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Assistant Anders RydstedtJosiah McElheny
Long-time assistant and collaborator Anders Rydstedt discusses the differences between creating traditional forms in glass—such as vases—with Josiah McElheny’s sculptural objects and installations.
Filmed at the Michael Davis Stained Glass workshop in Long Island City, New York, objects from this session were later given a mirrored surface as part of the artist’s Total Reflective Abstraction series of works that took as their point of departure a conversation between Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi.More information and credits
Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Gary Silver. Editor: Jenny Chiurco. Artwork Courtesy: Josiah McElheny. Special Thanks: Michael Davis Stained Glass & Anders Rydstedt.
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Josiah McElheny creates finely crafted, handmade glass objects that he combines with photographs, text, and museological displays to evoke notions of meaning and memory. Whether recreating miraculous glass objects pictured in Renaissance paintings or modernized versions of non-extant glassware from documentary photographs, McElheny’s work takes as its subject the object, idea, and social nexus of glass. Influenced by the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, McElheny’s work often takes the form of “historical fiction”—which he offers to the viewer to believe or not. Part of McElheny’s fascination with storytelling is that glassmaking is part of an oral tradition, handed down generation to generation, artisan to artisan.