|SETTLING SERENA (1999), BY TOOTS ZYNSKY|
ACQUIRED FROM ELLIOTT BROWN GALLERY, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 1999
GLASS THREADS, FUSED, SLUMPED, AND MOLDED, 8 1/2" BY 17" BY 10 1/2", SIGNED WITH A GLASS "Z" ON THE BASE BY THE ARTIST
I first saw Toots Zynsky's work in a book about American glass artists in the summer of 1999. I was immediately fascinated by her work... bowls made of glass fibres that look like silk, but are actually solid glass. I did some research on the Internet, and was able to find one art gallery, Elliott Brown Gallery, that carried Zynsky's work. I contacted the gallery's owner, Kate Elliott, and arranged to pay a visit to her gallery when I went to Seattle in September 1999.
When I arrived at the gallery, this work was the only Zynsky in stock. I spent pretty much an entire afternoon in the gallery, looking at pictures of different Zynskys, learning how they are made, and getting a really good look at this particular work. Kate told me its story:
Earlier in 1999, Kate had hosted a show of Zynsky's works in her gallery. This work was among several sold during the show (actually, they all sold!); however, the collector who acquired this work had suddenly needed to sell it, and had asked Kate to do so on their behalf. That's when I came along.
I told Kate that I really wanted to add a Zynsky to my collection, but that I didn't want to limit my selection to the one work she had in stock... so we arranged that I would go ahead and purchase this work, but that she would hold onto it for me until more Zynskys arrived in the gallery. Kate would send me pictures of the new works, and then I could decide which one I really wanted. So, November came around, and Kate received two new Zynskys just in time for the SOFA show in Chicago, Illinois. Kate sent me pictures of the new works, but, since I really was more familiar with this work, I decided to go ahead and acquire it.
Settling Serena is one of many works in the Serena series... others in the series that I've seen are Ballare Serena ("Dance of Serena"), Bellavista Serena ("View of Serena"), I Racconti Serena ("Story of Serena"), Cantare Serena ("Song of Serena"), Poco Serena ("Little Serena"), Burning Bush Serena, Keta Serena, Lido Serena, and Scarlet Serena.
Here's a rough description of how these works are made:
Another interesting thing to note is that different colors of glass have different melting temperatures... so, some of the colors of threads are more fused than others. For example, the orange threads are almost completely merged with each other, but the blue threads are still distinct.
I really love this work... the effect of thousands of threads of glass (according to Toots, works like Settling Serena and Bisbiglio contain up to 30 kilometers of thread!) of a multitude of colors, all transmitting light in different ways, is really beautiful. Once you have seen a Zynsky, you will always recognize another one when you see it. Incredible.
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