David Huchthausen: A Retrospective Selection

July 23, 2016 - December 31, 2016

MirageMuseum of Glass presents the West Coast premiere of David Huchthausen: A Retrospective Selection from July 23, 2016, to December 31, 2016. Over his four decades of work, David Huchthausen has made a significant impact on the history of contemporary glass, with much of his art utilizing the slower, cold working glass processes such as cutting and polishing rather than the hot glass techniques more widely known in the Pacific Northwest.

“We exhibited a Huchthausen piece in the exhibition Treasures from Glass Collectors last summer and visitors were incredibly entranced,” notes Susan Warner, Artistic Director at Museum of Glass. “This retrospective show will allow visitors to see the full breadth of Huchthausen’s enigmatic and mysterious work— from his earliest mixed-media sculptures and landscape vessels to his trademark integral color laminations and spheres designed to be enjoyed from all directions. While Huchthausen came to glass through blown techniques—as seen in the early Ritual Figurines, Fantasy, and Landscape Vessels—he quickly began composing and assembling sculptures that combine multiple layers of color and glass along with smooth and serrated edges, to create a myriad of light and color reflections that have been compared to the Post-Painterly Abstraction movement. Huchthausen was also one of the first glass artists to emphasize the importance of cold working in realizing his artistic vision. This legacy has inspired and motivated many of the young artists working in glass today.”

Huchthausen has played a vital role in the evolution of glass from craft to fine art form. As a recipient of Fulbright U.S. Student Grants, professor, museum consultant, and artist, Huchthausen has been at the forefront of contemporary glass. His work has been exhibited in over 400 national and international exhibitions and is included in more than 65 museum permanent collections.

While an architecture student at University of Wisconsin-Marathon County in 1970, Huchthausen discovered an abandoned glass furnace, and after six months of struggling, he learned about Harvey Littleton’s work at University of Wisconsin-Madison, just 150 miles away. Huchthausen served as Littleton’s graduate assistant in the early 1970s and then quickly assented into scholarly posts, as director of the glass program at Illinois State University in 1976, and lecturing across Europe as a Fulbright fellow in 1977 and 1978.

“Most people are completely mesmerized by Huchthausen’s work,” notes Bonnie Wright, Curator of Education and Community Engagement. “One of our goals is to help explain to visitors the pioneering techniques that are demonstrated in many of these pieces.”

 

Image Credit: David Huchthausen (American, born 1951); Mirage, 1996; Cut, laminated, and optically polished glass; 10 1/2 x 8 x 7 in. (26.7 x 20.3 x 17.8 cm); Collection of the artist; Photo by Lloyd Shugart.

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