Yan Zoritchak, Slovakian, born 1944. Space Messenger, 2002. Cast glass with copper patina and gold leaf,19 9/16 × 16 15/16  x 5 1/8 inches. Courtesy of the Isabel Foundation, L2017.146 Photo credit: Douglas Schaible Photography

Glass in the Fourth Dimension

November 21, 2020 - March 21, 2021

Harris - Burger Gallery

While we live in a three-dimensional world and our brains are trained to see height, width, and depth—mathematicians, physicists, and artists have long considered the fourth dimension and its possibilities for alternative realities. Although authors and scientists have sought to describe the concept, it is inherently intangible and invisible. Einstein defined it as “spacetime,” a mathematical model that fuses the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time into four dimensions. Philosophers consider a metaphysical meaning, seeing it as the connection between the mind and reality.  Artists since the early 20th century tried to represent the fourth dimension, moving beyond realistic representations of the world toward abstraction. 

The plasticity of glass in its molten form has enticed many artists to explore non-objective, or abstract, forms since the beginning of the Studio Glass movement in the 1960s. Whether it is an intentional optical illusion or just the natural properties of glass, each artwork in this exhibition implies something beyond height, width, and depth.

From the Exhibition

  • Steven Weinberg, American, born 1954. Fluted Concentrics, 1995. Cast and cut optical crystal, 7 3/4 × 71 3/16  x 71 3/16 inches. Courtesy of the Isabel Foundation, L2017.129 Photo credit: Douglas Schaible Photography

  • Tom Patti, American, born 1943. Starphire Four-Ringed Echo with Azurelite, Red, and Green, 1994. Blown, cut and polished glass, 4 5/16 × 6 × 4 1/2 in. (11 × 15.2 × 11.4 cm). Courtesy of the Isabel Foundation L2017.97 Photo credit: Douglas Schaible Photography