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Artist of the Month
March 2016

Artist of the Month

Josepha Gasch-Muche

The german artist Josepha Gasch-Muche arranges ultra-thin layers of glass on top of each other, creating geometrical objects. These resemble dynamic energetic fields rather than static cubes. She creates sculptures of light and glass – powerful picture-puzzles. Light always plays a crucial role in her glass objects, which are permanently exhibited at Galerie B Contemporary Glass Art in Sinzheim/Baden-Baden, Germany.

Click on each photo to the right for a full picture.

Josepha Gasch-Muche

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

Many things in my life have inspired me, and continue to do so. These can be people and objects, but also literature, music, landscapes, journeys. What was important for me as an artist was encountering my teacher, the perceptual psychologist and Bauhaus artist Boris Kleint. He worked as Johannes Itten’s assistant at the Bauhaus before he became a professor. His lessons opened my eyes to the fascination of material and encouraged me to explore it. Any material, whether natural or industrially manufactured, has its own character and a specific structure. All of the potential for shaping it are therefore inherent. I also learned from Kleint that material does not show its true face until it has been destroyed. That means that as an artist, one has to reach into its depths in order to get to the bottom of it and then piece it together again. What was also important for me was encountering works by the American minimal artists Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, and Agnes Martin. Their search for ultimate forms and forms in art and their emphasis on primary geometric structures had a major influence on me. Yet my occupation with Martin Heidegger’s philosophy also deeply influenced my understanding of art.

I work by myself, without any assistants. I disapprove of a conceptual understanding of art, according to which the idea is everything and the work can be executed by anyone in a position to do so. I perceive my artworks as intimately connected to me and my person. Do not get me wrong: I do not want to preach the genius cult here. But the way I understand it, my works are a part of me, and I feel responsible for their execution.

Click here to read the transcript of Josepha Gasch-Muche in conversation with the director of the Shanghai Museum of Glass. 

About Josepha Gasch-Muche

Josepha Gasch-Muche was born in 1944 in Germany and studied art in the early '80s with Boris Kleint and Günter Swiderski in the cities of Saarbrücken and Trier. She now lives and works in Hannover. First, she mainly focused on drawing and etching. But she also felt strongly attracted to leftover materials from handicraft and industry. So she created structured pictures with leftover wires, iron chippings and graphite powder on wood, canvas, and plexiglass. Her first contact with ultra thin display glass took place by coincidence in the late '90s. Today, this technique with a high degree of perfection dominates the works by Josepha Gasch-Muche.

Gasch-Muche uses ultra thin, splintered glass to create surfaces on canvas or firm materials. The artist works with thousands of small display panels turning them into fascinating works of art. Light from different angles keeps changing the objects’ appearance. 

She has found a new method of fragmenting display glass into even thinner, more refined splinters by breaking them with pliers. These delicate pieces seem like icicles or fringes, causing even more light refractions. This way, Gasch-Muche achieves an even more intense effect. She arranges these ultra-thin layers of glass on top of and next to each other before bonding them invisibly. The alignment and density of these layers determine both the structure and the arrangement of her objects. The artist does not name her fascinating objects, she labels them according to their date of creation. Mostly, she creates geometrical shapes such as circles, triangles or squares. 

If you walk around one of Gasch-Muche's object, you will perceive various different impressions. These changing moments strike a contrast with the stable, geometrical shape of the object. The physical phenomenon of light refraction in glass is multiplied by the countless layers. The slightest movement by the observer surrounding the object entails new light refractions. When daylight meets the staggered layers of glass, the surfaces are impressively awakened to life. Intensive and dynamic refractions are the result. 

But Gasch-Muche also varies the shape in itself. It is equipped with cutouts or gates which allow us special insights and outlooks. A tilted cube becomes a dynamic diamond, sometimes the shape is coated with numerous fragments like an outer skin around an internal cavity. This way she creates charming and fascinating objects. 

Gasch-Muche has won numerous awards for her artwork, inclcudding The Coburger Glas Pries in 2006 and The Bombay Sapphire Prize in 2006, and the Bayerischen Staatspreis in 2008. The Cathedral of Salisbury in England is planning a group exhibition to include work by Gasch-Muche's in 2016.

Click here for an artist's resume.

Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Galerie B, Sinzheim/Baden-Baden, Germany, for providing 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.