by Justyna Turek
On view at Galerie B in Baden-Baden, Germany, through June 13, 2015 is a solo exhibition of the remarkable glass assemblages of Josepha Gasch-Muche. Titled “Cube,” the gallery show features two new works in addition to several pieces made between 2010 and 2014. Using overlaid thin glass elements, Gasch-Muche invites us into a geometric world where the complex surfaces and intricate lighting veers close to chaos but is ordered and made comprehensible by the careful attention to structure. From a distance, Gasch-Muche’s art pieces look like creations of cold perfection with sharp cutting edges, but they come to life when you come closer to see the sublime tenderness and vulnerability evident in the fragile quality of crystal glass elements.
Born in 1944 in Saarland, Germany, Gasch-Muche studied with painters Boris Kleint and Günter Swiderski in the cities of Saarbrücken and Trier in the early 1980s. She currently lives and works in Hannover. Gasch-Muche started working with glass in 1998, when she discovered and realized the refractions possible in working with this material, which quickly replaced the textured pictures with wire, iron filings and graphite dust on wood, canvas and Plexiglas, she had been experimenting with before devoting herself to working primarily in glass.
“Cube” is an exhibition with two new glass pieces where Gasch-Muche developed thinner glass elements, which break more precisely using tools such as pliers. (She had been breaking the glass elements by hand.) Using this new technique, her work features more intense refractions. Her trademark is extremely thin glass of the highest purity, which is normally intended for the displays of mobile telephones and similar technical equipment. By layering these glass pieces in greater and greater numbers, she is able to multiply their effects.
Gasch-Muche’s objects are entirely unique and cannot be reproduced. Unlike other artists who use shards of glass, such as Marta Klonowska who uses broken float glass, the quality of the broken glass in Gasch-Muche’s work allows gradations of texture and sharpness that change depending on viewing distance and angle. Her two new cubes have the same external shape but each has an individual character. In her beloved geometry she finds a system, regularity and arrangement with which to embrace emotions. From the perspective of cold perfection, as a first impression of the presented piece named: 03/07/2010 at Heller Gallery in New York City, by shift to the warmth of variation up close. Gasch-Muche’s work exposes us to surprisingly delicate glass piece which aren’t only intellectual act but also full of emotions.
Her work changesthe viewer’s sense of mass; what seems to be a massive block of glass at the first sight, appears to be light variable mass almost skin-looking surface which makes the audience think that those fascinating objects are almost alive. She achieves this sensation thanks to the light, one of the most important factors in her works. Those staggered layers of glass became awakened and alive, which give a dynamic reflection depending of the amount of the light.
Objects don’t have names or titles, per se. She gives as a title the date of the finishing of the work. It’s a function of the artist’s fascination for mathematics. As Barbara Koppelstätter, her art dealer and Josepha Gasch-Muche told the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet in an email exchange, Gasch-Muche’s titles her work using numbers, becuase every number means something and has a mystical significance to her. Numbers are more accurate than words, she seems to understand, and these numbers always fit together, which clearly excites the artist.
Josepha Gasch-Muche has won several awards: The Bombay Sapphire Prize – Final Selection, in London in 2006 and the 3. Coburger Glas Preis the same year, as well as the Bayerischen Staatspreis (Bavarian State Prize) in 2008
IF YOU GO:
March 1 – June 13, 2015
Galerie B in Sinzheim near Baden-Baden, Germany
Telephone: + 49 7221 – 8 55 85
Fax + 49 7221 – 8 55 85