new-york

Josiah McElheny

Andrea Rosen Gallery

Think of contemporary glassmakers and the first name to come to mind might be Dale Chihuly and his Murano-like anemones (so to speak). Josiah McElheny, hardly a popular purveyor of pseudo-Venetian glass, is firmly on the far side of the old Craft versus Art divide. He could produce such gimcracks with one arm tied behind his back—on the condition that the historicizing programs he favors call for such glass forms in the first place.

Spurred by the recondite history of glass (not to say art history or political theory), McElheny, on the occasion of this exhibition, has invented (or reinvented) a rivalry between two prophetic German modernists: Mies van der Rohe and Bruno Taut, the latter perhaps best known for his Glass Pavilion at the Cologne Werkbund Exhibition of 1914. Temperamentally differentiated from the stylish Mies by Soviet sympathies that put him at odds with the Nazis once they

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