Indeterminate Objects Banner Image - Work by Andrew Bearnot: Blue glass cylinders arranged in a circle on a white plinth

Indeterminate Objects

Indeterminate Objects foregrounds the work of five artist-educators who have had significant influence in their roles as lecturers and visiting artists moving through the UW Glass Lab in the past decade: Andrew Bearnot, Stine Bidstrup, Kim Harty, Dylan Palmer, and Brett Swenson. These artists heavily informed the UW Glass Lab alumni and student work featured in this past Fall’s Glass Madison exhibitions. This exhibition further sits in dialog with the Chazen Museum’s current Look What Harvey Did exhibition—a survey of the Chazen’s personal collection of classic American Studio Glass. Unlike the era of American Studio Glass (which came to a close in the early 2000s) these artists’ work resists categorization in form, discipline, and dialog. They do not fit neatly into a growing field of material-specific exploration, but rather expand material practice into conceptually-driven and divergent trajectories.

Indeterminate Objects amplifies the sensibilities that arise from training in glassmaking processes. Vision and perception are key throughlines that precipitate from material study. Most of these works originate with a referent in the everyday—even the domestic—sphere. Yet the familiar moves through a process of keen observation spliced with fantastical imagination that calls forth the viewer’s attention in a heightened manner. These works suggest the membrane between the mundane and the magical lies in the vitreous humor of deep attention. To engage in this materially-grounded form of attention is to open up the possibility of permeability—gliding between the mundane and the magical in constant oscillation. In this way, Indeterminate Objects distort our notions of objective reality, where the power of shaping glass today is as much about the power of shapeshifting itself.

About the Artists

Andrew Bearnot is an artist and self described “materialist”: Informed by a background in glassblowing and materials science, he thinks with and through the substance of things. Bearnot’s work explores moments of queer phenomenology in the everyday. His sculptures, prints, drawings, and videos are invitations to calibrate oneself and to be calibrated by the world. Andrew received an MFA from the University of Chicago and dual undergraduate degrees from Brown University (BS) and the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA). Bearnot was a visiting lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Department Glass Lab in 2020-2021.

Stine Bidstrup is a Danish artist, educator and curator whose work explores optical phenomena, and interprets and brings past ideas about utopian social and architectural visions to life through glass sculpture, installation and video. Her curiosity revolves around the power of perception and power of context and point of view in constructing our understanding through vision and how the human eye and mind are always engaged in myriad determinations and negotiations. Bidstrup has taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, School of Design on Bornholm since 2009, and was a visiting lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Department Glass Lab in 2015.

Kim Harty is an artist and scholar whose work investigates the connection between craft and performance through sculpture, installation, video, and performance. She is heavily informed by her training as a glassblower and is interested in undoing traditional methods of making and investigating how materials can confound their expected function. Harty was a visiting artist in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Department Glass Lab in 2013. She is currently Section Lead and Associate Professor of Glass at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.

Dylan Palmer is an artist and educator working predominantly clay, glass, and and cast metals. Palmer’s work is broadly concerned with the subversion of symbols and methods of consumption; the vessel as cultural record; the creation of visual conduits between material and immaterial; conveying and redirecting tacit object/image content; offering visual pleasure and psychic liberation. He was a visiting lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Department Glass Lab in 2019-2020, and currently teaches in multiple disciplines at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Brett Swenson makes videos and objects that explore the felt mechanics of seeing and perceiving. He’s especially interested in the sticky relationship between surfaces and interiors, and in how these elements can physically rework each other to create new and relationally expressive forms. Brett is based in Chicago, and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. He earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the University of Chicago. He is currently a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Department Glass Lab.

Curated by Helen Lee.

The Glass Madison Faculty Exhibitions are supported by: Arts and Literature Laboratory, UW-Madison Division of the Arts Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts, UW-Madison School of Education Helen Burish Impact 2030 Fund, the Marilynn R. Baxter Fund, and the UW 175th Anniversary Grant Award.   

Exhibition Information

Arts and Literature Laboratory
111 S Livingston St #100, Madison, WI 53703

Exhibition Dates
January 9 – March 7, 2024

Opening Reception
January 18, 2024, 6:00-8:00pm


UW-Madison Art

Division of the Arts