ADVANCE EXHIBITION INFORMATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Joel Philip Myers A 30-Year Passion for Glass: A Retrospective Exhibition 1969 -1999 September 23 through October 30, 1999
Barry Friedman Ltd. is pleased to present “Joel Philip Myers – A 30-Year Passion for Glass: A Retrospective Exhibition 1969-1999.” This will be the first significant American survey of one of this country’s most respected and influential glass artists and will include more than 50 important works. Joel Philip Myers is widely regarded by leading museums and art publications as one of the major forces in the development of contemporary American glass. Spanning thirty years, this retrospective exhibition will feature pieces from the Dr. Zharkov Series through the Contiguous Fragment Series to Myers’ two current series, Dialogues and Enticements, and will be on view from September 23 through October 30, 1999.
Dan Klein, author and International Executive Director of Phillips’ Auction House has written, “Like Matisse, Klee and Nolde… Joel Philip Myers is a superb colourist. He uses colour to dazzle and delight with. He creates a deeply personal sense of beauty with his landscape collages and there is a rhythm and movement in his work that makes one feel that it might suddenly spring to life… It is this living feeling that makes Joel Philip Myers’ glass so special… As his involvement deepens, he finds more that he wants to say. It has been a relationship that has enriched the recent history of decorative arts and left him one of the most important and original protagonists in the story of that 20th century phenomenon called `New Glass’”.
Best known for the richly-colored, abstract constructivist landscape vessels of the Contiguous Fragment Series, Joel Philip Myers’ current interest lies in figurative groupings of distorted blown vessels. Mr. Myers finished the Contiguous Fragment Series in 1992. He explains, “It was an abrupt but premeditated step taken, not because I lost interest in the work, but because I felt the need, at that point in my life, to move on and seek new creative directions. During most of my career much of my work was inspired by the natural world; landscapes, rivers, flowers, etc. But now the inspiration for my new work focuses on the conditions of our humanity… The Dialogue Series suggests human discourse and relationships. The Enticement Series is about our desires, our foibles, our longing for exquisite treasures.”
Noted art critic and Associate Editor of Art in America, Janet Koplos has written, “In looking over a body of work, one always sets continuities against changes, and in Joel Philip Myers’ oeuvre those aspects sort themselves out very clearly. The continuities are in the big things: glass material, vessel form, and surface compositions of colored fragments. The changes are in every detail: the color focus of each series, the character and composition of the color fragments, the gloss or matte surfaces, the transparency that makes the color fragments seem to float within the glass, or the opacity that makes them appear to wrap around the surface”
Ms. Koplos continues, “His interests are both formal and associational. His is one of the few bodies of work in glass that can be compared with painting and not fall short… His abstraction, and his collage-like composition, focus attention on the nuances of color and shape relationships -- just as any abstract painting would –while taking advantage of the particular capabilities of his chosen material.”
In a cover article for American Craft magazine, writer Michael Boylen describes Myer’s Contiguous Fragment Series, “Joel Philip Myers strikes a balance between ideas, control and spontaneity that avoids both over intellectualizing concepts and romanticizing material and process. His ongoing work … suggests a constructivist rationality and formality of geometric forms, and he shares the constructivists’ interest in material, technology and total design. The basic forms of this series—simple, softly geometric, symmetrical –negate their glassiness with a matte surface. Impersonal, aloof, they bear the complex color images that are Myer’s main concern.”Mr. Myers’ work is represented in numerous private and public collections internationally, including: The Art Institute of Chicago; Detroit Institute of Arts; Glasmuseum, Ebeltoft, Denmark; Hokkaido Museum of Contemporary Art, Hokkaido, Japan; L.A. County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum Bellerive, Zurich, Switzerland; St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH; Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan.
Joel Philip Myers was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1934. He is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art at Illinois State University, where he was a Distinguished Professor of Art. Mr. Myers taught at ISU from 1970 through 1997. Earlier in his career, Mr. Myers was Director of Design for Blenko Glass from 1963-1970. He has been the recipient of many prestigious awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Mr. Myers graduated with honors from Parsons School of Design, and received a BFA and MFA from Alfred University, where he studied Ceramic Design. He currently resides in Pennsylvania.
Running concurrently in an adjacent gallery is “Bespoke Vessels,” a solo exhibition of turned and carved sculptures by Michelle Holzapfel.
For Visuals and Additional Information, please contact:
Carole Hochman: 212-794-8950