WAUSAU, WISCONSIN: Glass artwork by David Huchthausen, a Seattle artist with central Wisconsin roots, comprises a retrospective exhibition at the Woodson Art Museum that highlights the evolution of his artwork and its impact on American studio glass. “Huchthausen: A Glass Retrospective” opens Saturday, November 16, along with “Transformation 8: Contemporary Works in Small Metals,” featuring jewelry, vessels, and plates created by more than two dozen internationally recognized and emerging artists.
Huchthausen returns to Wausau for the opening weekend and will lead two gallery walks at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, at the Woodson Art Museum.
David Huchthausen’s work throughout his forty-year career has altered the history of contemporary glass. Deliberately enigmatic and mysterious, Huchthausen’s work – from his earliest mixed-media sculptures and fantasy and landscape vessels to his trademark integral color laminations and spheres designed to be examined from all directions – strives to tantalize and challenge viewers.
Huchthausen’s early career is intertwined with the Woodson Art Museum. In 1970, while a student, he discovered and experimented with an abandoned glass furnace on the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County campus in Wausau. He later became Harvey Littleton’s graduate assistant at UW-Madison and went on to become a Fulbright scholar, university professor, and museum consultant. He developed “Americans in Glass” exhibitions for the Woodson in 1978, 1981, and 1984 that documented the evolution of American studio glass.
An early interest in primitive art and ritual is evident in Huchthausen’s figurines from the 1970s, followed by fantasy and landscape vessels comprising seven or eight layers of hot blown glass that cast mysterious, shifting shadows. By the 1980s, his focus shifted to cold glass materials and processes, and he created his trademark integral color laminations and spheres.
“One of the advantages of having worked as an artist for forty-two years is that you can look back at your older work free of the emotional intensity that enveloped it at the time,” Huchthausen said. “Looking back and studying how one series morphed and mutated into the next over the years provides clearer insights into the origins and concepts at the heart of the most recent work.”
“Huchthausen: A Glass Retrospective,” organized by the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art, Midland, Michigan, and his longtime representative Ferdinand Hampson of Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, Michigan, remains on view through January 19, 2014.
“Transformation 8” artworks reflect fresh experimentation with metal, from an airy, coiling necklace to a hefty, gothic-architecture-inspired brooch. Taking inspiration from twilight and soaring cathedral arches, artists explore the concept of transformation by fashioning precious metals and stones into necklaces, brooches, vessels, and trays.
Jewelry artist Robert Ebendorf probes the concept of value by repositioning familiar found objects, exploring how these items – discarded after they fulfill a role – can take on new meaning and be transformed through juxtaposition.
Artist Linda Kindler Priest creates wearable pieces that express the life cycle by using gems, minerals, and images that are hammered into metal. Seung-Hea Lee’s “Neck-Lace” delves into the interlinking and connective possibilities of various shapes.
Organized by Pittsburgh’s Society for Contemporary Craft, “Transformation 8” is the most recent edition of the Elizabeth R. Raphael Founder’s Prize series, which recognizes excellence in the field of contemporary craft. The exhibition remains on view through January 19, 2014.
For more information, visit www.lywam.org, e-mail the Museum at email@example.com, or call 715-845-7010.
Woodson Art Museum
Hours: Tues–Fri 9am–4pm
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Thursdays during Birds in Art 9am–7:30pm
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