|BISBIGLIO (2000), BY TOOTS ZYNSKY|
ACQUIRED FROM ELLIOTT BROWN GALLERY, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 2000
GLASS THREADS, FUSED, SLUMPED, AND MOLDED, 10 1/4" BY 18 1/2" BY 10 1/4", SIGNED WITH A GLASS "Z" ON THE BASE BY THE ARTIST
Much earlier in 2000, I learned from Kate Elliott that her gallery would be hosting yet another show of the works of Toots Zynsky, in mid-November. Since Toots was just about the only major glass artist whom I had not yet met whose work I have collected, I made plans to fly out to Seattle to meet her and to see the show of her new works... I have found over time that meeting an artist and talking with them about their work really adds a lot to the experience of collecting art. (Also, they tend to be very nice people once you get to know them!)
Anyway, a couple of weeks before the show, I asked Kate Elliott when images of the new Zynskys would appear on the Elliott Brown Gallery web site. Kate told me that putting the images on the web site might take a while, and that I actually might end up seeing them in the gallery in person before they ever made it online. Still, being the Internet guru that I am, I decided to check her site anyway.
This turned out to be a good thing, because two nights before the show, new images of Zynskys suddenly started to appear on the gallery's web site! Of the works that appeared over the course of an hour or so (16 in all), two works really appealed to me: a blue, green, and red work named Ritentare Serena, and this work. I contacted the gallery to see if either work was available, and learned that while Ritentare Serena was already sold, Bisbiglio (Italian for "whispering", pronounced "bis BEEL yo") was still available. After a rapid flurry of e-mails between Kate and myself, I decided to acquire this work.
Bisbiglio is very similar in both concept and construction to Settling Serena, my first Zynsky. However, unlike the wonderful polychrome of Settling Serena, Bisbiglio uses a very simple combination of blue, white, and clear glass threads. Settling Serena looks like woven silk; Bisbiglio looks like woven ice.
Like many of Toots' more recent works, Bisbiglio includes an interesting "cross-hatched" effect, where some of the glass threads on the outside of the work run at diagonals to the other threads. Also, some of the threads are not machine-pulled, but are hand-pulled canework that includes white glass surrounded by clear glass... these threads can appear light or dark, depending on how the light hits them.
There are several things I really like about this work... the way it catches and transmits light, depending on the angle you're looking at it, is really awesome. There are some really subtle gradations of color, where blue becomes lighter or darker, that almost look like they were blended as a painter would with paint. And, of course, the dominant but subtle use of blue really appeals to me. Bisbiglio is a very nice companion piece for Settling Serena... between the two of them, they cover the range of Toots' work quite well, I think. Amazing.
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