“This is an art of such suggestiveness and finesse, of ceaseless transition and surprise that it constitutes one of the most intriguing exercises in the poetics of optics anywhere in contemporary art.”
James Yood, Professor of Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism, Northwestern University
Christopher Ries (b.1952) grew up on a farm near Columbus, Ohio. In 1971 Ries studied ceramics at the Ohio State University. During courses in glaze calculations he learned to make and appreciate glass. Ries received his B.F.A. in 1975 and in 1978 received his M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Today Ries is a highly acclaimed contemporary glass artist, known worldwide for his prodigious art.
Though initially he blew glass, by the late 1970’s he was sculpting glass cold by cutting, grinding and polishing it in his home studio. Ries acquired blocks of pure, clear lead crystal from Schott North America of Duryea, Pennsylvania. Today, he collaborates with Schott Glass as artist-in-residence.
Ries composes light through the medium of glass by sculpting monolithic forms from giant blocks of optic crystal. His elegant polished forms reflect internally, then transmit evocative abstract compositions, which appear as pure apparitions of light. The inspiration for these sculptures is as diverse as water, wind, fire and flowers. Some suggest the glow and light of flame, while others the shimmer and reflectivity of water. All have a profound simplicity and elegance of form. They allow the viewer great latitude in interpretation. The work is at once intellectually, emotionally and spiritually spellbinding.