William Warmus has been internet correspondent for SOFA since 1998.
This page provides a sampling of images taken at the exposition in Chicago in October, 1998. The art expo provides an ideal opportunity to survey the state of contemporary studio glass.
Overview of the exposition hall in Chicago
Sculptural vessel by Toots Zynsky at Elliott-Brown gallery. Translucent glass fibers replace paint for this artist, who has found a way beyond the traditional abstract expressionist aesthetic. Each vessel becomes a two-sided canvas.
Vessels by Dante Marioni (background) and Sonja Blomdahl at William Traver Gallery. By distorting the shapes of traditional utilitarian vessels, the artists make us think of the spiritual and symbolic character of containers.
"Batman" vase be Lino Tagliapietra for Steuben. Notice the ridges and furrows on the right edge, made by engraving the vessel with stone wheels. They form a pleasing contrast to the smooth upper edges of the vessel, made from ultra-pure crystal glass. The roughness of the texture is somewhat unexpected in Steuben crystal, but typical of the studio glass aesthetic.