Shirley Klinghoffer - CRT Revisited

May 23 - October 11, 2015

From May 23 through October 11, 2015, Museum of Glass (MOG) presents the exhibition Shirley Klinghoffer - CRT Revisited, which touches on Conformal Radiation Therapy (CRT) cancer treatment in the larger context of the strength and vulnerability of the human experience.

As the title of the exhibition suggests, artist Shirley Klinghoffer is revisiting a personal project, which began in the 1990s. With sensitivity and discipline, Klinghoffer created 18 unique glass sculptures inspired by the hospital armatures used as supports for women’s bodies during radiation therapy. These transparent skins of glass capture moments of extreme vulnerability using a technique known as “slumping”, which utilizes gravity to form the sculptures.

When Klinghoffer first chose to work in glass, she applied and received a scholarship to Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA. There she worked with numerous forms of glass casting, but it was not until her time at Urban Glass in Brooklyn, NY, that she learned the technique of “slumping”, which allowed her to transform body images into the glass skins now featured in her CRT series.

Klinghoffer first exhibited her 18 sculptures at Central Fine Arts in New York City in 1999. Now, 16 years later, Klinghoffer is revisiting the exhibition, following her own battle against breast cancer in 2006, with an installation that creates a paradoxical landscape where fragility and strength, vulnerability and repose, co-exist.

Reflecting on her work, Klinghoffer notes, “Discovering beauty in ugly truths is a challenge. There are times when life offers an unwanted reality that cannot be ignored.”

Now a cancer survivor, Klinghoffer has included a new addition to the original exhibition—her own “healing object”. Entitled Witty in Pink, the mixed media sculpture, with a bronze core surrounded by fragile vintage tulle, provided the artist with a source of hope and strength during cancer treatment.

“Going through cancer treatment has so many challenges,” shares Klinghoffer. “But somehow along the way, we connect with special people and certain objects that become truly meaningful in sustaining us through our journey and become ‘healing objects’.”

Shirley Klinghoffer – CRT Revisited consists of two illuminated fields of slumped glass upper body sculptures on large reflective platforms; one slumped glass lower torso sculpture; projected quotes from cancer patients titled "Voices"; a wall display of the original hospital armatures recovered from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, which became Klinghoffer’s inspiration for the glass sculptures; and an interactive area where viewers can write personal responses, share stories, and exchange ideas, thoughts, and reflections.

Klinghoffer has used art as a form of activism to address the human experience, especially that of women, over the past three decades. Prior to Museum of Glass, Klinghoffer’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries including the Newark Museum, NJ; National Academy Galleries, NY; New Museum, NY; Dali Museum, FL; Yeshiva University Museum, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Albuquerque Museum, NM; Islip Museum, NY; and Katonah Museum, NY. While her artwork may change for different exhibitions, Klinghoffer notes that themes of “vulnerability” and “strength” weave in and out, creating a unifying link.


Shirley Klinghoffer CRT Revisited


Image credit: Shirley Klinghoffer (American, born 1944); Shirley Klinghoffer – CRT Revisited, 2015; Slumped glass installation; Dimensions vary; Photo by Duncan Price.

Shirley Klinghoffer

Witty in Pink

The artists own healing object "Witty in Pink" (pictured above).

To find out more, visit the Museum of Glass blog.

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