This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Contemporary American Studio Glass Movement.
Studio glass is the modern practice producing one-of-a-kind artworks made of glass. The movement began in the United States in 1962, when then-ceramics professor Harvey Littleton started the contemporary glass-blowing movement.
Littleton and his students, among them Marvin Lipofsky and Dale Chihuly, extended his influence into our time.
"Amorphous: 50 Years of Studio Glass in America" at the Blue Line Gallery in Roseville, gives us a look at contemporary California artists working in a variety of methods, from glass blowing to fused glass, cast glass, slumped glass and pate de verre, a method in which glass crystals are glued together and fired in a kiln.
It's a beautiful show that delights the eye with finely crafted pieces that range from spectacular blown glass vessels by Sacramento's Tim Lazer to Chico artist Paul DiPasqua's fanciful figures constructed of utilitarian glass objects found in thrift stores. In between, a whole range of inventive techniques are on display.
Lanny Kilchrist of Sacramento offers a fused-glass self-portrait consisting of two heads and a hammer. It's an edgy, expressionistic piece.
Elegant and compelling are a group of cast-glass pieces by Mark Abildgard of Woodland. They range from a blue-gray bowl pierced by crystal stakes, which makes one think of Superman's Fortress of Solitude, to "Relic," a long piece that resembles a spinal column with a rib cage.
Rick and Janet Nicholson of Auburn offer a grouping of blown-glass shorebirds with metal bases sitting in sand, from which glass is made. Susan Longini and Kathleen Elliot from the Bay Area give us a trio of elegant narrative sculptures made in the pate de verre mode. "Dangerous Opportunity" features a house with landscape implications with a delicate tornado emerging from its window.
Marirose Jelicich, who started the studio glass movement in Sacramento, is represented by three glass vessels, including a delicate and lovely single-bud vase that moves from deep blue to clear glass. Delicate also, though much larger in scale, is an opalescent female torso of slumped dichroic glass centered in a tall metal armature by Philip Teefy of Sacramento.
Robert Herhusky of Chico offers a trio of elegant, subtly colored cut-up and fused glass coffeetable tops in blue-green and mauve tones. Richard Silver of Los Angeles gives us a piece made of fused and ground glass that has Constructivist and Art Deco overtones.
Patrick Collentine and Susan Larsen of Chico present a trio of neon-and- glass works that involve elaborate optical illusions of deep space.
And Michelle Knox of San Francisco gives us "Reflection of Perception," a large-scale, hanging blown-glass piece with a mirrorlike surface that would look great in the lobby of a corporate building.
The gallery has included some small and less-expensive pieces, ranging from vessels to paperweights in the show for those who can't afford or have space for larger, more elaborate objects.
The show is curated by Tony Natsoulas, who was named by the Smithsonian as one of the top 100 craft artists in the United States. Examples of his large-scale, often whimsical figurative work can be seen at the Downtown Plaza and the Crocker Art Museum.
AMORPHOUS: 50 YEARS OF STUDIO GLASS IN AMERICA
Where: Blue Line Gallery, 405 Vernon St., Suite 100, Roseville
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, or by appointment, through Nov. 10 Cost: Free
Information: (916) 783-4117, www.rosevillearts.org