Continuing through May 19, 2018
Mathew Szösz isn’t your typical glass artist. He wasn’t traditionally trained, and learned to work with his chosen medium as a studio assistant for various glass artists. In his early 30’s he was accepted in the graduate program at the Rhode Island School of Design, his years as an assistant giving him the confidence to work outside of common methods and explore the boundaries of glasswork. Szösz’s exhibition, “Minimal Tension,” is an example of the artist’s ability to not only dream up almost unbelievable ways of working with glass, but a determination to fashion his dreams into a stunning reality.
“Minimal Tension” is comprised of two series. the “Inflatables” connect panels of window glass with hollow tubes. When the tubes are filled with air, the glass expands like a balloon, creating pool toy-like sculptures that are strikingly ethereal. Each “Inflatable” has an anthropomorphic quality to them, like undiscovered fish on the bottom of the ocean. While their surfaces are clearly glass, they appear skin-like and soft. The “Ropework” series offers a poetic contrast to the “Inflatables,” each work looking like a woven basket or crocheted fabric that evokes malleability rather than fragility. The series explores “the creation of glass fiber pulling machines to a repurposing of industrial fibers, to studies of British Empire-era rope making and sailor knot tying culture,” explains Szösz. Viewing the pieces from even a modest distance hardly belies the material of the objects, only close inspection reveals how delicate and intricate they truly are. “Minimal Tension” shows Szösz not only to be a glass innovator, but a master of the craft.