Landscape: Ingalena Klenell and Beth Lipman
On loan to the Figge from the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, Landscape is a floor-to-ceiling curtain of sculpted and fused clear glass, originally the centerpiece of a three-part installation entitled Glimmering Gone.
The exhibition is a collaboration between Ingalena Klenell of Sweden and Beth Lipman of Wisconsin. The pair met at a gathering of glass artists in Italy and, realizing that their work shared many common threads, conducted a joint residency at the Museum of Glass in 2010. There, the two artists were inspired by Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943), a painter from Tacoma, who painted grand American landscapes in the tradition of Albert Bierstadt.
Landscape seeks to recreate the sense of wonder found in Hill’s paintings, as well as the ambition of an independent woman artist and mother who trekked across the United States—often to Yosemite, Yellowstone and other national parks—recording its natural wonders. Using transparent glass for their installation, Lipman and Klenell emphasize
the romanticism inherent in 19th century landscapes, as well as the fragility of nature as we understand it today. Their use of glass as a “painting” material bears comparison to the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany, while the misty landscape can resemble a Chinese brush painting, or a Midwestern scene on a winter day.
Landscape combines artistic elements for which Lipman and Klenell are individually acclaimed.
Klenell—who spent her childhood years in the harbor town of Kristinehamn, Sweden, and at her grandparents’ farm near the Norwegian border—received her master’s degree in environmental science and ecophilosophy. She studied glassblowing at the famous Swedish firm of Orrefors, but strayed from traditional glassblowing to create elaborate, lacy, large-scale sculptures of kiln-formed, cut and fused glass.
Lipman, a Pennsylvania native, studied art at the Massachusetts College of Art and Temple University. She is well known for large tabletop accumulations of cut and formed glass that are inspired by 17th century Dutch still-life paintings.
Following their joint residency at the Museum of Glass, the two artists worked collaboratively—even though their studios were 4,000 miles apart—to plan and create the elements that combine to form the beauty of Landscape.
Get an inside look at the installaion process of Landscape.
This exhibition is on view through June 15, 2014.
Sponsored by Andy & Debi Butler
Ingalena Klenell and Beth Lipman, Landscape, 2008-2010, kiln-formed glass. Collection of Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, gift of the artists. Photo by Russell Johnson and Jeff Curtis.