Gallery review by: Tanya Boyce
As of last Friday Feb. 12, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will be featuring, for the first time in Canada, an exhibition of the master glass maker; Louis C. Tiffany.
Tiffany’s: An Explosion of Colour displays over 150 works which demonstrate the artist’s contribution to the design and technology of glass making. The exhibition includes a number of immense stained glass windows, a large variety of uniquely shaped glass vases, a selection of decorative lamps, paintings, mosaics, dragonflies and magnolias, and some of the original designs from the Tiffany studios.
Although Tiffany is a well-known multi talented American artist, it is his stained glass that has gained him the most recognition. The method behind the craft of stain glass essentially had been the same since the medieval period until Tiffany and his adversary John La Farge started experimenting with new materials. The exhibition reveals the result of Tiffany’s experiments using opalescent glass. Tiffany uses this specific type of glass to create a milky and multicolored hue once light is shone through it.
This is particularly evident in the large-scale windows simply because they are so vast in size. The windows have a sort of glow to them that, despite their religious iconography, gives off an additional holistic vibe. Some might consider it awe-inspiring but it seems the ecclesiastical themes overly glorifying religion. The smaller detailed and decorative pieces, like the dragonflies and magnolias, are charming and delightful the same way having tea and biscuits in a park on a sunny day is charming and delightful.
Artistically, it’s impressive to observe how the internal colours of the glass can have a mixture of hues while appearing to have texture and density. Despite how much the majority of society enjoys staring at shiny bright lights and pretty colours; this exhibition is the type of thing grandma, grandpa, and their posse will go to after their matinée show, deliberately taking up too much room on the escalators at the mall, and trying to use coupons at Tim Hortons.
The exhibition, which is $7.50 with the student discount, will be showing until May. 2 and will also be a part of Montreal’s seventh edition of Nuit Blanche.