Forest Glass

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Object Name: 
Installation
Title: 
Forest Glass
Accession Number: 
2010.4.49
Dimensions: 
Tallest Section H: 289.6 cm, W: 160 cm, D: 76.2 cm
Location: 
Not on Display
Date: 
2009
Web Description: 
Katherine Gray is widely respected as a glassblower and artist who makes functional and nonfunctional vessels and sculpture. Her installation Forest Glass consists of three structures, or “trees,” made of found drinking glasses stacked on plexiglass shelves with steel supports. In each structure, the glasses are arranged on the shelves by color to form the outline of a simplified tree with green leaves and brown trunk. From a distance, the installation appears as three shimmering trees. Although Gray is a skilled glassblower who could easily have made the components of Forest Glass herself, she chose to use only found or “pre-existing” glasses bought at thrift stores and on eBay. Forest Glass is about creation and destruction, ecology, and historical glass. It refers to the history of glassmaking and its attendant environmental issues: trees—in fact, forests of them—were obliterated over the centuries so that their wood could be used as fuel for glass furnaces. In this work, Gray reconstructs some of these lost trees out of the material that destroyed them—in effect, recycling the trees with recycled glass. “Glass is a material that we spend a lot of time not looking at, but I have invested a good part of my artistic livelihood trying to perfect working with it, to make visible the invisible,” Gray says. “I want my work to represent the inequity that exists between sublime beauty and manufacturing extravagance. . . . [There is still] value in making things in a society increasingly ruled by machines and simulated experiences.” Unsigned. Published in New Glass Review 31, 2010; Annie Buckley, “Katherine Gray” (review), Glass Quarterly, no. 115, Summer 2009, p. 51; Sharon Mizota, “Picks: Los Angeles/Katherine Gray” (review), Artforum, March 6, 2009 (online); and Holly Myers, “Review: Katherine Gray at Acuna-Hansen Gallery,” Culture Monster blog, Los Angeles Times, February 27, 2009 (with video, viewable online at http://bit.ly/9Dzx5).
Department: 
Provenance: 
Elliott Brown Gallery ((Kate Elliott)), Source
2010-03-30
Category: 
Technique: 
Primary Description: 
Glass, acrylic, steel; approximately 2,000 found drinking glasses. Green, brown, colorless glass vessels, machine-made; Plexiglas. The installation consists of three structures, or “trees,” made of found drinking glasses stacked on Plexiglas shelves with steel supports. The tallest structure has 12 shelves, and the two smaller structures have 11 shelves. In each structure, the glasses are arranged on the shelves by color to form the outline of a simplified tree with green leaves and brown trunk. From a distance, the installation appears as three shimmering trees.
The Gather (2011) illustrated, p. 8;
Contemporary Gallery Reinstalled (2011) illustrated, p. 8, middle; BIB# AI88808
Recent Important Acquisitions (New Glass Review 32) (2011) illustrated, p. 107, bottom; BIB# AI95695
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2010 (2011) illustrated, pp. 66-67, #47; BIB# AI86878
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2010 (2011) illustrated, p. 19;
New Glass Review, 31 (2010) illustrated, p. 20;
Recent Acquisitions: Modern Glass (2010) illustrated, p. 15; BIB# AI82513