Work in glass, 2019
Poured and silvered glass.
Edited by Mobilab Gallery.
Part of mudac’s contemporary art glass collection.
The glass works of the Specula series are part of a new exploratory practice by the Swiss artist and designer Philippe Cramer and are edited in a series of unique pieces by the Mobilab Gallery in Lausanne, Switzerland.
This production is made of poured glass, an ancestral technique that is nevertheless complex to carry out.
In this experimental context, the surprising structure of the lower surface of the glass element is caused by a thermal shock due to the metal plate on which it is poured. The molten glass is spread on a chilly steel surface to react and contract, generating a wave-like texture, thus contributing to the genesis of the work.
Once the piece has cooled, it is silvered to create a shiny effect, similar to a reflection of the sun setting on a sea of agitated water. It thus becomes a mirror distorting reality, a poetic and pictorial work that the spectator discovers and appropriates.
There are many references to this work. They evoke the dreamlike reflection of nature in Swiss lakes and refer by their title to both Max Ernst’s specular paintings and
to « Specula Principum », the mirror of the Princes, which refers to political writings during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and whose function was to instruct future princes to reflect on their responsibilities. The mirror of alchemy « Speculum alchemiae » in reference to the transformation of lead into gold (or silver) can also be mentioned, and thus makes the link with the world of magic.
The search for poetry is a constant in the work of Philippe Cramer and this new emotional and sensual work is linked to his common artistic language. The Japanese « Yuugen » describing a consciousness of the Universe that generates sensations too deep and mysterious for common words could perfectly correspond to this series. This term embodies and describes a love and respect for the present, past and future beauty of the contemplated element, as if the «life» of an object were part of its splendour with the transformations and modifications that time imposes on it.