ResumeMichael AschenbrennerBorn: Pomona, California. 1949Education and Awards:2016 Artist in Residence. LH Projects. Joseph, Oregon. 1996 Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant. New York.1992 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant.1991 Artists in Residence. Creative Glass Center of America, Wheaton Village. 1989 Artist in Residence. New York Experimental Glass Workshop.1989 Pollock/Krasner Foundation Grant. New York.1983 Speaker. Glass Art Society Conference . Corning, New York.1978 M.F.A. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Mn.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS2016 Coachella Valley Art Center. ‘Michael Aschenbrenner 1990-2015’. 2015 Lancaster Museum of Art. DBS installation.Lancaster Museum of Art and History 2011 Santa Ana City College. ‘Ripe Produce’. Santa Ana, California.2009 Melissa Morgan Fine Art Inaugural Exhibition. Palm Desert, California.2009 Specimens. Bunny Gunner Gallery. Pomona, California.2008 Edenhurst Gallery. Michael Aschenbrenner. Palm Desert, California2007 Marta Hewett Gallery. Skin Deep. Cincinnati, Ohio.2006 Weber Fine Art. Greenwich, Ct. My Friends: Their Visions. curator: Arthur Williams.2005 Skin & Bones. Nichols Gallery. Edythe and Ely Broad Center. Pitzer College. Calif.2005 Michael Aschenbrenner: Damaged Bones. Hallie Ford Museum. Willamette Uni. Oregon.2003 Cuttress Gallery. Aschenbrenner. Pomona, California.2001 George Cuttress Gallery. New Work. Pomona, California.2000 Huntington Beach Art Center. Selected Survey. California.1997 Marta Hewett Gallery. Cincinnati, Ohio.1997 The Cuttress Gallery. The Arts Colony. Pomona, California.1995 Fredrick R. Weisman Museum. Pepperdine University.1995 Marta Hewett Gallery . Cincinnati, Ohio.1995 Whatcom Museum of Art. Bellingham. Washington.1993 Marta Hewett Gallery. Cincinnati, Ohio.1991 Franklin Parrasch Gallery. New York NY.1991 Marta Hewett Gallery . Cincinnati. Ohio.1988 Anne O' Brien Gallery. Washington, DC.1987 New York Experimental Glass Workshop. New York, NY.1981 Michael Bennett Gallery. New York , NY.1978 Coffman Gallery. University of Minnesota , Minneapolis, MN.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:2016 “Fragments”. curated by Heather Dale Walker. Santa Ana College. California.2015 Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco, California.2015 Art and Other Tactics: Contemporary Craft by Artist Veterans. Emily Zaiden Curator2015 Craft in America Center and the Craft and Folk Art Museum Los Angeles, California. 2015 Three U.S. Veterans. Long Beach City College. Long Beach, California 2015 The Nature of Sculpture at the Los Angeles Arboretum.2012 All You Can Eat. Bunny Gunner Gallery. Pomona, California.2011 Ripe Produce. Santa Ana College. Santoro Building. Santa Ana, California.2011 Chain Letter. Summer 2011. Shoshana Wayne Gallery. Santa Monica, Calif.2008 Decades of Conflict: WW 2 to Present. Fallbrook Art Center. Fallbrook, California.2006 Glass: Material Matters. LA County Museum of Art. Howard Fox & Sarah Nichols.2003 Significant Objects. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, NY.2003 M_ARS - Art and War. Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum. Graz, Austria.2000 Art of Combat: Artists and the Vietnam War: Then and Now. Indianapolis Art Center.1999 Parkland College Art Gallery. Champaign Ill. Curated by Ed Francis.1999 The Quality of Glass: Heat and Light. Museum of Art and History.1999 The McPherson Center. Santa Cruz, California.1997 View points: Political, Social, and Personal. Society of Arts and Crafts. Boston.1997 Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, NY.1996 DA Gallery. Acquisitions. Arts Colony. Pomona, California.1994 Art of Glass. Union Gallery. San Jose State University.1993 Transcending Boundaries. Elsa Mott Gallery. NY.1993 Installation. American Crafts Museum. New York, NY.1992 Invitational. Robert Kidd Gallery. Birmingham, Michigan.1992 Innovative Form and Expression. NJ Center of Visual Arts. 1992 Art in the Park. Thompkins Square Park. New York, NY.1992 Miller Gallery. Summer Exhibit. New York, NY.1991 World Glass Now 1991. Hokkaido Museum. Japan.1991 Constructions of Meaning. Illinois State University.1991 Summer Group Exhibition. Rosa Esman Gallery. New York, NY.1991 As Seen by Both Sides. Boston Uni Art Gallery. Travels United States and Vietnam.1991 Le Verre. International Exhibit of Contemporary Glass.1991 Conseil Regional de Haute-Normandie. Rouen, France.1990 Independent Curators Inc. Bess Cutler Gallery. New York, NY.1990 Bones. Brody Gallery. Washington D.C.1990 Benefit for NEST Foundation. Leo Castelli Gallery. New York, NY.1990 Bridging the Gap. Franklin Parrasch Gallery. New York, NY.1990 Invitational. Robert Kidd Gallery. Michigan.1990 A Different War. Curated by Lucy Lippard. Travels to:1990 Whatcom Museum. DeCordova Museum. Arkon Art Museum.1990 Wight Art Gallery. UCLA.1990 Artistas por la Paz. PAND International. Madrid, Spain.1989 A Different War: Vietnam in Art. Whatcom Museum. Bellington, Washington. Lucy Lippard.1988 Forum Gallery. Minneapolis, MN.1987 The Eloquent Object: The Evolution of Am. Art in Craft Media since 1945.1987 The Philbrook Museum on Art. Tulsa, Ok. Traveled thru U.S. and Japan.1987 Robert Kidd Gallery. Birmingham, Michigan.1987 National Museum of Dance. Saratoga Springs, NY.1987 Arts Signature Gallery. Tulsa, Ok.1987 Glass: Another View. University of Hawaii.1986 Reflexes and ÒReflections. Vietnam Vet Art Group.1986 Columbia Museum of Art.. Columbus, SC.1986 University of Southern Maine. Farmington, Mass.1986 Islip Art Museum. East Islip, NY.1986 Transpartent Motives. Contemporary Art Center. Cincinnati, Ohio.1986 Robert Kidd Gallery. Michigan.1985 Tracers. Joseph Papp Public Theatre. New York.1985 Traver-Sutton Gallery. Seattle, Washington.1985 New American Glass: Focus 2. Huntington Museum of Art. W.VA.1985 Robert Kidd Gallery. Michigan.1984 New York Experimental Glass Workshop. NY.1984 Buddies. New York State Vet Memorial Exhibit..1984 Silvermine Art Center. New Cannan, Ct.1984 Cash Gallery. New York, NY.1984 Glass of '83. Wabash College Gallery of Art.. In.1983 Vietnam Memorial Exhibition. Albany, NY.1983 Sculptural Glass. Tucson Museum of Art.. Az.1983 Silvermine Art Center. New Cannan, Ct.1982 The Thirteen Collection. Channel 13 Art Auction, NY. NY.1982 Contemporary American Glass. Young Gallery. San Jose, Ca. 1981 DeCordova Museum of Art. Lincoln, Mass.1981 East Carolina University. Greenville, NC.1980 Corning Museum of Glass. New York.1980 New York Experimental Glass Workshop.1979 Forecast Gallery. Minneapolis, MN.1979 Contemporary Glass. American Crafts Council. NYC.1978 Artist's Choice. Clayworks Studio Workshop. NYC.1978 University of Wisconsin. River Falls, Wisconsin.1977 Tweed Museum. Duluth, Michigan.1977 Minnesota Museum of Art.. St. Paul, MN.
