Jan. 30 Art Minute: William Morris, ‘Suspended Artifact’

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Suspended Artifact

William Morris (American, born 1957), Suspended Artifact. Glass, blown, glass powders, scavo technique, acid–etched; steel, 1994. 21 1/4 x 19 1/2 x 8 1/8 in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1995.12A-D. Glass Pavilion Gallery 2

To produce the fossilized effect of the two tusk–like blown–glass forms of this sculpture, William Morris first dipped the hot blown glass in cold water and then filled the resulting cracks with opaque colored glass powder and the chemical scavo. After annealing (slowly cooling) the forms, he coated the surfaces with acid, resulting in an overall veined pattern.

Morris has described his Suspended Artifact series as an exploration of “the abstract relationship between objects to find a harmonious balance of color, texture, and composition…. The intentional association of one object to another is not meant to provoke a literal interpretation but rather a subtle recognition of the underlying motifs of ritual and ceremony.”


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