Special Contributions

(日本語) 翻訳:

Beautiful Glass Art or Not Beautiful Glass Art
— Looking back on past award-winners —

Until when was calling a work of glass art ‘beautiful’ synonymous with a definitive evaluation of it as a work of art? In other words, there was a time where there was no confusion when the description of a work as ‘beautiful’ had the same meaning as ‘artistic.’

Or when was the time when people assumed that glass art was beautiful? When did we start to think that glass art is not necessarily beautiful, or that it doesn’t have to be?

It was only after the turn of the 20th century that beauty was not a requirement for glass art. At the earliest, it seems that there may have already been signs of doubt on the importance of beauty in glass art expressed in the Art Nouveau work of Gallé at the end of the 19th century.

What esthetic sense supports the definition of “beautiful” for glass art? What kind of glass art can be “beautiful”? What is the concept of beauty in art? Does the beauty of glass here mean something for a subjective esthetic sense or an objective sense of beauty? Or is it both and neither? There should be beautiful glass art, and it is only natural that some glass art is not beautiful.

What is the difference between the attraction of beautiful glass art and that of not beautiful glass art? It is hard to tell, at least in this day and age. In any case, I believe that beauty should be at the forefront of beautiful glass, and disregarded for not beautiful glass. Many glass artists recognize this too, and it is not something to worry about. That being said, as one of the jurors, my mind was unclear about this while I was assessing the works. Even afterwards, I still feel the effects.

What was the state of the world of glass art in the post-war era?

t is well known that so-called contemporary glass art has developed under the influence of the studio glass movement, changing its concepts little by little. At the same time, the concept and evaluation of “beauty” has also been changed. At the core of evaluation is the search for a clear message through creative individual expression. This is actually a common evaluation model. Sometimes esthetic ideas such as “beauty” and “poetry” are included, but that is much more difficult to assess.