The Wagga Wagga Art Gallery is currently showing George Aslanis: Experiments in Light, a retrospective survey exhibition celebrating the practice of the loved and respected (late) artist/educator George Aslanis – former Head of the Glass and Ceramic Studio at Monash University, Melbourne.
This large body of work, sourced by National Art Glass Gallery curator Michael Scarrone from private collections across Australia, navigates the decades of George’s exuberant, investigative art practice…
George Aslanis: Experiments in Light
Wagga Wagga Art Gallery is proud to present a retrospective survey of one of the most influential and innovative artists in contemporary Australian glass, George Aslanis (1960-2016). Aslanis inspired a generation of glass artists to develop their passion and their understanding of the artform, and this new exhibition, George Aslanis: Experiments in Light reveals the great scope of his practice and his ideas.
George Aslanis began his artistic career in ceramics, but became drawn to the paradoxical qualities of glass, which he described in one interview as “dense and heavy and solid… it is the antithesis of light, yet it describes light in so many ways”. As head of the Glass and Ceramic Studio at Monash University for many years, Aslanis was a tremendous influence on glass students and artists across Australia, and many of the works on display in Experiments in Light have been loaned from former students.
Aslanis’ practice involves a dialogue that describes ‘states of being’, and symbols and metaphors are important motifs in his work. Drawing from cultures past and present he combined various elements to create visually complex cast glass sculptures. These objects are read from two sides, a sculpted textured surface and an open view into the interior space of the glass. The question of what exists beneath the surface, the interior life often unseen is a constant aspect of George Aslanis’ work.
As well as his artistic practice and his influence as a teacher, George Aslanis was also known for his passion as a collector, with an exceptional eye for objects of art, craft and design. His later works combined his collections with his art, with installations that intermingled early Venetian glass vessels with found chunks of furnace glass, detritus from the casting process.
George Aslanis himself once described his work as “a discussion about glass, its inherent material properties; these include the sensual and the metaphorical. Glass is a material in a state of becoming, an endless multiplicity of potentials.” Experiments in Light is itself a tribute to Aslanis’ own multiplicity of potentials, and the home of the National Art Glass Collection is a fitting venue to reflect upon the life and career of such an influential artist.
George Aslanis: Experiments in Light is on display in the National Art Glass Gallery at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery from Saturday 25 March until Sunday 9 July, 2017. An official closing for the exhibition will be held on Thursday 6 July at 6pm.
[Big thanks to Michael for the imagery and info. What an absolute joy it must have been to put this show together! We can feel a road trip coming on… n(Ed)]