Galleri Riis is pleased to announce our first exhibition with renowned Swedish studio glass artist, Ann Wåhlström.
The exhibition in our Annex space will be comprised of 14 recent glass sculptures from the series Stones, and a new installation entitled Drops. In addition, large, rough watercolor sketches in watercolor depicting patterns of violet and magenta raindrops will hang floor to ceiling like scrolls on the main wall, creating a transparent backdrop to the precise and hard surfaces of the glass objects.
Over the past years, Wåhlström has returned several times to work in the glass studios in Seattle and Tacoma, and most recently with the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. This studio has maintained and developed Venetian glass techniques that are hundreds of years old, and essential skills for creating unique contemporary works on a high level. She has also collaborated with the glass studio, Sthlm Glas, located in the former Gustavsberg porcelain factory near Stockholm.
In the Stones series one can sense her inspiration from the shores of Gotland's west coast, lined with softly polished stones. Wåhlström has infused her delicate asymmetrical shapes with flowing lines, shapes and patterns in subdued colors:
I don't sketch continuously; instead I return for periods. I knew I wanted to go further and stylize the expression and I've continued to use Canes and Murrini, the glass rods and mosaic pieces that ultimately form the actual patterns. They are made in advance, based on the sketches, and I arrange the various combinations for each object before they are applied in the hot glass. It's gratifying to see the results emerge on the blowing pipe and to realize how endless the possibilities really are. (1)
The installation Drops represents a continuation of Wåhlström's scenography for the acclaimed staging of Steve Reich's opus Different Trains at The Jewish Theater in Stockholm in 2008. It consists of 30 drop-shaped glass objects in various sizes and transparent colors, displayed in a cluster hanging from the ceiling.
Born in Stockholm in 1957, Wåhlström received her artistic education from The Glass School in Orrefors, Sweden and The Pilchuck Glass School, Washington State, USA, in 1979 and The Rhode Island School of Design (with Dale Chihuly), Providence, USA, in 1980. In 1981-82 she studied at The National College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm (with Paula Bartron and Bertil Vallien).
Her works can be found in the collections of Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, The Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, Montreal, The Chicago Atheneum, Museum of Architecture & Design, Chicago, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Museum of Glasss, Tacoma, USA, Röhsska Museet, Gothenburg and Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum, Trondheim. Her most recent exhibitions were in 2017 and 2019, with Galleri Glas in Stockholm.
(1) Ann Wåhlström from an interview with Tom Hedqvist in 2019.
About the artist:
Interview with Tom Hedqvist 2019
Text by Hedvig Hedqvist for the catalouge Stones and Vessels, Galleri Glas, Stockholm, 2017