In capturing the transcendent moments between silence, introspection and self-discovery, Sibylle Peretti seeks to find and depict places of mystery and wonder as launching spots in a journey towards the infinite. Ethereal imagery and haunting subtexts flow freely from porcelain sculpture and mixed media panels, which incorporate multiple layers of paper, oil paint, and watercolor on either side of Plexiglas. Through these techniques the artist creates a darkly romantic mix of fairytale and tension. Her skillful combination of engraving, photography, painting, and glass casting exposes exquisitely subtle environments we wish to enter in spite of some uneasiness.
Heller Gallery, New York City, has recently extended Peretti’s current online solo exhibition, Backwater, through June 13, 2020. The show features nine major new works – five wall pieces and four cast sculptures, as well as an installation of Glass Notes, an ongoing collaboration between Peretti and her husband, artist Stephen Paul Day.
Peretti says: “One aspect of my work reflects on our disrupted relation to nature and our yearning to achieve a unity with the natural world. Backwater describes places that are isolated and constantly changing. Living in New Orleans just footsteps away from the Mississippi river, I explore almost daily the ever-changing alluvial land with its magical backwaters.”
Anchoring Backwater is Tchefuncte, Peretti’s large 48-panel wall piece (60 x 80 inches), which combines photography and drawing with surface interventions such as engraving, mirroring and glass slumping. It is based on a photograph she took along the riverbanks of the Tchefuncte river north of New Orleans, an area that was populated by the Tchefuncte culture as early as 500 BCE, and which derives its name from the Choctaw word for a dwarf chestnut, a plant used as medicine by the first people who inhabited this area. Peretti calls it a “temporal place that is likely to soon vanish due to flooding and human expansion,” but the composition suggests a portal, “a waterway that is open to the viewer’s imagination. When you look at the landscape, you also see your own reflection in the mirrored parts of the glass, and you become a part of the journey.”
Peretti received her MFA in Sculpture and Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cologne, Germany, after first studying glassmaking and design at the State School of Glass in Zwiesel, Germany. In the past year her work was added to the collections of the Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH; the newly established Barry Art Museum in Norfolk, VA; and most recently to the Huntsville Museum of Art in Huntsville, AL. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada; the Museum of Applied Arts, Frankfurt, Germany; the Hunter Museum, Chattanooga TN; and the Speed Museum and 21c Museum, both in Louisville, KY.
Awards and endorsements include grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation, as well as the 2013 United States Artist Fellowship. In 2018 Peretti’s work was featured in a solo exhibition Promise and Perception: The Enchanted Landscapes of Sibylle Peretti, at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA.
Exploring the relationship between time, loss, emotion, memory and solitude, Peretti’s multimedia collages and sculptures provide a place into which her protagonists- the people and animals that inhabit her work – retreat. Impactful and unforgettable, the work balances the nostalgia of impending loss with the profound fortitude of understanding ourselves… and the world.
In October 2020, during her residency at the Corning Museum of Glass, Peretti will work on a new project inspired by the Werner Herzog movie Heart of Glass. She will explore ideas of the historic importance of making Gold Ruby, and how it can be seen as a metaphor for a collapsing world.
The Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) is temporarily closed to limit the spread of COVID-19. All previously scheduled classes, events, and programs are cancelled until further notice. However, the Museum has compiled a list of 10 Ways to Digitally Experience Glass, found here (https://visit.cmog.org/resources).
Susie Silbert, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at CMOG, discusses the enjoyment of taking a virtual museum tour, the fun of the Color Our Collections program, ways to discover what was hot in glass every year since 1979 by reviewing New Glass Review online, and the benefits for artists, collectors, galleries and glass lovers of remaining engaged with glass during these uncertain times by exploring CMOG’s virtual collection.
Glass is all around us, working hard to enrich our lives. It’s so easy to look through glass, but we rarely pause to look at it. CMOG’s new live chat series, Connected by Glass, features experts and special guests who share their insights into a range of topics, allowing us to discover all the unexpected ways that we are connected by glass. Join CMOG at 1 p.m. EDT each Thursday on MS Teams as topics including glass used in science and innovation, entertainment, fashion, industry, design, and travel are discussed. Ask speakers questions via the chat feature. Each Connected by Glass episode will be uploaded to CMOG’s YouTube channel.
Eric Goldschmidt, CMOG’s Properties of Glass Supervisor, will host the first episode of Connected by Glass. Airing May 7 at 1 p.m., the live chat will focus on fiber optics, a vital technology that’s enabling us all to stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. CMOG’s panel of experts includes: Dr. Marvin Bolt: Curator of Science & Technology, CMOG; Dr. Claudio Mazzali: Senior Vice President Technology, Optical Communications at Corning Incorporated; and Chris Schmidt: Executive Producer, PBS NOVA. They will discuss the topic and answer questions from the virtual audience.
