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Spotlight On: Glass Artists at Collect 2020

For its 16th edition, Collect is taking over a large number of rooms at Somerset House. Presenting a new environment to contextualise and curate modern craft, their selection of specialist glass galleries (a total of 9 galleries and over 50 glass artists) is their best yet.

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Bound by the terms of the fair, all participating galleries are encouraged to bring new artists and have committed to having most of their stand show works made in the last five years. We’ve made a quick round-up of the seven specialist glass galleries that are coming, detailed with the contemporary artists they’ll be presenting.

Bullseye Projects (USA)

Bullseye Projects explores contemporary glass with makers, designers, and viewers of all ages, and in their programme offer anything between tours and exhibitions to residencies and museum collaborations. For their booth, they’ll be presenting work by emerging and mid-career artists who have deep ties, either as alumni or faculty, to British art and design programs, including new work by Heike Brachlow, Celia Dowson, Joshua Kerley, Joanna Manousis, Anne Petters, and Karlyn Sutherland.*Additionally, there will be a conversation moderated by Bullseye Projects curator Michael Endo in which artists/designers Zeinab Harding and Karlyn Sutherland will discuss the approaches they employ in translating artwork into functional design objects and the experience of collaborating with Bullseye Glass Co. to design and fabricate the piecescreated specifically for Collect 2020.*

Galerie Kuzebach (Czech Republic)

Known for their particular focus on contemporary art glass, Galerie Kuzebauch showcases exceptional studio works produced by both young and established (Czech) designers and artists and assists them in gaining recognition across artistic disciplines at home and also abroad. For their second exhibition at Collect, featuring works mainly created by a generation of artists born after the 1970s  aims at highlighting artist and their pieces that draw inspiration from the natural world. One such source of inspiration are the forces of elements – the captured movements of waves and winds or the stillness of a frozen landscape in winter. Geological transformations, tectonic shifts: these natural forces step into the aesthetic world of glass making and remain forever imprinted in the cooled surface of each individual piece.  The exhibition presents two distinct ways through which the natural world influences the works the few selected artists. Firstly, artist such as Klára Horáčková and Anna Polanská draw directly from the morphology of the environment around them. Inspired by tectonic shifts, the erosion of soil or by natural elements – their pieces represent nature in its purest form, as a force to be reckoned with. The other three artists presented, Ondřej Strnadel, Petr Stanický and Milan Krajíček, derive inspiration mostly through geometry – an organic vocabulary of shapes, colours and surface structure. Last, but not least, Vladimíra Klumpar, the only artist born before the 70s, foreshadows and precedes the thematic and aesthetic aspect of these two distinct groups. Thus, her work, stemming from the infinite possibilities of the natural world, is a synthesis of the two directions and connects them in a thematic vocabulary often used by the younger generation of artists. Ultimately, the highlights in the exhibition aim to show that the relationship of glass art and the natural world is crucial and fundamental, now even more than ever. 

Gallery Sklo (South Korea)

The first and only art gallery in Korea specialised in contemporary glass sculptures and objects, Gallery Sklo’s exhibition will be featuring six South Korean artists: Eunsuh Choi, Joon-Yong Kim, Namdoo Kim, Kyou-Hong Lee, Sung-Won Park and Sang-Ho Shin. The structures on view are elegant, illustrative and fragile; familiar yet surreal— recalling recognisable motifs like figures sitting on park benches or leaning against a streetlight to Lego blocks that contain an interesting twist…

Joanna Bird Contemporary Collections (UK)

Based in London, Joanna Bird’s gallery represents a broad stable of ceramic and glass artists, showing their work in the company of important historic Collectors’ pieces. In 2012 Joanna set up the Joanna Bird Foundation, with a mission to support emerging talents in the decorative arts, nurturing education and exploring new concepts within the wider field of the arts. Returning to Collect, the gallery will be showing a large selection of works, with glass works by the likes of Steffen Dam and Tanja Park (they’ll also be bring works by metal-smith Adi Toch, who we’ve interviewed a few months ago for our print edition!).

London Glassblowing (UK)

Situated in Bermondsey Street, now considered one of London’s culinary and artistic hotspots, London Glassblowing Gallery and Studio is a welcoming creative hub, where visitors can view challenging and beautiful artworks on display and where artists can be seen working their magic through the extraordinary medium of hot glass. Their exhibition at this year’s fair will be a celebration of Britain’s leading glass artists: Anthony Scala, Bruce Marks, Bruno Romanelli, Colin Reid, Davide Penso, Katharine Coleman, Layne Rowe, Louis Thompson and Sophie Thomas, Morten Klitgaard, Peter Layton, Richard Jackson and Tim Rawlinson.

