Shattered glass may seem like the opposite of what a renowned contemporary glassblower would work towards, but for American artist John Kiley, smashing and reconstructing glass is exactly the point in his recent series of work called “Fractographs.” Beginning with optical crystal blocks, Kiley shatters the glass once with a sledgehammer and then carefully pieces it back together.
The Toledo Museum of Art’s Guest Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP) invites contemporary artists from around the world to create new work in glass and share their process with the public. Kiley has been appointed to the GAPP residency beginning this month, during which he will continue his shattered glass innovations.
“John Kiley has had a fantastic career, and we are so excited he has chosen to explore some of his newest ideas with the staff here in the Glass Studio,” said Colleen O’Connor, Glass Studio manager at TMA. “This is a great opportunity for the public to interact with such a talented and dynamic contemporary glass artist.”
Kiley’s GAPP residency will be take place at the Museum Aug. 23-30 in the Glass Studio.
“I am looking forward to John Kiley’s residency and the many exploratory processes that he will be bringing to the studios here in the Glass Pavilion,” said Alan Iwamura, assistant studio manager at the TMA Glass Pavilion.
TMA has planned several public demonstrations of Kiley at work in the Glass Pavilion throughout his residency. In addition, Kiley will discuss his recent series of work during a free GAPP artist lecture in the GlasSalon on Friday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. For more details, please visit toledomuseum.org.
About the Artist
Born in 1973 in Seattle, Kiley is based in Seattle and San Francisco. His pathbreaking deconstructivist works in glass operate at the intersection of sculpture and conceptual art. His projects have been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions and his works are in public and private collections worldwide. Kiley’s experience includes working with the teams of Dale Chihuly and Lino Taglipietra, as well as assisting and teaching in glass studios in the U.S., Ireland and Israel.
“I am drawn to how glass, and its perceived delicacy and preciosity, can create a sense of tension, concern and longing in the viewer,” the artist has said of his work. “The final decision I make before a piece is complete is how it will be situated. During this final step, there is a moment when I don’t know for sure if it will survive or lie broken on the studio floor. It is in this final step that each piece finds its own unique balance; in this moment the sculpture emerges and comes to life.”