ARTISTS OF THE MONTH: PHILIP BALDWIN AND MONICA GUGGISBERG
Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, July 2011
Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg began their journey refining the classic traditions of their training and now embrace all aspects of experimentation. Their work is expressed in a collection of glass vessels distinguished by bold surface designs cut to reveal the colors below, and that celebrate the nature of hot, molten glass. Philip and Monica are represented by David Richard Contemporary. Artist Statement:
We have been working together as a team for 28 years. It has been a kaleidoscopic journey which has brought us through almost every aspect of glass as a medium – craft, design, art, sculpture, architecture. Hot, cold, simple, complex. Our learning curve has been one of constant exploration bound together by certain very basic overarching themes, a love of the material, a sense of art as an expression of beauty, and the driving desire to weave our work with our everyday life, to find joy in what we make, both the process and the results of those processes.
Along the way our engagement with glass has been an expanding highway covering our beginnings as a two-person "hotshop" making clean, functional designs for everyday use; collaborating with the traditional glass industry as designers, working with factories in Germany, Switzerland, the U.S. and Italy; and bringing us gradually to using glass as an expression of art, a celebration of all that we have learned over the years combining our feelings about color, form, texture, pattern, and material.
Having started with a sober and classical attitude toward form and shape, we have gradually yielded to an expanded exuberance in both shape and dimension. If seeking original expression of beauty is our driving motivation, clarity of line is the thread that weaves the work together. While a point is a cross-section of a line, the line itself runs indefinitely through space without limit. Our work is composed of short moments of these imagined lines, captured in glass, hot and cold. We love what we do, and count on the pleasure we hope our work conveys.
About Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg
New York-born Philip Baldwin and Swiss native Monica Guggisberg learned their metier in Sweden where layering color through blown overlays - originally developed by Simon Gate for the Graal technique at Orrefors - was an "old" 20th century process. As students, they assisted Wilke Adolfsson and Ann Wolff (1979-1981) before leaving Sweden to open their own studio in Switzerland in 1982. They continued their work as glass artists for 20 years in Switzerland and more recently in Paris, where they moved in 2001 and now reside.
They have collaborated on designs for Best & Lloyd, London, England; Venini, Venice, Italy; Nestlé, Vevey, Switzerland; Rosenthal Glas & Porzellan AG, Selb, Germany; Hergiswil Glas, Hergiswil, Switzerland; and Steuben Glass, Corning, New York.
They have received numerous awards including the “Grand Prix des arts Appliquées 1999,” Lausanne, Switzerland; the Federal Commission for Applied Art, Switzerland; and IKEA Foundation, Sweden.
Their work is in museums around the world. U.S. museums with their work include the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Corning Museum of Glass, New York; Denver Art Museum; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Mobile Museum of Art, Alabama; Palm Springs Art Museum; Toledo Museum of Art; and Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, Wisconsin. Abroad, their work can be found in the National Glass Center, Sunderland, UK; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan; Museum Bellerive, Zürich; Museo del Vetro di Murano; Glasmuseum Ebeltoft, Denmark; and many others.
Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to David Richard Contemporary, Santa Fe, New Mexico, for providing the materials for the Artist of the Month.