On Sunday, April 17, Wisconsin-based artist Beth Lipman will discuss her work in a free public lecture at the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA). The lecture, titled “It’s Time,” is made possible by the Museum’s Docent Lecture Endowment.
Beth Lipman earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University in 1994. Primarily working in glass, Lipman also uses photography and video to call attention to personal and societal issues such as mortality, consumerism, materiality, and temporality. Technical tours de force, Lipman’s three-dimensional glass still-life sculptures reinterpret art history, inspired by and often directly quoting Renaissance, baroque, and early American still-life paintings.
Her elaborate constructions employ a variety of glass techniques—slumping, fusing, blowing, casting, and lampwork—to create sumptuous displays. As she has stated, “Glass represents mortality. It is strong and fragile, elusive and concrete, fleeting and eternal.”
Her glass sculpture Bride (pictured below) is part of the Museum’s permanent collection. A five-tiered, 10-foot-tall monumental still life, Bride is made of more than 500 individual glass elements. It alludes to the layers of a wedding cake, the flounces of an elaborate bridal gown, and still-life paintings throughout art history—including several found in the Museum’s collection.
“By depicting the still-life objects in clear glass, Beth Lipman abstracts her subject matter and removes the work from a direct appropriation or copy,” says Linda Dougherty, NCMA chief curator and curator of contemporary art. “Washed of all color, her installations lose their literal references and become something other—more like a dream that unfolds only in black and white.”
This lecture is made possible by the Museum’s Docent Lecture Endowment. To commemorate the opening of the Museum’s East Building in 1983, docents created the endowment to fund a series of free lectures for the public. The Docent Lecture Endowment has grown primarily from gifts made by the docents themselves. Beth Lipman is the 22nd guest speaker in this series.