Modern glass sculptures: window sandwiches

Modern day artists are expanding their horizons and creating new, imaginative ways to use glass in their art.

Glass may be one of the most difficult mediums to work with but the variety of things that can be done with glass is incredible. Traditionally glass has been used in stained glass and blown glass works. Now, Brooklyn based artist Dustin Yellin, has created a series of glass sculptures after being commission by the NYC ballet to create a series of figurative collages.

The sculptures are made of sheets of glass each embellished with various objects, such as magazine clippings, trash, and paint.

“Imagine if you were to make a drawing on a window,” said Yellin, explaining his process. “And then you were to take another window and glue it to that window… until you had a window sandwich. I make window sandwiches.”

The resulting sculpture is the figure of a dancer suspended in motion inside the glass frame. Each “window sandwich” weighs around 3000 pounds and contains microcosmic scenes inside each figure. ”It’s the idea that all of your memories are stuck inside your bone marrow, and if you could open that up so everyone could see it,” explained Yellin.

Another artist working with glass layering, paint and perspective to create amazing works of art is Austrian artist Thomas Medicus. He started working with glass by staining it and playing with light.  Medicus later moved to carving into glass and using it as a tool for illustration. His latest is a rotating glass sculpture containing four “hidden” anamorphic paintings. The piece is built from 160 glass strips that are hand-painted using the same paint used in stained glass art. The glass strips are stuck into a wooden base with laser cut slits, and when the base is rotated 90 degrees, a new image is revealed.

“Through a plug system made out of 216 laser cut acrylic glass strips, a translucent cubic framework is created. On each side of the piece there is one anamorphic painting that is always only visible from one point,” explained Thomas.

“Since every figure fills the exact same surface as its counterpart on the opposite side, the rear image is covered while looking at one figure. Before painting the fragments of the images separately on the strips with acrylic paint, the segmentation has been planned entirely. In order to prevent irritating reflections within the strips and to give it the look of solid glass the sculpture floats in a particular silicone oil that has the same refractive index as acrylic,” Thomas added.

To learn more about Thomas Medicus and Dustin Yellin please visit their websites.

To learn about glass blowing, another incredible form of glass art, please check out our article on Dale Chihuly.

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