July 6, 2002 – July 21, 2008

Organized by Museum of Glass

Buster Simpson is one of the country's original environmental artists.  His work addresses ecology and society while serving as a poignant reminder of current societal problems and their potential solutions.  One of Simpson's main objectives is to utilize art in to unite communities.  He creates works of art that inspire discussion and promote change.

Incidence is a sculpture about the perception of a material—glass. The installation exploits glass and our fascination with its illusive, transformative and dematerializing qualities. The phenomenon of the incidence of ambient light on glass provides an ever changing easel to the sky.

The installation consists of an array of thirty-eight 4 foot by 8 foot plate glass panels sited in a 120-foot-long rooftop reflecting pool. The sculpture resembles the kerf of a saw blade or a row “House of Cards.” As the viewer passes alongside the array, a procession of their reflections kinesthetically punctuates the mirrored skyline of the city waterfront edge. When viewed on axis, the multiple panels align into an illusion of infinity. The geometry of the installation is a response to the dominant architectural feature of Arthur Erickson’s building, the large spiral cone. The installation frames the distant Mount Rainier (Mount Tahoma). This alignment recalls the first peoples’ myth of the “Spirit Door” referencing the winter solstice when the sun appears from behind the mountain as a symbol of transformation.

Incidence is a sculptural installation, responsive of ambient
atmospheric conditions.  Arrays of tilted planes of plate
glass easels diffract and reflect the surrounding visual
phenomena.  The pool water compounds the qualities of
light and reflective feedback through the multifaceted surfaces.

—Buster Simpson







Exhibition Sponsors
Milgard Manufacturing




Image credit:
Buster Simpson (American, born 1942), Incidence, 2002. Tempered glass, stainless steel and Trex. Photos courtesy of the artist.

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