Brooklyn artist Spencer Finch, represented by James Cohan Gallery (NY, NY), recently received an unprecedented commission from The Corning Museum of Glass. His task? To create the Museum’s first site-specific commission since the opening of their Contemporary Art + Design Wing in 2015. In response, Finch conceived of a 14’ x 26’ glass artwork, The Secret Life of Glass, and enlisted Bullseye Studio to fabricate it.
Known for light and glass installations that incite reflexive encounters with perception and natural phenomena, Finch developed The Secret Life of Glass by taking digital temperature readings of the site’s existing float glass curtain wall during a winter afternoon. He discovered that the glass reacted to heat in a layered wave pattern. He then transformed this finding into a work of art, assigning a color to represent each of the eight primary temperature ranges in the glass.
Inspired by Matisse’s Sennelier palette, Finch sought colors not found in everyday life. Thankfully, all but one of those rare colors could be found in Bullseye Glass Co.’s standard catalog styles. The exception required custom saturation for a transparent violet. Otherwise, the majority of challenges posed by the project entailed the fabrication of custom glass sizes. Bullseye Studio has worked closely with Finch to design with these conditions in mind.
Once installed, the artwork will be comprised of sixteen laminated panels set into a framework just inside the existing clear glass curtain wall at the West Bridge of Corning’s North Wing, near the entrance to the Contemporary Art + Design hall. When viewed from a specified position, the vertical mullions that divide the artwork will align to the curtain-wall mullions beyond, emphasizing the connection between the artwork and the surrounding architecture.
In addition to fabricating The Secret Life of Glass, Bullseye Studio is designing and engineering the artwork’s support frame and conducting all required Safety Glazing certification testing (for safety under extreme stress from impact, thermal flux, and weathering).
Bullseye Studio will act as a consultant during the artwork’s installation, which is scheduled for sometime in 2020. To learn more, visit our Project page on The Secret Life of Glass.