Beth Lipman creates still lifes in hand-sculpted glass. Her works explore the concept of immortalizing perishable objects in glass, paying homage to still life paintings from the 17th to 20th centuries, in which the presentation of beautifully composed game, fish, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables is symbolic of the passing of time, mortality, and the transience of earthly achievements.
One of her best-known pieces is Bancketje (2003), a 20-foot long banquet-style table replete with a feast of glass vessels piled on top of one another and balanced along the table’s edge. Fifteen glassblowers, with varying skills, joined her in creating the more than 400 pieces of tableware, stemware, candlesticks and serving dishes that make up this installation. Bancketje is about lavish abundance and decay and reminds us to consider not only the frivolity of the moment, but the ultimate consequences of our actions.
Lipman’s works can be found at The Corning Museum of Glass, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution of American Art. Since 2005, she has coordinated the Arts/Industry Residency program at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI.