AND THE AIR RUSHING PAST
Richard Meitner’s artistic practice has always traversed the thresholds between art and applied arts, sculpture and installation, science and poetry, usually defying any classification. His works made in glass are characterised witty and colorful, clever and ironic, representing eccentric-fantastic objects in relation with elements from the natural world, such as animal and plants. He is considered one of the Masters of the Glass Movement in Europe, where he has been living for more than 40 years.
Inspired by his decades of experience working with blown glass, for this show Meitner has created a series of works that are immediately recognisable as related to the typical forms and movements of hot glass, but extend the shape and surface texture possibilities of this medium very greatly through the use of fibreglass. In these works, he also makes extensive use of terrazzo technique, a typical architectural-design element that is an integral part of the history of the city of Venice.
And the Air Rushing Past is an exhibition Meitner initiated as an emotional sensory endeavour sensation, because for this artist, art is not about thinking, instead it is both made through - and for feeling and enchantment.
As the artist explains: “If I want for example to deeply experience a work of art or a piece of music, I try to avoid reading what others may think about it, or what the artist or composer says it means, or what the artist’s younger years were like. Doing any of those things may perhaps make me feel more comfortable, sometimes even sympathetic, but will also unavoidably direct and limit what I hear and understand when I see the work or hear the music. Instead, I have discovered for myself that I can have a far more personal and richer experience when I simply stand in front of the work or listen to the music without preconceptions. And while I am doing that, I just try to pay very close attention to my own personal memories and the feelings evoked in me by the work, at times even by the air rushing past me…”.
Richard Meitner has been collaborating with Caterina Tognon since the 1990’s, working together for exhibitions within the gallery or in public spaces.
His works have been shown all over the world and are included in the permanent collections of more than 60 museums in 16 different countries, such as: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York, U.S.A.; Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; Museo del Vetro, Murano, Italy.
RICHARD MEITNER | SHORT BIOGRAPHY
Richard Meitner is an artist with decades of experience and practice in art and education in art.
Richard Meitner has lectured and conducted workshops in the U.S.A., Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Malta, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Italy and Japan.
He has been invited artist-in-residence in many countries and has worked as a designer for the glass industry in Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Additionally, Meitner has served on the Dutch National Commission for Endowments for the Arts, and the Dutch National Advisory Board for the Arts.
Together with Mieke Groot, he was responsible from 1981 to 2000 for the glass department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. In 2006, he was appointed to the faculty for Science and Technology of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (New University of Lisbon), Portugal.
His major exhibitions include a retrospective at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs of the Louvre in Paris, and solo shows at the National Museum for the History of Science and Medicine in Leiden, Netherlands, the National Glass Museum in Sunderland, England, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Corning Museum of Glass in the U.S.A..
In 2016 Meitner earned a PhD in sculpture from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, Portugal. Meitner’s doctoral thesis makes the case that in education and public policy for art, the way we define, make policy for and teach art is in many respects incorrect and ineffective. He formulates his arguments citing science and many other sources that strongly suggest that we need urgently to discuss, rethink and come to much more accurate and useful understandings of what making and appreciating art are really about.