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Oct. 21 Art Minute: Mary Shaffer, Hanging Series #24

Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Art Museum, Toledo Museum
Mary Shaffer (American, born 1947), Hanging Series #24. Plate glass and wire, 1978. Gift of Dorothy and George Saxe, 1991.136. Photo Credit: Tim Thayer

In Mary Shaffer’s deceptively simple hanging sculpture, the glass seems to be returning to its molten state, held in place precariously by twisted pieces of wire. In order to capture such forms, Shaffer developed a method of slumping (heating the glass until it is just pliable enough to be affected by gravity’s pull) in mid-air, sculpting it and letting natural forces influence the shapes. "It’s like playing with the wind,” she says. “Holding glass is like holding light in your hands.”

This work is currently on view in the Wolfe Gallery Mezzanine