Feature Articles

June 2013

The Bender Gallery in Asheville, NC, Features Works by Meris Barretto and William Zweifel

The Bender Gallery in Asheville, NC, will present Meditations: What Lies Beneath the Surface, a sculptural exhibition of cast glass showcasing the work of artists Meris Barretto and William Zweifel, on view from June 7 through Aug. 31, 2013. A reception will be held on June 7, from 5-8pm.

The exhibit examines the enhanced perception of reality and self that is revealed through meditation when a state of higher consciousness is reached. The works probe the interweaving of life experiences through the knots of a rope, the warp and weft of fabric, and through the interplay of words. Elements of Asian philosophy and simplicity of shape and structure define the dominant theme of Meditations.

Meris Barretto is showing two bodies of work in the exhibition: Life Living Us and Nawa-do: The Way of the Rope. Life Living Us is a series of artist books which have a distinct Asian presence - minimal and subtle – that came from a fascination with Asian “rice” papers, calligraphy, and writing. Eventually the books evolved into sculptural publications of the artist’s own poetry and ultra-short stories. Pieces such as Sakura Season have the artist’s original Waka poetry sandblasted or silk-screened onto their sheet glass “pages”. The square format is a reference to joss paper used in Buddhist temples, and the shattered glass is a reference to the randomness of life altering experiences.

The Nawa-do series is heavily influenced by the artist’s frequent visits to Japan to see her daughter. “I was intrigued by the artful way various objects in the Japanese culture are tied together with rope. Beautiful knotting (Shibari, “rope philosophy”) is used in the Shinto temples, in gardens, in packaging food and gifts, and even in specialized human bondage. Another inspiration was the architecture of Tadao Ando whose work has the Japanese sensitivity to light and space in combination with muscular, geometric forms. Ultimately, I started binding these two ideas together in a new way of the rope,” says Barretto. The Fates are three simple alabaster cast glass slabs suspended from the wall, each intricately bound in dense rope.

A graduate of The Rhode Island School of design, Barretto lives in Providence, RI. Her work can be seen in museums and galleries throughout the US.

Largely self-taught, artist William Zweifel became fascinated with the idea of weaving glass as a weaver would weave fiber. With the help of a friend, he learned the principals of how fabric is created on a loom through the manipulation of warp and weft. Through experimentation, Zweifel was able to transfer this technique to glass by utilizing the fluid movement that can be achieved in the kiln and has perfected a true glass weave which has become the keystone of his work. He often juxtaposes his draped and folded weaves with cast glass, metal or stone to create languorous sculptural pieces. In the works shown in Meditations, the artist uses woven glass to create negative reliefs encased in cast glass. Amorous is a sensual casting of ruby red glass folded back onto itself while Impressions is more angular; a crystal clear weave atop a casting of deep blue.

Zweifel’s work is a study in shape and structure. It consists of individual lines working on different planes and heading in opposite directions, yet interlacing into a single entity. He states, “We are who we are as a result of the interweaving of many life experiences. The influence of outside pressures and our core beliefs determine our character”.

Zweifel is a native of Chicago. After selling his successful company fourteen years ago, he works out of his studio in rural Wisconsin full-time.

For further information check our NC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 828/505-8341 or visit (www.thebendergallery.com).

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