The Aesthetics of Fire:
Glass Sculpture by Tony Jojola and Preston Singletary
September 5 - December 15, 2006
Two of the most accomplished contemporary American artists working in glass, Tony Jojola and Preston Singletary create sculptures that bring together the time-honored forms of their Native American cultures with the methods and innovations of the American Studio Glass Movement.
One of the earliest members of what would become a vital community of Native American glass artists, Tony Jojola (Isleta Pueblo) draws inspiration from the deeply rooted traditions of Pueblo basketry, pottery, and silversmithing, many of which he learned as the grandson of a potter and silversmith. His mesmerizingly colorful sculptures reinterpret ancient forms such as seed jars, ollas (water containers), baskets, and, more recently, coyote fences, while they push the limits of this fragile medium in terms of both scale and technique. The complex, yet highly improvisational process by which Jojola creates his distinctive drawing and relief elements in molten glass comprises hundreds of instantaneous decisions, any of which can jeopardize the vessel's design and physical integrity.
Preston Singletary (Tlingit) reconceives the distinctive designs and motifs - whaler's hats, ravens, and rattles - of his Northwest Coast heritage. Meticulously blown, stenciled, and sandblasted, Singletary's exquisite sculptures bring together acute observation and a masterful technique to pay homage to venerable forms traditionally carved from cedar, bone, or shell. By re-envisioning these traditional designs in a non-traditional medium, Singletary adds light and shadows to the abstract qualities that are already present in these ancient forms.
Jojola's and Singletary's artworks differ in style and technique; however, they share a passionate commitment to reinvigorating and expanding both their medium and their cultural traditions.
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