The work of Alabama-native Stephen Rolfe Powell, an internationally recognized master glass artist, was highlighted in a retrospective exhibition organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts as a part of the national celebration of the fiftieth-anniversary of the American Studio Glass movement.
Powell’s work employs a traditional Italian murrine technique, incorporating thousands of tiny beads of vibrant color that he blows and stretches into suggestive, anthropomorphic shapes. His inventive handling of blowing, swinging and torching the molten glass, combined with tongue-in-cheek titles, offer a fresh departure from conventional glass vessels.
With 80 works by Powell, all compiled from his personal reserve collection, the exhibition focused on Powell’s oversized blown glass vessels and asymmetrical sculptures. Primarily drawn from his Teasers, Whacko, and Screamer series, made between 1988 and 2011, the exhibition also included the early ceramic works and glass prototypes that convey Powell’s artistic development.
Above: Photograph of the 2012 installation of the exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
Powell’s inventive handling of blowing, swinging and torching the molten glass, combined with tongue-in-cheek titles, offer a fresh departure from conventional glass vessels.
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Joan Loeb, Corinna and Barry Wilson, Loree and Owen Aronov and Teri Aronov, Linda and Larry Puckett, Arts Alliance for Contemporary Glass, Dawn and Adam Schloss, Servisfirst Bank, and Winifred and Charles A. Stakely.