Klaus Moje

Comprehensive Survey of Glass Artist Klaus Moje Explores 30 Years of Innovation

Exhibition Encompasses Many Never-Before-Shown Works From Early Carved Crystal Glass Pieces To New Large-Scale Panels of Fused Glass

On View at the Museum of Arts and Design from April 29 to August 16, 2009

New York, NY (December 16, 2008)

A major force in the international studio glass movement, Klaus Moje has pushed the expressive and technical possibilities of glass for more than five decades. In this comprehensive, 30-year survey, the Museum of Arts and Design traces the progression of Moje’s work, from his early carved crystal glass pieces, to his intricately patterned vessels of layered glass, to his recent multi-panel fused works.

On view from Wednesday, April 29, 2009, through Sunday, August 16, 2009, Klaus Moje features 68 objects, including a new large-scale mural made specifically for this exhibition as well as many never-before-shown works from private collections. The exhibition illustrates the dominant shapes and aesthetics of the artist’s work and reflects his unparalleled contributions to the field of glass art.

“Throughout his career, Klaus Moje has combined superb craftsmanship with a highly refined aesthetic sense to create extraordinary works in glass,” states Holly Hotchner, the Nanette L. Laitman Director of the Museum of Arts and Design. “We are pleased to be presenting this extraordinary exhibition which provides a comprehensive look at Moje’s work and reveals the intricate processes and techniques behind his complex fused glass compositions.”

Moje’s work is an exploration of color—the kind of saturated, luminescent color that is only possible with glass—and his works of fused glass are elaborate, abstract arrangements of brilliant hues. He chose early in his career to work with standardized set of reductive shapes—the circle, the square—that invoke the historic form of a functional shallow bowl. In later years, he occasionally expanded his repertoire to include simple cylinders and boxes, and most recently, flat panels. Within this fairly rigid format, he has experimented with dramatic color contrasts and with geometric and abstract pattern to create a body of work that is exceptional in its richness and beauty.

Associate curator Jennifer Scanlan notes: ”People are drawn to Klaus’s work because of the interplay of vibrant colors, and are even more amazed when they realize the complexity and skill involved in the process.”

A highlight of the exhibition is a massive four-panel work, The Portland Panels: Choreographed Geometry, created especially for this exhibition. Composed of more than 22,000 hand-cut strips of glass fused together at the Bullseye Glass factory studios in Portland and totaling 74 1/2 x 218 in. this work is a stunning technical achievement. Over the course of a year, Moje collaborated with a team of glass technicians to overcome problems with the process of fusing glass at this monumental scale.

This work is indicative of the innovation and vitality that Moje has brought to the medium of glass throughout his career. While many glass artists have focused on glassblowing techniques, Moje has centered his practice on glass fusion, in which pieces of glass, often rods, strips, or canes, are arranged in a pattern and melted together in a kiln, to create a solid piece of glass. Glass fusion has historically been very difficult to achieve with multiple hues, as different colors of glass have different rates of heating and cooling, and will crack if placed side by side. Moje worked with the Portland company Bullseye Glass to create new formulas for glass colors that were compatible. In this collaboration between science and art, Moje and Bullseye significantly expanded the capabilities of glass as an art medium.

In addition to including several of his recent works, the exhibition includes many of Moje’s very rare early pieces. It also provides a perspective on the artist’s changing aesthetic, as he experimented with new techniques, and a greater palette of colors became available to him.  Some of the works are the result of specific events in the artist’s life:  the Horizon series came immediately after his move from Germany to Australia and reflects his exposure to a dramatically different landscape, while the Impact series is a visceral reaction to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

A press preview, conducted by the associate curator Jennifer Scanlan, will be held Tuesday, April 28 from 10 am to 12 pm. For press reservations, call 212.299.7713 or send an email to press@madmuseum.org

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Internationally renowned glass artist Klaus Moje is considered to be a founding father of the contemporary Australian glass movement. Born in Germany, Moje first began his life-long exploration of the material in the early 1950s as a glass cutter and grinder at the Moje family workshop in Hamburg.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Moje explored the expressive potential of glass as an art form in its own right and began exhibiting internationally. In 1982 Moje emigrated to Australia to become the founding Head of the Glass Workshop at the Canberra School of Art. Moje has taught regularly at the annual Pilchuck Glass School in the United States since 1979 and has conducted innumerable workshops around the world. His work is held in more than 50 public collections in Australia and abroad and he has been the recipient of many significant awards in Australia, Europe and the United States.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum will organize artist demonstrations in its Open Studios; workshops; lectures and artist panels; readings; screenings; studio visits, and programs for children and families.  Many programs will be made available on-line as well as on-site.

CATALOGUE
Klaus Moje is accompanied by a fully illustrated color catalogue with an essay by London-based glass specialist Dan Klein and a special section on the technical challenges met during the creation of The Portland Panels. The catalogue will be available for purchase in the Museum Shop.

ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN
The Museum of Arts and Design explores how art, craft and design intersect in the visual arts today. The Museum focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the handmade to cutting-edge technologies.  

The exhibition program explores and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights creativity and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by creative and innovative artists. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1945 to the present day.

Contact
Claire Laporte / Allison Underwood
Museum of Arts and Design
212.299.7737
press@madmuseum.org