Kim Foster Gallery is pleased to present recent glass works by Kathleen Mulcahy and Ron Desmett. Each has a unique approach to the material.
Kathleen Mulcahy’s glass panels imitate the look of liquid elements in nature. But there is nothing of nature’s seemingly random behavior in these compositions. Instead, Mulcahy simplifies the irregularity of organic shapes to create controlled arrangements. Her glass elements may be prompted by something observed in nature, but they have been refined to a purified geometric form. Works in this series involve hot-worked and flame-worked glass shapes attached to slumped and acid etched plate glass backed by a fabricated steel sheet.The result calls to mind levees or floodgates meant to manage or prevent the flow of water.
Kathleen Mulcahy lives and works in Oakdale, PA with her partner, Ron Desmett. For the past 30 years they have worked as independent artists on projects for installation in private glass collections, corporate offices, public art projects and solo exhibitions throughout the United States. They developed the Pittsburgh Glass Center. for which they were honored as Pennsylvania Artist of the Year in 2013. Their glass works are in many public and private collections including the American Craft Museum, The Corning Museum of Glass, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Renwick Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution and The Westmoreland Museum of Art. They have won numerous awards including grants from the NEA, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and a Fulbright.
Artist Statement 2/15
I am floating along on the West Branch of the Susquehanna. It is a slow, wide river and the riverbed is so close you can almost touch it from the edge of the canoe. My arm drops over the edge and I let my fingers open to the cool sluice of water through my fingers. The colors are warm iron, orange, browns, sand and dark shadows of the vessel quietly transporting us from campsite to campsite. I begin my work by recalling a body of water. It could be the deepest blue and high bright reflections of the open sea, emerald green of an alpine lake, horizon line at the Gulf or the shallow bed of a lazy river. Several things coalesce in my dreaming on water: the need to look deeply below the surface, below the skin, allowing the transparency and diffusion of the etching to obscure and reveal at the same time. This river or stretch of horizon that I am willing into being presents me with that perfect moment of a storm receding, the air clearing and the feeling that everything has become new. Take a breath it says, everything is listening.