On Saturday, November 14, 2015, the MMFA will open our newest exhibition for the fall season, Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman. Featuring seven sculptures and eight photographs, this is the largest exhibition of artist Beth Lipman’s work to date. While her sculptures allude to seventeenth-century still-life paintings, her three-dimensional interpretations of these historical canvases offer pointed commentary on contemporary art and life. (At left: Artist Beth Lipman during installation at the MMFA)
Putting together these large-scale sculptures—assemblages of hundreds of individual glass objects—is not a straightforward process, but rather is an intricate dance of placement, gluing with silicone, and timing. To create this exhibition in our galleries Lipman arrived at the Museum on November 4. Since then, she has worked many long days on several pieces at once, adding new layers, allowing the silicone to dry, and coming back to each of the sculptures to add additional elements day after day. Lipman’s works often defy gravity—glass vines, pitchers, swags, and vessels break free of the confines of their tables, bursting beyond their edges to dangle unsupported in space. Pushing the glass material to the point of breakage, while simultaneously highlighting its strength, Lipman’s precarious compositions are fraught with a sense of immediacy and tension. Watching the artist in action as she builds these complex installations demonstrates Lipman’s mastery over her process, and the results are stunningly beautiful feats of exemplary creative engineering! Accompanying the sculptures are equally impressive photographic representations of Lipman’s glass objects portrayed in two-dimensional splendor, revealing yet another aspect of the artist’s approach to her work.
Once & Again: Still Lifes by Beth Lipman is accompanied by the first full-scale, illustrated catalogue of the artist’s work, produced by the MMFA and available in the Museum Store. The exhibition is touring to two other venues, The Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee (on view from March 11, to June 12, 2016) and the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, Wisconsin, (on view September 22, 2016 to January 7, 2017).
Please stop by the MMFA between November 14, 2015 and January 31, 2016, to see the results of Beth Lipman’s hard week’s work of installation—the culmination of her many years of experience creating art the in splendid medium of glass.
Curator of Art, and the exhibition