‘I have always had such a love for glass, which is a kind of solidified water, tangible, intangible between our fingers, a permanent form of fragility, a spiritual content!’

(Paul Claudel, Œuvres en prose, Paris, 1989, p. 337)

The Glass Museum is not just an institution which is devoted to the history of glass: its remit also includes the promotion of new techniques, specifically as they are expressed by contemporary artists working in glass.

The title ‘Medium Glass 21’ is intended to symbolise the innovative artistic scope of the work being done by the various glass artists presented at the Glass Museum’s annual show. Since the end of the Second World War, with glass coming to be recognised as an artistic medium in its own right, new artistic techniques have been constantly developing. The ‘artisan’ is reflecting, searching and experimenting in a bid to give birth to a singular process from which glass will emerge triumphant.

There are no limits on how glass, a magical material par excellence, can be fashioned. When melted, it can be gently rocked by the artist, who wishes to take possession of the material by giving shape to it. When it is cold, he impresses an idea upon it, and passes on a message. Glass is fascinating and many-splendored. Glass is at the mercy of the glassmaker’s will… but ultimately, is it really? A malicious material? One might think so. Because is it not rather the glass that imposes its law on men?

Glass, an infinite material: here is a reality which is demonstrated to the full in the present show. Sixteen artists, sixteen different reflections. I hope that you will appreciate the opportunity this autumn to learn about all the skill of these men and women who have achieved such a dazzling mastery of glass.