For many glass blowers the Holy Grail is the handwritten book ‘Advanced Glassworking Techniques’ by Edward T. Schmid (US). This step-by-step manual has already initiated many glassblowers in their quest within the wonderful world of liquid glass.
Our artist-in-residence Sam Aldridge (US) followed Ed Schmid’s instructions for blowing a large variety of shapes. Ed Schmid also dissected a number of works from the Lommel glass collection to reveal the secret making process. In his typical drawing style, he sketched them on the windows of GlazenHuis.
The exhibition ‘The Holy Grail’ shows the script for glassblowers, the mystical dissection of glass art techniques and the unknown wealth of the Lommel glass art collection. By digitizing this collection, it aims to reveal its treasure of artworks. Come and find your Holy Grail.
The golden meteorite by Matthew Szösz
In the glass cone of GlazenHuis hangs the golden meteorite by American artist Matthew Szösz. The actual title of the meteorite is “Study of Breugel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus“; a painting from 1569. It is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels. But how does this golden sculpture relate to this painting?
The scene on the canvas takes place after the Fall of Icarus (a mythological story) where the people simply continue with their day-to-day activities. Szösz sees this as a metaphor for our society: we do not learn from our past mistakes. We refuse to adapt our priorities to a changing world. Just think of the corona pandemic and climate change.
This metaphor extends into the gold sculpture; we are seduced by the dazzling gold and its enormity without realizing its threatening catastrophe. Furthermore, this sculpture refers to stories and systems about values, ethics and greed; such as 16 Psyche asteroid, the ransom of King Atahualpa, the fifth mass extinction and the Gold Standard. Szösz’s conceptions of our society and his feelings of fear and impending disaster, are brought together in an object that represents implicit doom on the one hand and visual fascination on the other.
The meteorite is primarily intended to start a conversation. What do we value? How do we determine that value? And what is really valuable to you?
During the process of discovery and experimentation, Szösz is always looking for new applications with flat glass. He approaches glass in his complexity more like a furniture maker or an architect.