North Sea Waves

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Object Name: 
North Sea Waves
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 190.5 cm, W: 39 cm, D: 28.5 cm
Not on Display
Credit Line: 
23rd Rakow Commission, purchased with funds from the Juliette K. and Leonard S. Rakow Endowment Fund
Web Description: 
In recent years, the Rakow Commission has been awarded to up-and-coming artists whose work is not yet represented in the Museum’s collection. While Palová’s work is not represented in the collection, she is an experienced artist in the process of re-establishing her career. Palová, who lives and works in Bratislava, Slovakia, first studied painting and sculpture and then switched to glass, studying with well-known Czech glass sculptor Václav Cigler. She worked independently for 20 years while raising a family before teaching glass sculpture at the University of Sunderland in England. She currently devotes all of her time to creating her own sculptural work. Her approach to cast glass sculpture is perhaps characteristic of her generation, which draws from—and breaks with—the ideas developed by the famous Czechoslovak artists of the postwar era, such as Cigler, Stanislav Libenský, and Jarolslava Brychtová. Her use of the material is gestural, emotional, and grounded in the natural world. She works with light, using rough textures and transparent color in glass. "I fell in love with glass as a medium which could best express what I wanted to say in spiritual terms. Glass is not only a material, it is matter living its own life, it is space modified by light." – Zora Palová. The ephemeral, changing colors and movement of flowing water have inspired many artists working in glass. Of the four elements earth, fire, air, and water, water shares the most properties with glass. Water is liquid and solid, it can be transparent and opaque, and it can acquire a variety of colors. The idea of water and its expression in glass is attractive to Palová. However, she is not inspired—as are some artists—by calm pools, mists, or thick chunks of ice. What Palová embraces are the cold, unpredictable, roiling waters of the North Sea. Her interpretation of these waters is strong and gestural in her massive, cast glass sculpture that combines thick slabs with fragile, undulating edges. North Sea Waves is an attempt to understand the nature of the mysterious and powerful force of water, and its action on the planet.
Palova, Zora (Slovak, b. 1947), Source
Primary Description: 
Gray transparent glass; Mold-melted, ground and polished. Large vertical piece has flat rectangular back side with two jagged undulating forms in a cleft form running vertically on front surface.
CA+D Reopening 2020
Corning Museum of Glass
2020 refresh of the Contemporary Art and Design galleries after the deinstallation of the 2019 temporary exhibition, "New Glass Now".
The Rakow Commission (2009-03) illustrated, p. 3;
Critical Issues: Twenty-Third Rakow Commission: Zora Palova (2009-01) illustrated, p. 2; BIB# AI77171
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2008 (2009) illustrated, p. 6; BIB# AI94759
Corning Museum of Glass Unveils 2008 Rakow Commission by Zora Palova (2008-11-17) illustrated