A pioneer of the studio glass movement, Toots Zynsky draws from the traditions of painting, sculpture and the decorative arts to inspire her innovative, intricate vessels. Masters of %%Studio Glass%%: Toots Zynsky, featured 12 works representing the varied techniques and inspirations from throughout Zynsky’s career.
Zynsky attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she was one of acclaimed artist Dale Chihuly’s first students. In 1971, she was part of a group of Chihuly’s friends and RISD students who founded the influential Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. There, she made installations of slumped plate glass, and later experimented with video and performance work with artist Buster Simpson, incorporating hot and cold glass. This experimental work was critical to the development of using glass as a material to explore issues in contemporary art.
The exhibition was part of the Corning Museum’s ongoing Masters of %%Studio Glass%% series that was developed to provide a platform for in-depth surveys of a range of artists represented in the Museum’s permanent collection. Masters of %%Studio Glass%%: Toots Zynsky also featured seminal works commissioned by the Museum in 1988 as part of its annual Rakow Commission, and an unusually large vessel commissioned in 2005 by Chicago collectors, and Corning Museum benefactors, Ben and Natalie Heineman.
“Zynsky has made a life’s work of studying and manipulating colored glass threads through the vehicle of her distinctive, undulating forms,” says Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass at the Museum. “She is one of a small, core group of pioneering artists who made contemporary glass a worldwide phenomenon, and her distinctive kiln-formed vessels enjoy widespread popularity for their often magnificent, and always unique, explorations in color.”