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Artist of the Month
September 2018

Artist of the Month

Alex Gabriel Bernstein

Abstract glass sculptures inspired from nature characterize the work of North Carolina artist Alex Gabriel Bernstein. His cast, carved, and polished glass sculptures provide the viewer with intimate narrative landscapes, drawn from light, form, and color. Graceful organic shapes and vivid colors with irregular, jagged surfaces, create abstract forms that are powerful and dramatic. Alex is represented by Blue Spiral 1 in Asheville, North Carolina.

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Alex Gabriel Bernstein

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

"With each piece I make, I prepare for a journey, setting out to discover something new and exciting. Explaining my work, I use the metaphor of a poet. Talented poets do not write the same poems over and over, but they may use some of the same vocabulary in different poems. This is true of my sculpture."

About Alex Gabriel Bernstein

Alex Gabriel Bernstein grew up in a creative environment with access to many of the artists of the American studio glass movement. As the child of two established glass artists, William and Katherine Bernstein, the beautiful surroundings of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina where they lived played almost as much of a part in his upbringing as did the creativity around him.

Alex studied psychology at the University of North Carolina in Asheville and worked at a children’s psychiatric hospital before making the decision to pursue his artistic endeavors full time. He received a Master of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts and went on to teach at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Penland School of Crafts, and The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass. Alex also served as the Department Head of Glass at the Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts before he made the decision to return to his hometown, Asheville, NC, in 2007 to set up a studio and focus on creating his own work full-time.

In his work, Alex explores ideas about the passage of time and the processes of creation and transformation. He skillfully combines metaphor with the power and sensuality of sculpted glass. The forms of his pieces – as well as the techniques he uses to work the glass (including fusing steel to glass) – mirror processes in nature, such as oxidation, erosion, growth, and decay. As a result, many of his pieces evoke images of flowing water, ice crystals, mountain peaks, and jagged canyons – all structures that seem solid and unyielding, but are actually in constant flux. The work reflects his sense of exploration: an exquisitely cut geometric crystal sculpture set against a brutal, rusted steel backdrop, volcanic bursts of cut glass spewing from a steel-encrusted base, layers of transparent color intermingling with ambient light. Alex’s sculptures reflect his feelings and sensitivity to others, and curiosity and enthusiasm for bringing new dimensions to his sculpture.

Blue Spiral 1 has represented Alex’s work for over 15 years. His sculpture is included in numerous collections, including the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glasmuseum Frauenau in Germany, the Mellon Financial Corporation, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, Mellon Financial Corporation, Wachovia Corporation, the Bascom Fine Art Center, and the Palm Springs Art Museum.

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Blue Spiral 1, Asheville, North Carolina, for providing the materials for the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.