Complementary Contrasts: The Glass and Steel Sculptures of Albert Paley
MUSEUM OF GLASS, TACOMA, WA – To September 3, 2018
By Matthew Kangas
Distinguished East Coast metals artist Albert Paley began using glass in his abstract sculptures when he was invited to Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, in 1998. The spectacular results have been exhibited in Seattle, Chicago, and Corning, New York. This Museum of Glass survey has been five years in the planning and is accompanied by a stunning book with essays by decorative arts scholars Tina Oldknow and Paul Greenhalgh. Working with a variety of master glass artists including Dante Marioni, Martin Blank and John Lewis, Paley explores the entire range of glass-making, from pipe-blowing and molding to sand-casting, oxidizing and tinting, all incorporated into his formally complex free-standing and pedestal sculptures.
In addition to the works executed at Museum of Glass, curator Susan Warner has added works on paper, studies and examples from the Paley archives in Rochester, New York, where the artist holds an endowed professorship at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Nearly 100 works are on view here and offer a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Paley’s enormous achievements and honors. In 2013, another survey of his sculptures was shown on the Park Avenue traffic median in Manhattan.