Unforgiving , cantankerous, and sharp, glass is a hazardous artistic partner. Its technical demands are endless, requiring patience and equanimity. Facing the challenge of combining meaning with beauty, sculptor Eileen Gruen uses glass as a metaphor for human consciousness in our media-soaked, input-filled, fragmenting modern world.
Pairing transparent lead crystal with opaque metal, Gruen uses these contrasting materials to explore external appearance and inner activity. Bronze and steel follow the rules of stability, while glass reflects, bends, twists and alters every beam of light that impinges on it, as our minds reflect, bend, twist, and process the barrage of words and images that confront us every day.
Gruen’s sculptural work is a reminder of forces in society pressuring us to be passive mannequins for the display and consumption of material goods. It also refers to the fragmented nature of our attention.
Eileen Gruen says “we are more than mannequins and fragments. We are capable of considering these forces and making personal decisions about them, incrementally sculpting humanity’s future.”