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Artist of the Month: Matthew Szösz

Matthew Szösz uses glass and air to create shapes that resemble strange sea-like creatures, cocoons, and woven baskets, although this isn’t his intention at all. Rather Szösz considers his work an experiment of learning what the glass will and won’t do. He says that he’s essentially at the mercy of the glass as it “inflates” and grows into shapes.

I truly love artists who are always experimenting with their medium. Pushing it into new areas and finding out what else it can do for them. As you’ll see in the photos of his pieces below, they go from hard, cold glass to soft, organic shapes. The colors are soft as the glass is heated and pushed to expand, the color becomes more and more transparent creating pretty pastels for the eye to rest on. I also love how playful the pieces are when viewed together, there is a bit of whimsy there and lack of desire to make them conform to each other. For me, that always makes an artists work more intriguing. The Untitled piece that looks like a pool flotation device made me laugh out loud!

I hope to see some of his works in person some day. Although I have to admit, I would be tempted to touch!

Here are a few of my favorite pieces by Szösz, and look for the quick video below to see a bit of behind the scenes on how the pieces are made.

You can view Matthew Szösz’s body of work by clicking here. (Scroll down for his bio and a video about his work.)

Matthew Szösz Bio:

Matthew Szösz approaches materials with an innate impulse to alter, build, and investigate. As an artist using glass as his primary medium, he creates performance-based experiments, and the resulting works have been unexpected and boundary-pushing. Says Szösz, “Many of my works start from a basis of ‘un-likeliness.’”

Szösz holds a master’s of fine arts degree in glass, and has held residencies at international institutions, including the Danish Royal Academy; Canberra Glass Works; the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion; Nagoya Institute for the Arts; and Pilchuck Glass School. In 2011, he was awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant and, in 2009, he was awarded the Jutta Cuny-Franz Memorial Award. He has exhibited in solo and group shows across the United States and presented Pursuits, a solo exhibition, in Nagoya, Japan.

In 2012, Szösz was selected by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution as one of the top young craft artists in America for the exhibition 40 under 40.

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Illustration by Blume Bauer ©

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