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Artist of the Month
January 2022

Artist of the Month

Michael Behrens

Michael Behrens was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1973. Since earning a BFA from the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts in the Netherlands in 2003, he has been working in cast glass, creating five series of sculptures. Since 2004, his work has been in more than 200 solo and group exhibitions around the globe. Behrens is represented by Habatat Galleries, in Royal Oak, Michigan.

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

Michael Behrens

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:


I’ve always enjoyed nature, the sea, and the underwater world. This inspired the Seaform series. We come from nature and we will go to nature again. I want to stay aware of this moving cycle.

The Seaform works appear almost natural, grown in the wild and then ossified, frozen in time. The diverse color range and interior movement vary as if created organically by the environment. The natural and random appearance of the work begins with the exterior form and the fine details of the subareas and edges. There is an interplay with matte and polished surfaces. Then the viewer is drawn into the dynamic interior world with cell-like structures. The result is a mesmerizing experience.

About Michael Behrens

My story

Michael Behrens was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1973. From the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts in the Netherlands, he received a BFA in 2003. During his studies, Behrens had a proclivity for photography and painting, but sculpture emerged as his true passion. In 2006, he founded his own studio in Düsseldorf, where he still works and lives. Two years later, right after his first solo show in Paris, France, he was invited to an exhibition at the Ernsting Foundation. His work received international attention due to strong color combinations and dynamic structures and shapes. “My vision was and is to create objects in which you can see and feel the energy of nature”, Behrens says. In this sense, till today, he created five different series: Underwater-World, Landscapes, Seaforms, Phoenix, and Evolution. Since 2004, Behrens’ work has been part of over 200 group and solo exhibitions, is regularly shown at international art fairs and in galleries, and is represented in private and public collections around the globe.

About the work

Michael Behrens plays with the idea of movement and balance in massive, solid glass objects. The series Underwater-World and Seaforms embody decades of personal sensory experiences above and below water. Deliberately random, strong shapes line organic inner structures. Velvet and transparent surfaces alternate, thereby creating a dynamic harmony inside and outside. The sculptural and technical exploration of structure is concentrated in the Landscapes; form is predefined by nature, so that structure is brought to the fore. With Phoenix, Behrens focuses on the abstract formal language in his sculptural work. The observer’s eye is drawn to the outlines and surfaces as every object is opaque. Over the years, Michael has developed his exclusive and notable style and has become one of the most recognized German sculptors in his field.

The Studio

One foundation stone of Behrens’ career was to find the right studio - an environment to handle specialized technical equipment with a suitable power supply to install his own furnaces. Behrens began to acquire a highly technical background, enabling him to run the studio independently, but also allowing him to push the limits of material and usher in a new era in his work of kiln casted objects. As with his design and concept, all the casting is done in the studio in Düsseldorf. Hundreds of hours are required to do the preparation for each piece, including making the model and mold, working on the glass with different techniques, melting the objects, and finally, after a long annealing period, releasing the sculpture from the mold and grinding the sculpture. A team of well-trained assistants allows Behrens to create sculptures of a specific scale. The final touches to each object's surface are made by the best skilled grinders from the Czech Republic. The whole process to create these sculptures is time consuming and demanding, as impatience or deviations from the production process are unforgiving.

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, Michigan, 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.