Exhibit | New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

The Nature of Glass

On display through Dec 31, 2023 at the New Mexico Museum of Art

Organized from the New Mexico Museum of Art’s growing art glass collection, this exhibition explores how artists working in glass have engaged the natural world as content for their work. It also examines the nature of glass as a medium, exploring the technical and material nature of glass, the natural qualities of the medium and the process of how artists work with glass.

Nature, on the one hand, refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and to life in general. As glass can often allow us multiple views of the same thing at once, the idea of nature is examined through both of its facets in this exhibition. This includes plants, animals, and the landscape, but also the universe more broadly, and of course the human body, as we too are integral parts of the natural world. Artist in this exhibition use glass to explore and celebrate the natural world, through literal representations of plant and animal life, striking features of the meteorological or geographic phenomena, explorations of the human figure, cycles of life, and heavenly bodies.

Glass is a profoundly elemental medium. At its core, glass is the result of a volatile marriage of fire and earth in an almost alchemical process. Extreme temperatures are required to melt sand and other natural elements and turn them into liquid glass. With the addition of a variety metal oxides or metal powders to the smoldering crucible of molten glass, dazzling colors are achieved. As the glass cools, the malleable semi-liquid is transfigured into one of the most durable and resilient, yet at the same time delicate and fragile, solids on earth.

Nature also refers to the inherent features of something, especially when seen as characteristic of it. This exhibition features a broad representation of artistic approaches to glass, and the unique qualities of glass as an artistic medium. Techniques include blown glass, hotwired glass, etched glass, assemblage with glass, sand carved-glass, cast glass, kiln-formed glass, stained glass, and other techniques, with an eye to how these various methods of working glass inform the aesthetics of the art object.

Also on exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Art

New Mexico CulturePass

Your ticket to New Mexico's exceptional Museums and Historic Sites.
From Indian treasures to space exploration, world-class folk art to awesome dinosaurs—our museums and monuments celebrate the essence of New Mexico every day.
More Info »

The wallet size version of the CulturePass showing the $30 price
An animated image of a cell phone showing various topics presented in the Encounter Culture podcast

Encounter Culture

Take a look inside the museums and historic sites of New Mexico without leaving home. Join host Charlotte Jusinski, and a variety of guest curators, artists, and exhibitors in exploring the art and culture of the state in Encounter Culture, a new podcast from the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

Logo and Link to Google Podcasts Logo and Link to Apple Podcasts Logo and Link to Spotify Podcasts

Featured DCA Exhibitions

A photo featuring items representing the New Mexico Colonial Home - Circa 1815 exhibition

New Mexico Colonial Home - Circa 1815

The Spanish colonial home (la casa) gives visitors an idea of what a home from the time around 1815 would have looked
more »

A photo featuring items representing the Here, Now and Always exhibition

Here, Now and Always

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture invites you to visit its brand new permanent exhibition, Here, Now and Always,
more »

A photo featuring items representing the Early Agriculture exhibition

Early Agriculture

People have been growing food in what is now New Mexico for 4,000
more »

A photo featuring items representing the Multiple Visions: A Common Bond exhibition

Multiple Visions: A Common Bond

Multiple Visions: A Common Bond has been the destination for well over a million first-time and repeat visitors to the
more »