South Florida is home to some of the world's premier private collections of studio glass, collections whose abundance, diversity, and quality are celebrated in "Fire and Form". This volume features more than 100 works by 31 of the best-known American and European glass artists of our time, including Jaroslava Brychtova, Dale chihuly, Dan Dailey, Stanislav Libensky, William Morris, Tom Patti, Lino Tagliapietra, and many others. In his thoughtful and informative essay, curator and renowned glass scholar William Warmus identifies four prominent themes in the relatively recent development of studio glass (since 1960) that provide a framework for exploring the rich variety of works presented in this book. The first theme is what Warmus has called the particular affinity between nature and the making of glass: "Where nature creates a heart, the glass artist creates a heart-felt vessel." The second is the ability of glass, equally to that of painting and sculpture, to convey the power of abstraction and colour. A third theme is the prevalent use of glass - sometimes called the new bronze - to depict the human figure and animal forms. The final section deals with the theatrical nature of installations and environmental sculptures, demonstrating the surprising capability of glass to impose itself physically and emotionally on the space we inhabit, altering our very perception of it. Warmus also provides a brief history of glass as an art form dating back to ancient Egypt, and places contemporary glass within the context of contemporary art and theory at large. In addition, the book includes selected artists' bibliographies and a chronological bibliography of contemporary glass that lists key historical events, general trends and developments, and important publications. William Warmus is a former curator of the Corning Museum of Glass, a past editor of "Glass" magazine, and the author of books on artists Dale Chihuly, Louis C. Tiffany, Frantisek Vizner, Emile Galle, and Rene Lalique. He lives near Ithaca, New York.
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