Maison Parisienne (FR)

Specialising in French artists who create unique works, not only in quantity but in quality, Maison Parisienne highlights the particular qualities of their French talents as they combine their culture, traditions, knowledge and expertise in their works. The exhibition will show a collection of graphic wood and glass sculptures, like Valérie Jolly’s new collection ‘Geometries’ and Hand-blown glass pieces by Gerald Vatrin. (The exhibition will also feature a unique piece by feather artisan Julien Vermeulen, who we featured in our last print issue)

Northlands Creative (UK)

North Lands Creative is a unique studio organisation and gallery in Lybster, Caithness with a focus is on contemporary glass and national importance in developing glass in the UK. Through the Alastair Pilkington Studio and Gallery, North Lands Creative facilitates and supports professional artists to make new artwork. Taking the history of glass and it’s ‘origin stories’ (stories of how and where glass began) as the starting point for their Collection exhibition. The six selected artist — Martin Janecky, Emma Baker, Laura Quinn, Alberto Lago, Alexandra Muresan and James Maskrey — each explores a fundamental component of contemporary glass-blowing and break the mould by creating ground-breaking work which sees traditional techniques evolving.

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) (UK)

To mark 30 years of supporting excellence in British craftsmanship, the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) will be exhibiting at Collect for the first time in 2020, showcasing the work of seven QEST Scholars in an exhibition titled ‘Tradition Redressed’. The curated stand will examine the support given by QEST to artists exploring innovation and excellence within craft traditions. The makers will be showing works which interpret traditional crafts or materials in innovative and contemporary ways, pushing boundaries and keeping craft relevant. The glass artists their featuring, Kaja Upelj, creates pieces of colour and light dancing inside the sensual nature of glass. Her pieces are tactile and welcome interaction from the audience, inviting both familiarity and personal connection. Her work for Collect explores an innovative and highly dangerous chemical technique to give iridescent effects in the glass and the resulting series, ‘Subtle Flow’, will be launched at the fair.

Vessel Gallery (UK)

Based in London and representing British and international, emerging and established, contemporary studio artists — this gallery’s expertise lies in all aspects of contemporary art glass as well as works created in ceramic, metal & wood. For Collect, Vessel will be showcasing 27 of their best artists — 24 of which specialise in glass. Excelling in their chosen medium and collectively pushing the boundaries, each artist with their unique aesthetics, have only one thing in common: a daring drive and passion to challenge their chosen materials in innovative ways. The glass artists in their exhibition are: Angela Jarman, Baldwin & Guggisberg, Bethany Wood, Cathryn Shilling, Choi Keeryong, Elliot Walker, Enemark & Thompson, Fredrik Nielsen, Hanne Enemark, James Devereux & David Patchen, Karin Mørch, Katherine Huskie, Katrin Spranger (metal, glass & mixed media), Laura Hart, Lena Bergström, Liam Reeves , Louis Thompson , Maarten Vrolijk , Maria Bang Espersen, Nina Casson McGarva, Paul Stopler, Remigijus Kriukas, Sabine Lintzen, Samantha Donaldson and Sandra Fuchs.

Collect 2020 will be taking place at Somerset House from February 27th until March 1st, 2020.



Cover Photo: Milan Krajíček, Negative III, 2015, Mould melted cut glass, 14x19x32cm, Photo © Ondřej Kocourek. Courtesy of Galerie Kuzebach.

Eunsuh Choi, Conscious Pot IX, 2016, h36x41x23cm, flameworked borosilicate glass.
Glass Sculpture - Estampe Japonaise (Detail) - Gérald Vatrin. Courtesy of Maison Parisienne.
Martin Janecky, North Lands Creative
Klára Horáčková, Evolution Space I (detail), 2020. kilncast glass, Photo © Tomáš Slavík.
Heike Brachlow, Bullseye Projects
Kaja Upelj, QEST - Otherworldly Bodies Kairos
Louis Thompson, London Glassblowing - Seven Stages of Degredation
Shore II by Bethany Wood, Vessel Gallery
Steffen Dam, Joanna Bird Contemporary Collections - Cabinet For Collect 2020
Tim Rawlinson, London Glassblowing - Impasto-
Tanja Pak, Joanna Bird Contemporary Collections -White Breaths

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