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New works of art now on view at Toledo Museum of Art

Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Art Museum, Toledo Museum
Sherry Markowitz (American, born 1947), Breasted Buddha, c. 2002-2003, glass beads, papier-mache, mixed media, Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, Ohio), Given in honor of Thelma Hewitt Smith and Fred A. Smith and their family, 2019.17

The Toledo Museum of Art has several recent acquisitions now on view. The works of art, donated to the Museum by generous benefactors, are located in the exhibition Global Conversations: Art in Dialogue and in the Glass Pavilion galleries.

“There are many ways to support the Toledo Museum of Art, and we appreciate the donors who work with curators to help the Museum enhance its collection,” said Halona Norton-Westbrook, TMA’s director of curatorial affairs.

Located in Global Conversations: Art in Dialogue are Breasted Buddha (2002-2003) by Sherry Markovitz (American, 1947), and White House by Donis Dayán Llago (Cuban, 1985).

Donated to TMA by Driek and Michael Zirinsky, Breasted Buddha is a busted Buddha figure with an animal-like face entirely covered in multi-colored glass beads.

“Markovitz uses a painter's touch to string and assemble beads of different sizes in an effort to speak visually of the power of beauty and symbolism,” explained Diane C. Wright, TMA’s senior curator of glass and decorative arts. “Markovitz is inspired by ethnic, folk and tribal traditions and her busts can be seen as powerful cultural symbols.”

Donated to TMA by Sara Jane DeHoff, vice chair of TMA’s board of trustees, White House depicts one of the world’s most visible symbols using Llago’s use of transparency and unexpected angles.

White House raises questions about the nature of authority and power and the potential fragility of institutions that loom larger than life in the public’s imagination,” said Norton-Westbrook. “This is a significant and compelling contemporary work by an up and coming Cuban artist.”

Located in Gallery 3 of the Glass Pavilion is Flower Form Vase (1900-1903) by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company.  It was donated by Debbie and Tony Knight in honor of TMA’s former director Brian P. Kennedy and his wife Mary.  The surface of the entire form is iridized and varies in colors ranging from warm shades of pinks and oranges to a bright sheen of blues and greens.

“Favrile glass vases in the shape of stylized flowers were among the earliest blown works by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, forerunner of Tiffany Studios,” Wright said. “The blown iridescent glass was produced by putting metal oxides in the glass and then putting the glass through an oxygen reduction process. The variation in color is the result of different thicknesses of the metallic layer.”

On view in Gallery 2 of the Glass Pavilion, Lace Dress (20th century) and Sour Grapes (20th century), both by Judy Hill (American, 1953), were given to the Museum by Driek and Michael Zirinsky.

Judy Hill’s work is quickly recognizable because of her primary focus on self-portraiture as well as her unusual technique combining clay and ceramic.

Lace Dress and Sour Grapes are outstanding examples of Hill’s three dimensional self-portraits, this one wearing an extraordinary dress made in a cast open-work technique,” Wright said. “Her self-portraits reflect various states of mind and experiences and ask the viewer to think about a particular moment of reflection.”

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