Harvey Littleton

Studio Glass Sculpture Signed Handblown Contemporary Art


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Artist: Harvey Littleton
Title: Studio Glass Sculpture
Medium: Hand Blown Glass
Size: 2 inches wide X 9 1/16 inches tall X 3 1/8 inches deep
Signed: Signed and dated
Year: 1979
Provenance: Gallery Certificate
Condition: Small star crack and chip at bottom corner, as well as a chip on the opposite corner

Harvey Littleton changed the way glass art was thought of and created in America, putting the designer of the composition in the driver's seat of its creation. While Littleton experimented with a wide range of forms and techniques over his illustrious career, his geometric shapes are by far his most recognizable and sought after by collectors. This 1979 Studio Glass Art Sculpture was years ahead of its time, foreshadowing much of what was to come in the world of glass art. The sharp cut edges and blue and clear colors give the piece a diamond-like appearance unlike anything else being created in the glass art world at the time, proving that Littleton was an innovator of both the glass art process as well as the glass art form. Harvey Littleton's Studio Glass Sculpture is signed and dated by the artist and comes with a gallery certificate of authenticity.

About Harvey Littleton

While the elevation of handblown glass to a fine art form is a recent phenomenon, the origin of that transcendence can be directly traced to the philosophy of Harvey Littleton. As an educator and artist, Littleton aimed to connect the labor of glassblowing on the factory floor with the artistry of composition handled by the designer at a desk. Inspired by his own works in ceramics and the art of glassblowing in Europe, Littleton fought to change the American perception on what glass art looked like and how it was created. In 1962, at the Toledo Museum of Art, Littleton conducted the first glassblowing seminar aimed at the artist. He went on to integrate the art of glassblowing into the fine art curriculum at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which pioneered the innovation of glass art in America throughout much of the 1960s and 70s. Many of Littleton’s students went on to become prominent glass artists, including Bill Boysen, Dale Chihuly, and Fritz Dreisbach.

In his early glass work, Harvey Littleton focused on functional forms. As time went on, he began to deconstruct the traditional vases and bowls into something more fragmented and artistic. Eventually, those broken forms evolved to geometric shapes that held no reference to traditional vessels. These geometric shapes of color were grouped together on steel or glass plates, creating a composed work of art with multiple pieces of glass instead of relying on the piece of glass to be the entire composition. Littleton frequently used a technique that made the color appear to “float” within a clear casing. Littleton continued to innovate and experiment with new glass art techniques throughout his career, including vitreography (print making using glass plates.). Harvey Littleton passed away in 2013.

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