Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes the object “Untitled (White)” by American artist Josiah McElhany. The artist is an accomplished glassblower who creates installations inspired by art or glass history, often using a specific historical or literary anecdote as a point of departure. His pieces frequently are presented with slightly or heavily fictionalized, pseudo-historical narratives, or accompanied by poems or selected quotations. The installations are thoughtful compositions on the history of art, glassblowing, the making of objects, philosophy, and story.
This installation pays tribute to Modernism and the history of 20th-century glass design. McElheny’s choice of color—a brilliant white—and purposeful lack of title refer to Modernist concepts of purity, spareness, and simplicity. The objects, displayed in a reproduction of a 1950s International Style cabinet, honor internationally recognized designers who have influenced McElheny, such as Tapio Wirkkala, Fulvio Bianconi, Gunnel Nyman, Vittorio Zecchin, Oswald Haerdtl, Josef Hoffmann, Paolo Venini, Vicke Lindstrand, Nils Landberg, Tyra Lundgren, and Gio Ponti.