Traver Gallery is pleased to present α Gem, an exhibition of new work by John Kiley. Extending his exploration of the mutable qualities of glass, the six starkly elegant monochrome Fractographs presented in this show are a study in tonality, optics, and transformation. Together, the solid black optical glass sculptures appear like a constellation; their white breaks reflecting light within black planes of glass, like stars punctuating the night sky.
Recognized internationally for his contemporary blown glass sculpture, John Kiley has recently spent less and less time in the hot shop. Since 2015, he has embraced a self-defined studio glass practice that is rooted in concept. Informed deeply by a studied manipulation and comprehension of the material, Kiley uses primary geometric forms as the architecture for his glass sculptures; breaking and stacking optical glass to create dynamic artworks that record a frozen moment in time and the physical intervention by the artist.
American, b. 1973, Seattle, USA, based in Seattle and San Francisco, USA.
Seattle native John Kiley uses primary geometric forms as the architecture for his glass sculptures. In his spherical forms, juxtaposed colors and carved optic passageways create a separation of space, allowing the viewer to peer into and through the form. Often his sculptures are balanced on edge seeming to defy gravity. His Fractograph series takes a more conceptual approach to the material. Different methods including impact and thermal shock are used to shatter a perfectly polished optic blocks. The sometimes-powerful explosion are filmed in slow motion and exhibited along with the reconstructed blocks.
Kiley began his professional career at the age of 19 at The Glass Eye Studio. Promoted to Gaffer on Dale Chihuly’s chandelier team at the age of 21, he traveled to Finland, Ireland, Mexico, and Italy as part of the Chihuly Over Venice Team. He was also a principal member of Lino Taglipietra’s team for sixteen years.