Santiago de Compostela

Josiah McElheny

Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea

In Jorge Luis Borges’s “Los espejos velados” (Covered mirrors), the narrator (named Borges) tells of a former lover who had to veil all the mirrors in her room because every time she looked for her own face in the glass she would see his “usurping” image. The story resonates powerfully with Josiah McElheny’s conceptually infused blown-glass art, and not only because one of the newer works he showed during his first major museum exhibition in Europe was called Four Veiled Mirrors after a Fiction by Borges, 2001. When McElheny reflects on the objects he breathes into being, fiction intrudes, usurping an unmediated, phenomenological experience of those objects and redirecting their meanings. McElheny’s art explores the hidden space between the mirror and the veil.

Imbued with quirky personality, McElheny’s work is based on a thoroughgoing archaeological investigation of glass in its relation

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