Lastly, Eric Meek, CMOG’s Manager of Hot Glass Programs, will discuss the Museum’s Watch with the Artist series, launching on its YouTube channel: https://www.cmog.org/press-release/corning-museum-glass-launches-online-watch-artist-series.
Based on past demos from the Guest Artist program, the Watch with the Artist series gives viewers a new way to engage live with talented artists as they watch previously recorded demos together. Each Wednesday at 1 p.m. EDT, a featured artist will be active on the Museum’s YouTube channel, ready to chat, answer questions, and share stories with viewers about all things glassmaking. Guests so far have included William Gudenrath, Catherine Labonte’, Eusheen Goines, Kristina Logan and Jeff Mack.
The Museum’s YouTube channel, which has 144K subscribers, is currently seeing more than 50,000 visitors per day and the average watch time has been 1 hour and 17 minutes. To access the Watch with the Artist series and many more pre-recorded glassmaking demonstrations, visit YouTube.com/corningmuseumofglass.
Says Meek: “During this unprecedented moment when we may be physically distant, the Museum is proud to offer a new way for art lovers and artists to be socially together. It’s fascinating to watch an artist create, but it’s rare to actually interact with them while they’re working. The Watch with the Artist series allows direct conversations between artists and fans as everyone watches the process unfold together.”
A glassmaker himself, Meek runs the Guest Artist program and was the featured artist during a soft launch of the Watch with the Artist series on April 1. “It was great fun,” Meek continued. “It was refreshing for all involved to spend two hours chatting about a material we all love. During a time when I physically can’t be in the Museum’s hot shop creating new work, this is the next best thing.”
Meek also discusses CMOG’s new blog series, “Virtual Journeys into our Collection,” and his inaugural post: https://blog.cmog.org/2020/04/07/virtual-journeys-into-our-collection-thoughts-from-a-glassmaker/ This feature comes out every Tuesday, and staff members from across the institution share interesting stories about their favorite objects.
For comfort and solace, the Museum also released a 3+-hour white noise “virtual fireplace” video that features in-progress pieces inside the reheating furnace! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g1i9FSZYWU
Pushing the boundaries beyond form and function, Janusz Pozniak’s blown glass abstractly reflects his personal experiences while distilling human emotion. Works in decorative, functional, figurative or abstract glass reflect the highest level of hot glass expertise. Whether colorful or achromatic, a Pozniak sculpture is always delicate, detailed and striking.
In 1986, Pozniak earned his BA in 3D Design from West Surrey College of Art and Design in the UK. He subsequently went to work for Christopher Williams and Annette Meech at The Glasshouse in Covent Garden, London. Driven by his passion for pursuing a creative career, the artist moved to the US in 1991 to work alongside Dale Chihuly. This opportunity allowed him to expand his knowledge, talent, and substantial glassblowing skill.
Throughout his career, Pozniak has worked with the most prominent glass artists in the world including Lino Tagliapietra, Sonja Blomdahl, Josiah McElheny, Dick Marquis, Benjamin Moore and Preston Singletary. He’s been working alongside Dante Marioni since 1992. In addition, Pozniak has travelled all over the globe to teach and mentor others, providing students with the skills, inspiration and encouragement to fulfill their own artistic visions.
After more than 30 years as an artist, Pozniak is still discovering new ways of experimenting and evolving his work to elevate and communicate the unique beauty of glass as an artistic medium. In 2019, he became one of 10 highly skilled glassmakers from North America to appear in the Netflix competition series, Blown Away. On the show, glassblowers had a limited time to fabricate beautiful works of art that were assessed by a panel of expert judges. One artist was eliminated in each 30-minute episode until a winner was announced in the 10th and final episode. Pozniak, an instant show favorite for anyone who knows glassblowing, quickly grew in popularity amongst neophytes, the result of his impressive command of glass and on-screen magnetism.
Riding the wave of fame which resulted from his appearance on the show, Pozniak and wife Michelle funded a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch [Hohm-meyd], a home goods company that utilizes a network of local makers to produce functional wares they design.
Says Pozniak: “Driven by our core values of community, sustainability, and ethics, each product will be made with care and integrity. Simultaneously we hope to train and mentor local artisans. Between the two of us, we have 50 years of making and selling work as artists. We also know that purchasing a piece of fine art is too expensive for many people. Given our combined experience, our community of other artisans and craftspeople and our growing family, there is no time like the present for us to pursue this shared dream.”