1988 Rakow Commission Artist: Toots Zynsky

Toots Zynsky (1988)

Pajaritos en la Cabeza and Cabellos de Angel - Toots Zynsky

Pajaritos en la Cabeza and Cabellos de Angel ("Tierra del Fuego" Series)

Toots Zynsky (American, b. 1952)
The Netherlands, Amsterdam, 1988
%%Fused%% and %%kiln%%-formed filets de verre (glass threads)
a) H: 16.6 cm, W: 34.7 cm, Diam: 21.2 cm; b) H: 16.4 cm, W: 35.8 cm, Diam: 22 cm
88.3.45, 3rd Rakow Commission

When I hear music, it translates into color.

—Toots Zynsky

With alternately subtle and bold strips and swatches of wire-thin lines of layered color, Toots Zynsky builds amorphous, three-dimensional canvases that defy categorization, her vessels inhabiting a region where painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts meet. For Zynsky, color reflects and defines emotion, mood, and experience. Her choices are subjective, instinctual, inspired by her travels, and grounded in the colors of the natural world.

Zynsky developed her unique technique of "painting" with colored glass threads in the early 1980s. To make her vessels, Zynsky first layers thousands of multicolored glass %%threads%% onto a round heat-resistant fiberboard plate. For her, this part of the process is like drawing or painting. This mass of glass threads is then fused inside a kiln. While hot, the fused thread disk is allowed to slowly slump into a series of consecutively deeper and rounder preheated bowl-shaped metal forms. To make taller vessels, the piece is turned upside down and slumped over a cone-shaped mold. Finally, Zynsky reaches into the kiln, wearing special heat-resistant gloves, and she squeezes the glass into a unique undulating form.

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