Corning Museum of Glass (95.3.47)
, mold-blown soda-lime glass, enameled, rust patina and flameworked and blown borosilicate glass, enameled, rust patina. Richard Craig Meitner (American, b. 1949), with the assistance of Edwin Dieperink (Dutch, b. 1952). Austria, Barnbach, Stoelzle Oberglas Factory, and The Netherlands, Amsterdam, 2001. H. 62.2 cm, W. 25.7 cm. Collection of The Corning Museum of Glass (2005.3.63, gift of Barry Friedman Ltd.)
(Editor's note: Richard Meitner will provide a free public lecture about his work on Friday, April 3, at 6:00 p.m. in the Museum's Auditorium. Meitner will also be available for media interviews on Thursday, April 2, and Friday, April 3.)