A State of Matter: Modern and Contemporary Glass Sculpture

18 February – 5 June 2022

To mark the United Nations International Year of Glass 2022, the Henry Moore Institute is delighted to present a major exhibition exploring glass as a material for sculpture.


A State of Matter: Modern and Contemporary Glass Sculpture explores glass through its three different states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. Work from 1965 to the present day will be on display by 16 artists including Claire Falkenstein, Mona Hatoum, Luke Jerram, Joseph Kosuth and Hew Locke.

Glass is a mysterious and wonderful thing. Less a material than a state of matter, the heat of the furnace transforms grains of silica into molten lava, which can be stretched, flattened, moulded, blown or cast. Unlike stone or wood, there is no essential ‘truth’ to glass as a material. Thus, when sculptors turn to glass, they are able to make it perform the most extraordinary feats, sometimes using its common properties, sometimes subverting them, and often while making profound underlying comments on issues of identity and human frailty. A State of Matter: Modern and Contemporary Glass Sculpture will showcase the material properties of glass as a medium and the ways in which artists have worked with or against these properties. 

The exhibition will explore the collaborations between artists and master glassmakers which are key to many examples of glass sculpture. Although a number of sculptors specialise in working with glass, more often than not artists turn to the skills and expertise of professionals in order to realise sculpture in glass. The exhibition aims to demonstrate that glass is an infinitely variable material, used in imaginative and subversive ways by a diverse range of artists. 

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

Galleries: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 5pm

Research Library: Monday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm; Sunday, 1 - 5pm
Archive of Sculptors' Papers: Tuesday to Friday, by prior appointment