Painted glass New glass : the painterly alternative

Important new work is being done around the world in glass painting and related painterly techniques such as etching, fusing, lamination, etc. These fields are broad and many wonderful artists work in them. The works included here particulary emphasize the power of the means of expression; an idea typical of much Modern Art. Washes of paint, brushstrokes and color take on an important life of their own.

Glass painting is a particularly dynamic and flexible tool through which glass artists can break out of the « tyranny of the leadline », and the limits required to cut a very brittle material. Painting makes it possible to create shapes of great complexity that are difficult to cut and to create varied movement and blending. It is much easier to paint the features of a face than to construct them out of tiny pieces of glass and lead. Drawing and storytelling are natural. The brushstrokes themselves are abstractly expressive of many kinds of feelings, from a « line of beauty » to jagged pain.

Glass painting is a flexible, wonderful tool. The possibilities are astonishing considering that historically art has helped give form and meaning to the world. Mainstream art is, in many respects, jaded end cynical, while many glasspainters feel they have discovered something fresh and full of promise in glass painting. A place where their vivion could add to the growth of meaning and value in the world.

This sense of mission is apparent in several outstanding artists who have begun to do large scale architectural work. Jean Dominique Fleury would « like to lay down a touch of poetry in a solid building to reestablish a balance of warm-cold yin/yang. » He is an outstanding French artist who uses heavily painted glass for large architectural spaces. Windows are scribbled and painted with a sense of a life force, inspired by Chinese Taoism and, possibly, Abstract Expressionism.
Ellen Mandelbaum, Professional Stained Glass, Septembre 1992