Heller Gallery is pleased to present Squaring the Circle, Michael Glancy’s first exhibition in New York since 2013. Thirteen new pieces will comprise the exhibition.
Glancy’s superbly designed and crafted glass and metal forms defy their compact format and make grand statements with unexpectedly dynamic shapes and intricate patterns.
Squaring the Circle, takes its name from a problem proposed by ancient geometers searching for mathematical proof of the unity between heaven and earth. Proven mathematically impossible in 1882, the phrase has become a metaphor for trying to do the impossible.
With it Glancy alludes to his search for the perfect object and describes how the act of making is his journey towards that goal. ‘My work is a byproduct of the trust that I place in the activity [of making]; a response to the 5,000year tradition of man’s working with glass and my participation in that ongoing history.’ Because perfection is not a static destination to him, he speaks of his work as ‘never finished, and always being made. Yet his objects are confident, fully executed and exquisite forms inspired equally by molecular, cellular and imagined atomic structures and patterns, by mathematical formulas and by the artist’s obsessive study of history. His pieces have been described as geological and organic, architectonic and thoroughly modern, intricately materialistic and metaphysical.
Glancy said in 2010 that as he gets older, he likes fewer and fewer shapes. Recently, he has said the same about color: five of the thirteen pieces in this exhibition are blue. He points to ‘the blue of distance’ described by writer Rebecca Solnit: ‘I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen…for the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains. Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in…’ Perhaps Glancy’s affinity for the color blue is his chromatic expression of Squaring the Circle -- his desire for the unattainable.
Glancy received both a BFA and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. His critically acclaimed work is held in many public collections in the United Stated, Europe and Asia, including Carnegie Museum of Art, PA; Corning Museum of Glass, NY; Detroit Institute of Arts, MI; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX; Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; France; Museum of Contemporary Art, Hokkaido, Japan; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England.