BRIAN HIRST: CEREMONIAL OFFERINGS
March 4, 2011 – April 30, 2011
NEW YORK – Barry Friedman Ltd. is pleased to present an inaugural solo exhibition by Australian sculptor Brian Hirst. The artist’s mixture of glass vessels, engraved metal detailing, textured surfaces, and asymmetrical silhouettes recall the ceremonial vessels of Eastern cultures. This exhibition also marks Hirst’s first show in New York in nearly 10 years. The exhibition will open with a reception for the artist on Friday, March 4, from 6–8pm.
Brian Hirst’s exploration of glass is influenced by the history of the development of vessels in world cultures and develops graphically in engravings on the vessels and two-dimensional panels. His interest in archeology and anthropology, is apparent in this exhibition. Meticulously cold worked details lend a decorative quality suggestive of Chinese bronzes, heroic urns, ritual shrine bowls of Japanese Buddhists, and ceremonial Tibetan singing bowls. Curator and critic Sarah Evans has written, “[Hirst creates] a contemporary language of his own that references, but does not imitate, the past and reflects his individual values and interest. For him, these interests are broadly cultural and encompass objects that mark rites of passage and those used in the rituals of daily life.”
All of Brian Hirst’s vessels combine both blown and cast glass techniques. His blown-cast Offering Bowls and Votive Bowls are created using a signature technique of bronze casting sand adapted for glass, allowing the rim and the body of the vessel to develop fluidity, while retaining a strong sculptural sensibility. His Guardian vessels, based on Cycladic stone sculptures from 3000-2000 BC, are created by casting glass into specially engineered steel molds, producing organic vessels with misty tones of color that seem to glow from within. Hirst’s Votive Bowl, 1/94 won the prestigious and coveted Grand Prize at the “World Glass Now ‘94” exhibition at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art in Japan in 1994.
With this exhibition, Hirst’s pairing of gold with platinum presents a departure from his previous combinations of glass with stainless steel, platinum and enamels. This new juxtaposition of metals adds a richness and elegance to the vessels. Engraved patterns and geometric designs further liken the etched surfaces to
ceremonial drawings. Hirst explains. “The ……central motif is like a small print – an influence taken from my many years of printmaking.”
Ivana Jirasek, Coordinator of Artsupport Australia, explains, “Over time, the forms, motifs and processes of Hirst’s work have become more distilled and sophisticated. The recent addition of platinum… silver and gold
is as much a metaphor for Hirst’s refinement of perception as it is of materials and aesthetic. The shifts are subtle but the meanings have become more resolute. His work has the confidence of an established maker who has evolved an aesthetic that is distinctly his.”
Brian Hirst’s work is included in the permanent collections of museums worldwide including, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, California; Corning Museum of Glass, New York; Seattle Art Museum, Washington; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Japan; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Ebeltoft Glasmuseum, Denmark; Yokohama Museum, Japan; Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Kunstmuseum, Dusseldorf, Germany; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
Brian Hirst was born in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia in 1956. He studied Visual Arts at Monash University, Australia in the 1970s, including ceramics and sculpture. Hirst was a Senior Lecturer (with Klaus Moje) at the Canberra School of Art in the late 1980s and continues to lecture internationally. He currently operates a studio in Sydney, Australia.
Running concurrently in an adjacent gallery is “Havana 2010,” a solo exhibition of large color photographs by Michael Eastman.
For visuals and more information, please contact Carole Hochman and Karen Gilbert: 212-239-8600.