A State of Matter: Modern and Contemporary Glass Sculpture
18 February – 5 June 2022
Exhibition in our Main Galleries
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.
Hew Locke, Mummy's Little Soldier, 2013
© Hew Locke. All rights reserved, DACS 2022. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates.
Claire Falkenstein (1908-1997) Untitled c.1965
© The Falkenstein Foundation; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY
Mona Hatoum, Cells, 2014
© Mona Hatoum. All rights reserved, DACS 2020. Courtesy the artist and White Cube. Photo: Joerg Lohse / Alexander and Bonin, New York
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 is 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. When cooled from its molten state, glass takes on the qualities most readily associated with it, becoming transparent, reflective, fragile and ephemeral. Although a number of sculptors specialise in working with glass, A State of Matter: Modern and Contemporary Glass Sculpture also celebrates the skill of the master glassmakers who work in creative and collaborative partnerships with artists, and who make glass perform the most extraordinary feats.
The capacity of glass to take on different surface textures, colours and change its shape and physical state with such abandon means that it is exceptionally difficult to categorise. Unlike stone or wood, there is no essential ‘truth’ to glass as a material, and many long-held assumptions about glass can turn out to be deceptions. Bringing together works by 16 artists, the exhibition celebrates this infinitely variable material, used in imaginative and often subversive ways by a diverse range of artists.
In memoriam: Erwin Eisch (1927-2022)
We were deeply saddened to learn of the recent death of Erwin Eisch, whose work Tele Komm Komm 027-418 is on display in this exhibition. From the Bavarian town of Frauenau, Erwin Eisch was a pioneering glass artist and leading inspiration behind the establishment and growth of the international Studio Glass movement.
Learn more about the artists and sculptures in the exhibition with our online guide.
Families visiting A State of Matter can borrow one of our new free Explorer Bags, filled with tools to look, think and draw as you explore the galleries. The bags contain activities to guide you through the exhibition, looking, thinking, talking and drawing as you go.
The bags are suitable for families with children aged 2-12 years, to be used with adult supervision. Please return your bag to the welcome desk before you leave.
Visit our alcove area to make a light collage inspired by the exhibition. We’ve selected a range of materials and objects for you to draw, build and play with on our new light box, which reflect the qualities of light seen in the sculptures in our galleries. Follow the instructions on the wall and make a glowing collage, then share a photo of your creation with us on social media.
Henry Moore Institute
T: 0113 246 7467
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