The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is proud of our growing collection of glass art. We showcase a rotating selection from our contemporary glass collection, highlights from the permanent collection of American Cut Glass Association, and one of the largest hot-sculpted landscapes of glass, "Repose in Amber" by Martin Blank.
In 2012, the FWMoA and the American Cut Glass Association joined a collaborative partnership which named the FWMoA as the national repository and managers of the ACGA Permanent Collection. This exhibition is an ongoing display of the highlights of this true American art form.
This collection captures the unique beauty of American Brilliant Cut Glass, which first broke free from the dominant European glass market in 1876. For centuries, American glassmakers fell short of the European standard, but with increased immigration to America in the 19th century, European artisans brought their expertise to the U.S., and American glassmaking began to thrive.
The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is pleased to announce the installation of its largest indoor sculptural installation to date, Martin Blank’s Repose in Amber. The artist and his team of two installed the sculpture during the week of November 26, 2018.
• Repose in Amber is one of the largest hot-sculpted landscapes in the world.
• The artwork, an abstract reclining feminine figure from head to toe, is comprised of five separate islands that when connected reveal a woman in repose.
• Created in various tones of amber, the hot-sculpted glass elements are presented upon steel bases.
• All of the glass elements for Repose in Amber were hand-sculpted on the end of a blowpipe (200 pounds of glass at 2,000 degree heat.) No molds were involved.
• The installation in total measures approximately 9 ½ ’H X 15’W X 50’ long.
• There is a single red glass element contained within the artwork which pays homage to the aspect of Japanese perspective which holds that in a field of green moss, one fallen red leaf is sublime. Throughout the landscape there are intentional hidden objects intended to draw your eye in from the field of color and evoke notions of surprise and wonder.
• Presented in the Karl S. and Ella L. Bolander gallery of the museum, Repose in Amber is an immersive engaging and dynamic landscape that visitors can walk through and around as well as peer into and explore.
• Beginning on November 26, 2018, Martin Blank and his team of two began the process of installing Repose in Amber at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, concluding November 30.
• The artwork was shipped to the Fort Wayne Museum of Art from Chicago, IL where it was part of Chicago’s historic art walk.
• Years in the making, the artwork was commissioned by real estate developer and art philanthropist Mike Kurzman for Chicago’s 120 South LaSalle Building, and included as part of Chicago’s Public Art and Architecture Tour.
“This sculpture embodies the mirroring principle in my work: the way two juxtaposed objects relate to one another. When walking around Repose in Amber, the eye moves and flows through each object, and the negative spaces created between empty space become as powerful and potent as the actual objects themselves.
“The viewer can look closely at one cubic inch and find something intriguing, like the veils created from crushed glass floating inside each element, or the way the grains of color are stretched and pulled by the heat. The air bubbles captured inside are like insects in amber, trapped for eternity.
“I’ve expressed the continuity between the landscape and the human in Repose in Amber. My work revolves around trying to reconnect with our natural source – drawing on humanistic and naturalistic qualities, and honoring their connection.
“For me, great visual art is like music. All you have to do is feel it. I believe it can connect you back to the source of a simple being.”
About Martin Blank
American glass sculptor Martin Blank creates magnificent sculptures, architectural installations and public works ranging from abstract landscapes and figurative sculptures to monumental indoor and outdoor installations.
Having received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1984, Blank worked early on with artist Dale Chihuly and in the 1990’s went on to start his own studio. Today Martin Blank has an established reputation as one of the world’s most renowned glass sculptors. “I see myself as an explorer of my material, continuing to push the limits and seeking ways that I can relate it all to my limitless ideas.”
Blank’s work is included in private collections and museums around the world to include the Corning Museum of Glass, New York, NY, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, The Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL and the Shanghai Museum of Fine Arts, China. His large permanent public installations include “Fluent Steps” at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, Steam Portrait at the Four Seasons in New York, NY, and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana.