Master glassblower Jeff Zimmerman (b.1968) just opened his new show at Duke & Duke gallery in West Hollywood. The exhibition prods the boundaries between art and design as Zimmerman’s creativity blows minds. His Milk Drop light works, and illuminated Large Vine are out of this world. The sculptural works fit the gallery area perfectly and seem to emanate a frequency that would lead one to believe the pieces are actually alive.
Zimmerman is a master craftsman. He studied and worked as an apprentice under classical Venetian glass masters, Lino Tagliapietro and Pino Signoretto. He was a master glass blower at C.I.R.V.A., a premiere contemporary design and art center in Marseille, France, and was part of the 90′s performative glass blowing collective, The B Team – a student group founded by Zesty Meyers and Evan Synderman (owner and director at R 20th Century.) The group was influenced by Dada, punk music and the meditative power of blowing. Zimmerman still performs live donning sidecar headgear. and sometimes hosts his performances at his studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
The artist compares the process of blowing glass to a “frozen moment in nature.” He describes his current collection as sublime mimics of Mother Earth,
It’s natural phenomenon, rather than a natural form that inspires my work. It’s splashes of nature, cell spheres and water drops…I look at the shape and react to how it’s developing. I proceed by experiment, I start making one thing and I let it grow. The way I draw with glass is the same way that things grow in nature, the mistakes become part of it. For the Morphos series I pulled and controlled the glass when it was hot and malleable and then just used some simple line guides. The simple pieces are the most complicated.
Although there is no official title assigned to the show, Zimmerman answered “Winter,” when asked what he could have named it as he addressed his mostly white celestial palate. Certain to point out the ice tones underneath, he expresses his enjoyment in experimenting with pigment to determine his signature quality of luminescence. “The color is hidden inside,” he continues, “Winter is about death and renewal. This show is about renewal for me.”
One small step into the gallery is taking one giant leap into a boundless imagination. The mirrorized gallery “Crystal” wall sculptures (a set of 10 priced at $50,000) resemble galactic floating craters while the “Serpentine” lights seem to be squirming along the floorboards. Interior Designer and co-owner of Duke & Duke gallery Michael Smith, makes no mistakes in showing Zimmerman and partnering on an inspiring biomorphic takeover. Jeff Zimmerman’s work shapes a new dialogue of environmental awareness.
March 27 – June 15, 2012
Duke & Duke
8527 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles – West Hollywood
Note: Entrance and Parking on West Knoll Drive