Wexler Gallery Celebrates Glass Artistry
Wexler Gallery honors a half-century of American studio glass works.
August 08, 2012
Joel Philip Myers, Dr. Zharkov's Butterlies, 1971.
The beauty of fine glass sculptures—the delicate shapes, the intricate mixing of colors, the depth and weight of each piece—is a sight not to be missed. True appreciation comes in the form of close inspection and awe; the kind you can’t get from a quick Google search. Luckily, Philadelphians will be pleased to find that this summer the city’s own Wexler Gallery will be hosting “American Masters: A Celebration of 50 Years of Studio Glass.”
The exhibition features approximately 30 pieces crafted by top American glasswork artists like Mark Peiser, Dominic Labino, and William Morris, to name a few. To some featured artists, the Philadelphia event will be a homecoming. “A number of the artists got their start at the Philadelphia College of Art, [now The University of the Arts],” said Lewis Wexler, gallery owner and president. “And then you have an artist like Dan Dailey, for example, who is also a major influence throughout the world.”
As the owner of a gallery who holds the top spot in the national secondary glass market, Wexler took it upon himself to put together the exhibit. “We had a great collection of high-quality, early pieces,” he said. “What better way to celebrate 50 years of glasswork than to show people the real history of the movement?”
Beginning in 1962, the modern American studio glass movement took time to gain appreciation and spread across the country. Since then, American glass schools and studios have been popping up all over, from Los Angeles, to the movement’s humble beginnings in Toledo, to Boston. This summer, the Wexler Gallery aims to celebrate those artists who gave the movement life and sparked a new level of creativity into the art world.
As an internationally recognized institution, the Wexler Gallery has established itself as one of the premiere glasswork exhibitors in the world. Mr. Lewis Wexler commenced his career in New York City during the ‘80s as the assistant vice president of 20th Century Decorative Arts at Christie’s auction house. Since then, Wexler has made a name for himself working with top dealers and lecturing at premiere institutions like The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery and The Furniture Society Conference.
To celebrate 50 years of American glasswork on display, Wexler has gathered together a stunning collection of pieces to tell the story of the modern movement. “American glasswork started out as a small group of people selling their pieces at local art fairs,” said Wexler. “Today, there isn’t a major museum that doesn’t carry contemporary glass,” he said. “It’s really turned into a major force globally.” The gallery will host the exhibition through September 29. For more information, visit wexlergallery.com
Photograph courtesy Wexler Gallery and the artist