Portland, OR – Bullseye Gallery presents a survey of factory/artist collaborations that have pushed the technical, aesthetic and conceptual possibilities of kilnformed glass. Retrospective is on view January 2 – March 1, 2014, and includes work by Raphael Cauduro, Silvia Levenson, Jessica Loughlin, Klaus Moje, Catharine Newell, Tanja Pak, Narcissus Quagliata, and Richard Whiteley.
In 1974, three recent art school graduates set up a glass factory in the backyard of a ramshackle house in Portland, Oregon and the Bullseye Glass Company was born. Originally, the factory produced colored sheet glass for the stained glass trade but a chance encounter in 1979 with a visiting German artist, Klaus Moje, inspired them to do something that had never been done before; produce a palette of compatible glasses for kilnforming. This initial collaboration grew into a factory that works with and for artists.
Innovation in materials and processes can drive change in artistic concepts and methods. Daguerre’s 1839 creation of a reliable photographic process changed how we view the world. In 1841, John G. Rand patented the use of a metal tube to preserve and transport oil colors, a pivotal development for the impressionists. Despite their profound impact, the relationships between material makers and artists are often indirect and impersonal, anonymous. An exception is the relationship between Sam Golden and artists like Morris Louis whose desire for more fluid paint led to the creation of Magna paint, the world’s first acrylic paint. In a similar way the collaborative relationship that Bullseye maintains with artists has fueled and furthered the technical, conceptual and aesthetic potential of kilnformed glass. Retrospective explores these collaborations and their legacy.