This week at The L Magazine, I identify a new trend in art: Glass. It’s everywhere.
Here’s a recipe for sexy art: find panes of glass and stack them. Glass is transparent, which makes it like empty space but not, and sometimes it reflects things, which means you can “implicate the viewer” so that they meditate on themes of selfhood and identity (or, more likely, fix their hair). Worked for Dan Graham. If the reflections are all pointing so the viewer can’t see them, like in Robert Smithson’s “Gravel Mirrors with Cracks and Dust” (1968), that’s “disruptive”; “disruptive” is an additional adjective that can be applied to your work, so that’s a net plus, too.
The very best thing about a pane of glass is that it’s absolute. It’s inorganic, brittle, sharp at the edges, and probably rectangular. If you juxtapose it with an organic, squishy, soft, or round thing, viewers will notice how different these things are, and hasten to translate “DAMN THAT’S SEXY” into something smart to say in front of their friends. Anyone who’s been to Dia:Beacon understands this: its collection of Robert Smithson glass-plus-dirt works is second-to-none, and even sandwiched between the Donald Judds and the Joseph Beuyses, it’s a clear standout.
To read the full piece, click here.