Fuller Craft Museum Presents The Glass Drawings of Michael Janis

. August 7, 2011 . 0 Comments

The Fuller Craft Museum presents a Lighter Hand: The Glass Drawings of Michael Janis, on view August 6, 2011 – November 6, 2011. The exhibition features the recent work of the virtuosic Washington, DC-based artist, who was recently named a Fulbright Scholar.

The imagery of glass artist Michael Janis builds on the legacy of Surrealist artists of the early twentieth century. Janis juxtaposes text, symbols, and figures in a complex layering process, creating the effect of a collage in glass.

Janis’ work is the result of a laborious and challenging process. Similar to scrafftio, where a design is scratched through a colored ground revealing another color beneath; to produce the image Janis sifts black glass powder onto sheet glass, scraping away the powder to produce the detail. The image is suspended between layers of sheet glass and fired in a kiln to fuse the constituent pieces together. In this manner any number of images can be combined to produce complex juxtapositions. The result is a collage produced entirely in glass, built from a time-consuming process allowing for an extended contemplation of his subjects.

Building on the legacy of Surrealist artists of the early 20th century, in particular Giorgio de Chirico whose paintings juxtaposed disparate objects in moody and indistinct landscapes, Janis is able to construct a contemplative feeling from the layering of seemingly inanimate objects and ambiguous characters. His images in glass, particularly those examples in a tall and narrow format, also allude to the narrative quality of stained glass. The juxtaposition of text, symbols, and figures seem to imply a hidden message or meaning, but like an ink blot or word association Janis leaves the viewer to provide their own conclusions.

Janis lives and works in Washington, DC, where he is Co-Director and an instructor at the Washington Glass School. He first began working with glass as an architect, evident in his dedication to sheet glass and the precision draftsmanship in his drawings.

Fuller Craft will celebrate the opening of A Lighter Hand, with a public reception August 7 at 2 p.m. at the Museum. The reception is free for members and free with museum admission for all others.

Image: Michael Janis Who But You Would Let Me In, 2010

About Fuller Craft Museum
Fuller Craft Museum, New England’s only museum of contemporary craft, is dedicated to the objects, ideas, and insight that inspire both patrons and artists to explore life through the art of contemporary craft. Fuller Craft Museum is located at 455 Oak St. in Brockton, Mass. The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.— 5 p.m., with free admission for all Wednesdays from 5—9 p.m. Admission is $8 adults, $5 seniors and students, free for members and children 12 and under. For more information on Fuller Craft exhibitions and events please visit www.fullercraft.org or call (508) 588-6000.

Category: Museum News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.