Rob Wynne’s Sublime Glass Creations

The New York artist's whimsical work packs a serious visual—and conceptual—punch

Commissioned by LVMH in 2006, An Orchid In The Land Of Technology, is a permanent installation at the Christian Dior headquarters in Paris.
Photo: Jimmy Cohrssen
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Rob Wynne Photo: Jaisek Kang aka Jason River

At first glance, Rob Wynne’s glass text works have a playful aesthetic, but are, in fact, rooted in a personal history and carry a deeper meaning. As a child, Wynne struggled with dyslexia, which constantly forced Wynne to re-examine the way his mind saw letters and words. Perhaps working with letters is a way of having control over the structure of his words, and allows him to comment on the way every individual deals with language.

Early in his artistic career, while working on a large silkscreen, he wanted to include a glass sculpture. Inexperienced in working with glass, he dropped the ladle, spilling the molten glass and creating a “splat” on the floor. This occurrence inspired the forms that would make him and his art quite successful.

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Black Flash is a 2014 constellation of poured and mirrored glass pieces, some in abstract forms, and others reminiscent of butterflies. Photo: Courtesy Gavlak Gallery/Rob Wynne Studio

Wynne’s glass works take the form of both lettered phrases and large installations made up of small circles that, when pieced together, are reminiscent of a galaxy. Both are playful and visually soothing, but when examined further, the borrowed phrases carry a deeper, more philosophical subtext, and the installations bear powerful names like Vortex and Elsewhere. Although his applications and arrangements appear to be random and without order, Wynne’s process is highly methodical. The results are alluringly beautiful.

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Part of a series of glass text works from 2011, Anything is Beautiful If You Say It Is is taken from the title of a poem by Wallace Stevens. Photo: Courtesy Gavlak Gallery/Rob Wynne Studio

 

DATES
Born: 1950, New York, New York
Lives: New York, New York
RECENT EXHIBITIONS
2016, A Distant Mirror, Galerie Mitterand, Paris, France
2014, The Backstage of the Universe, Gavlak, Los Angeles, California
2013, The Lure of Unknown Regions Beyond the Rim of Experience, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
GALLERIES
Gavlak, Palm Beach, Florida
Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Galerie Mitterrand, Paris, France
RECENT PUBLICATION
Rob Wynne: Like the Flickering of a Candle by Rob Wynne and Carter Ratcliff—Locks Art Publications, 2008