By Emma Castleberry
Contemporaneo Asheville is excited to announce the addition of works by renowned Dutch glass artist Peter Bremers to the gallery’s permanent collection. Gallery owners Francisco Troconis and Gary Culbertson discovered Bremers during a solo show of his works at LewAllen Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. “We were mesmerized by how his works capture light and also his focus on what makes glass different as a sculptural medium—its transparency,” says Culbertson. “The viewer can enjoy not only what is outside but also what is within.”
The exhibition in Santa Fe, and also some of the pieces that will join the Contemporaneo collection, are from Bremers’ Positive Space series. “They are an exercise in exploring the inner matter that is confined by the outer shell and inner shell of a sculpture and the space in between,” says Bremers. “Only with glass can our eyes penetrate that space, allowing us to peep into the secret of what is in between.” For Bremers, this is a physical representation of “the growing political schism and divisiveness we encounter throughout the world, the polarization of our communities and countries on this continent, Europe and abroad. As an optimist, I believe we need to look for the middle, the connection and collaboration, the positive space.”
In 1986, Bremers was working with prisms and lenses cut from plexiglass to make light sculptures. It was at this time that he first saw someone working with hot glass. “I noticed how that gooey material was radiating light and could be shaped freely as long as it was hot enough,” he says. “It was a revelation to me.” He started exploring blown glass and later cast, fused and slumped glass. While he doesn’t own any kilns, Bremers collaborates with artists across the world to blow, cast, grind and polish his works. “This international collaboration, though challenging at times, has been very rewarding and a true joy for me,” he says. “It also enables me to be very productive and travel extensively, which has always been a great source of inspiration.”
“Having Bremers’ work at the gallery is meaningful to us not only because of the caliber of his work conceptually and the depth and diversity of his career but also because his work exemplifies the beauty of simplicity while remaining complex,” says Troconis. “As Asheville grows and becomes more international, we want our art to reflect that transformation, embracing the news and voices from all the corners of the world that otherwise wouldn’t be represented.”
Contemporaneo Asheville is located at 4 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more, visit ContemporaneoAsheville.Shop or call 828.253.0879.