Material Culture (505)

Material Culture by Beth Lipman
Material Culture
Stop Number: 
505

Beth Lipman (American, b. 1971)
United States, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and Brooklyn, New York
2008
Blown glass; silicone; wood table
H: 175.3 cm, W: 114.3 cm, D: 106.7 cm
(2010.4.43)

Blown glass vessels inevitably create associations with vases, drinking glasses, and containers, and it is difficult to deny the functionality of these forms. Beth Lipman does not try to alter her traditional forms or to bypass their function. Instead, she creates new meanings and contexts for them.

Material Culture is made up of a tower of vessels, which overwhelms a too-small table. The abundance of objects comments on present-day and historical cultures of excess. It also makes reference to the amassing of large collections of objects, such as the collections housed in this Museum.

Some of the vessels in this still life are intentionally broken. The artist also placed a few glass fragments on the sculpture’s display platform.