Lamp glass – the somehow misleading sounding name epitomizes a special technology by which glass objects are shaped not on the furnace, but before the open flame of a gas burner as the so-called „Lamp“. Until the middle of the 19th Century this was, in fact, an oil lamp that was provided with additional air.
Lamp glass is a very old technology with its origins going back to the ancient world. Traditionally, it is considered as an art of the small shape that enables to perfectly shape pearls, miniatures, decorations or small-size receptacles. Over the past years this type of glass has creatively been further developed by some artists and brought to completely new dimensions.
With free, plastic, partly also with big-size objects they have almost revolutionized lamp glass and opened up new possibilities for it in the modern art:
Mauro Bonaventura (*1965 in Venice) uses the nostalgic material Murano glass. He turns and rolls glass threads to spherical shapes until luminous, often spherical shapes, figures and details develop in luminous colors. The Israeli Dafna Kaffeman (*1972 in Jerusalem) also leaps over traditional techniques of the lamp work. She applies vast numbers of sharp glass thorns piece by piece on a silicon matrix: Her objects are fragile, vulnerable and also therefore extraordinarily attractive. Richard Meitner (*1949 in Philadelphia, USA) is one of the most successful artists who is being represented in the Ernsting collection since long. In his innovative, technically versatile work the „Allrounder“ living in Amsterdam has at all times also discovered and further developed the lamp glass for itself anew. He remains true to his style with humor and poetry. Steffen Orlowski (*1966 in Lauscha) plays in his works with the combination of two materials: He sets miniature figures cast from silver as protagonists in abstract spaces from glass. This interplay between abstraction and reality leads to scenarios that tell about feelings and relations. Olga Pusztay (*1958 in Hungary) works with lamp glass from the industry. For her filigree, permeable designed shapes and installations she forms glass tubes and small twigs to a harmonic unit: Symbol for relationship network between human beings and nature. The search for ease in a world full of dualism is the central theme for Nadja Recknagel (*1973 in Schmalkalden). Glass rods are „embroiled“ in the flame and set up netlike: Delicate and still extensive objects develop uniting light-heartedness and force.
Mauro Bonaventura, The Human Condition, 2010 – Photo AHH
Steffen Orlowski, Erkenntnis, 2006 – Photo Steffen Orlowski
Nadja Recknagel, Beziehungsweise(n) 3, 2004 – Photo Horst Kolberg
Olga Pusztay, Tasche, 2008 – Photo Zoltan Szalai
Richard Meitner, Au Contraire!, 2010 – Photo AHH
Dafna Kaffeman, Wolf 03, 2004 – Photo Galerie Lorch + Seidel