One may think of glass as a fragile, beautiful, inspiring or sentimental artistic medium, but there's a lot more to it than that, as a show at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art makes clear. Called “Fusion (A New Century of Glass),” the exhibit, curated by the museum's Alison Amick and Jennifer Klos, contains 47 very diverse and imaginative works by 20 contemporary glass artists.
Letters in glass spheres cast shadows in “Find & Seek,” a work by Marc Petrovic which leaves it up to us to discover words associated with its subtitle, “the pursuit of happiness,” in the alphabet grid.
A cascade of silver-lined glass beads from the ceiling may suggest a “Deluge” to some, or something less threatening, like a magical waterfall, to others, in a 2003 work by Lisa Capone.
Tiny figures in a 12-part collaborative series by Walter Martin and Paloma Munoz, based on kitsch, collectible snow globes, suggest the perils a “Traveler,” or travelers, may encounter. A giant spider menaces a sleeping man under a bare-branched tree in one work from the Martin-Munoz series, and a dog barks at the heels of a nude ice skater in a second.
Snow falls on people perched on pinnacles, looking down at gesturing hands of a swimmer, in one of several large color photos of the globes (which can't be turned over by visitors).
Bringing to mind the “glass menagerie” of author Tennessee Williams are the tiny, translucent glass objects lined up atop an imposing brick wall in a 2003 work by German artist Matthias Megyeri.
Megyeri's “Sweet Dreams Security Series” was created “in response to the extensive use of security products” and “the ambiguity of national attitudes to … the threat of terrorism,” a gallery note informs us.
Shiny glass objects seem to be part of and flow from the surface of a low mirror table which resembles an artist's giant palette in Josiah McElheny's “Landscape Model for Total Reflective Abstraction.”
Cut glass ice buckets, lit from above, seem “Aglow,” in a sculptural installation by Katherine Gray which, we are informed, explores “the environmental impact of industrial and studio glassmaking.”
Animallike glass figures, attached to reflecting walls like bizarre trophies, as well as skylines and landscape vistas, surround the viewer in a closed room in a work by Andrew Erdos.
Erdos calls his 2011 glass, mirror, wood and video “room” installation, which must be visited by one viewer at a time, “The Texture of a Ghost.”
Susan Taylor Glasgow creates her own figurative, anthropomorphic versions of a coffee pot, hen basket and cookie jar, in a nostalgic but biting commentary on the housewife's role during the 1950s.