Bending the Light

Stained Glass © Larry Zgoda

 

Larry Zgoda | 拉里·司格達

Larry Zgoda was born in 1950 in Chicago. His father, Alexander, was a carpenter, and his mother, Augustina, a seamstress. Early exposure to handwork marked out his life’s path. In 1975, he earned a BA in film making from Columbia College in Chicago. But having discovered stained glass the previous year, his interests turned in that direction, and he was soon working with old-school masters while also self-educating. His passion for the medium intensified in 1980, when he encountered the unique art and architecture of Chicago’s “Old Town”, along with one of its most versatile masters, Edgar Miller (1899-1993). A genuine Renaissance man, Miller became friend, mentor, and collaborator.

Larry and his artist wife Joan currently live on Chicago’s north side, their house, aside from minimal living space, devoted entirely to their studios. In addition to stained glass, his interests include architecture, furniture, lighting, and associated crafts such as mosaic, gilding, metals, and stone. Featured in numerous US arts publications and galleries, his art is permanently represented in museums, universities, institutional buildings, and private residences. After a long period during which public interest in stained-glass had declined, Larry Zgoda is among the most significant artists leading its contemporary resurgence.

 

拉里·司格達1950年生於美國芝加哥。父親亞曆山大是一位木匠,母親奧古斯蒂娜是一名裁縫師,小時候與手工藝的接觸似乎預示了他未來的藝術道路。本科在芝加哥哥倫比亞大學修學電影拍攝,1975年畢業。畢業前一年被花窗玻璃製造技藝所吸引,於是轉向這一行,一邊跟前輩們學習,一邊不停自我探索。八十年代發現了芝加哥“老城區”獨特的建築裝飾藝術之後,更為花窗玻璃藝術著迷。他在老城區結識了此地最負盛名的藝術家埃德加·米勒(1899-1993),一位真正意義上的文藝復興藝術匠人,二人後來成為師友和合作夥伴。

拉里跟他的藝術家妻子瓊住在芝加哥北部,他們的房子只劃出一小塊生活空間,其餘全部獻給工作室。除了花窗玻璃,他的興趣還涉及建築、裝飾、光照,及與之相關的鑲嵌、貼金、金屬、石頭等工藝。他的作品常見於美國藝術刊物和展覽,他的個人藝術也長久地保存并收藏在眾多美術館、學府、公共機構和個人住宅中。花窗玻璃作為一項古老的手工技藝曾一度式微,拉里·司格達是推動它在當代復興的最重要的藝術家之一。

Note

Larry Zgoda creates original art in stained glass. Anticipating a cultural renaissance of ornament in architecture, he sees this medium as one answer to that need. While his designs often echo the line, pattern, and color of their intended environments, his compositions emerge from a confluence of architectural geometry and the sinuous, organic contours of nature. His manifesto, “Genuine and permanent beauty in the built environment”, declares lasting beauty a fundamental value in human works, both past and present. Knowing how today’s fashion may well “look dated in a decade”, he chooses to create art that will endure because its roots lie in natural and organic form. Though variously abstract, his work rejects the facile pastiche and shallow solipsism of the postmodern. It seeks instead, through archetypal forms, some vestige of the timeless and sacred for a secular age. His freestanding pieces often yield the aura of a tabernacle or small sanctum.

For our own pages, we’ve framed these works tightly, but when placed in the domestic and architectural surround, their dimensions magically enlarge. As light shifts subtly through the passage of each day, they deepen and enrich those spaces where we live and work, offering repeated, unexpected moments of quiet joy and transcendence.

Beside Larry Zgoda’s window glass, our selections include his hanging panels and freestanding “architonomous” works. You may view more examples, as well as the artist’s aesthetic philosophy, at larryzgodastudio.com.

 

拉里·司格達注重花窗玻璃藝術的原創性。他喜歡建築裝飾帶有一種文藝復興精神,所以花窗玻璃成為他表達和實踐的媒介。他根據環境來設計作品的線條、圖樣和色彩,但構思常融合了建築的幾何形狀與自然界蜿蜒、有機的輪廓。他相信“真誠的永恆的美是可以建築的”,認為持久的美感是人類勞動中最根本的價值。他清楚地知道,如果被流行牽著鼻子走,創作的東西“十年後便會過時”,而自然、有機的藝術形象則更接近永恆。他的作品存在不同程度的抽象,但是拒絕後現代那種輕而易舉的混仿和膚淺的唯我主義。相反,它們試圖通過古典形式,在這個上帝已死的年代,追尋那些經久的神聖的遺跡。他獨立成件的作品常散發出一種神龕般的光芒。

部分作品在這裏以特寫的方式展示,而當它們被置於室內環境或其他建築元素當中,就會神奇地呈現出另一種維度。透過白天裏微妙變幻的陽光,這些作品加深并豐富著我們生活和工作的空間,隨時帶給我們意想不到的寧靜的喜悅和超然的感受。

除了彩色花窗,這一系列還包括拉里·司格達的掛屏和獨立式“微建築”作品。進一步了解藝術家的作品及美學理念,請訪問他的個人網站 Larry Zgoda Studio

 

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