Dec. 16 Art Minute: Harvey K. Littleton, ‘Blue/Ruby Spray’

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Harvey K. Littleton (American, 1922–2013), Blue/Ruby Spray, from the Crown Series. Colorless and colored barium potash glass, blown, with multiple cased overlays, 1990. Largest of the twelve parts: 17 inches high. Partial gift of Ross E. Lucke in memory of Betty S. Lucke, by exchange, and partial purchase with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1992.41A–L. In the special installation Men in Glass, Glass Pavilion Gallery 2

Harvey K. Littleton (American, 1922–2013), Blue/Ruby Spray, from the Crown Series. Colorless and colored barium potash glass, blown, with multiple cased overlays, 1990. Largest of the twelve parts: 17 inches high. Partial gift of Ross E. Lucke in memory of Betty S. Lucke, by exchange, and partial purchase with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1992.41A–L. In the special installation Men in Glass, Glass Pavilion Gallery 2

Expanding the limits of glass as an art medium in the 1970s and 1980s, Harvey Littleton focused on sculptural forms. Describing his Crown series in 1978, he wrote, “in search of color in glass sculptures, I went to multiple cased overlays holding the forms to simple geometry.” Blue/Ruby Spray typifies this concept. Separate elements combine to form a whole—a crownlike structure with a central core of arched elements surrounded by smaller pieces. Even the sculptural spaces, or voids, are integral to the object’s aesthetic. The Euclidean purity of Spray expresses both Littleton’s technical background and his interested in forming large glass works with dramatic presence.


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