PUBLICATIONS:2006 Fox, Howard and Nichols, Sarah. Glass: Material Matters. April 2006. LACMA2005 Wakefield, Don. The Heart of Art. May 2005.2004 Locke, Michelle. Veterans' Powerful Art Speaks To Horror of War. Dec. 12.2004 Alter-Muri, Simone. Art Education. Teaching about War and Political Art in the New Millennium. Jan. 20042003 Clarke, Jr. Orville O. Michael Aschenbrenner. Artscene.2001 Mortensen, Rick. Michael Aschenbrenner. Daily Bulletin. March 17.2000 Gilbert, Rick. Selected Survey: Michael Aschenbrenner. ARTWEEK, June.1999 Leepson Marc. Beyond Words. Chicago's National Vietnam Vet Arts Museum. Oct.1998 Goff, Robert. Terrible Beauty. FORBES MAGAZINE. Oct.19, 1998.1995 Leddy, Pat. Michael Aschenbrenner. at Weisman Museum/Pepperdine Uni.1995 ARTWEEK. December 1995.1993 Cotter, Holland. Glass Sculptors Whose Work Transcends Crafts. NEW YORK TIMES. June 18,1993.1993 Dodds, Jane. Glass Installations. GLASS MAGAZINE. June 1993.1993 Louie, Elaine. Glass that Flickers and Plays Tricks. NY Times. 4/15/931993 Gluck, Grace. Glassy-eyed at the American Crafts Museum. THE NEW YORK OBSERVER. June 14, 1993.1993 Out of State. THE STAR LEDGER. May 21, 1993.1993 Agenda: What's on in. ELLE DECOR. June/July 19931993 Art Scene. MIDTOWN RESIDENT. NYC. April 30, 1993.1993 Spectrum. NEUES GLAS. Feb. 1993.1992 Freundenheim, Betty. New Reflections Abound in Glass Art. THE NEW YORK TIMES. Sunday March 15, 19921992 Tarchinski, Pamala J. Artists Chisel Contemporary Life With Glass. JOURNAL NORTH. March 12, 1992.1991 Wilson, William. Vietnam Revisited. THE LOS ANGELES TIMES. Mar. 27 1991 Tarlow, Lois. As Seen By Both Sides. Indochina Arts Project, Inc.1991 Boston, Mass. catalog 1991.1991 Italiano, Laura. Shattering the Mold. ATLANTIC CITY MAGAZINE.1991 Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art. WORLD GLASS NOW 1991.1991 McGovern, Adam. COVER MAGAZINE. Art review. page 10. May 1991.1991 Spooner, Peter F. Construction of Meaning. catalog. University Gallery.1991 Illinois State Production Press, Inc. Jacksonville, Ill.1990 Lippard, Lucy. A Different War: Vietnam in Art. catalog. Whatcom Museum. Real Comet Press. Seattle.1990 Perreault , John. Michael Aschenbrenner: Glass Plus. GLASS MAGAZINE Vol 40 cover photo/page 28-33.1990 Hess, Elizabeth. Apocalypse Now and Then. THE VILLAGE VOICE. Vol. Xxxv No.15. April 10, 1990. page 951990 Lippard, Lucy. A Different War: Vietnam in Art. CONTEMPORANEA. #22 11-1990 p.951990 Shinn, Dorothy. Art Helps in Healing the Wounds of Vietnam.1990 AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. September 8, 1990.1990 Polsky, Richard. Interview. Oral History Archives. Columbia University. NY.1990 Stapen, Nancy. Visions of Vietnam. THE BOSTON HERALD. Feb. 23.1990 Chaddock, Gail Russell. Art From a War. THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR.1989 Plagens, Peter. A Painful War's Haunted Art. NEWSWEEK Sept. 11 p. 54.1989 Glowen, Ron. A Different War: Battlegrounds in the Mind. ARTWEEK1989 Lippard, Lucy. A Different War: Vietnam in Art. Catalog. 1989 September 9, 1989. vol. 20 No 29.1989 Harris, John. Broken Bones of War Heal in His Art. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD. August 31, 1989.1988 Treskow, Ivan. Glass: Another View. catalog. Tongg Publishing Co. 1988.1987 Diran-Khewhok, Carol. Glass Another View.1986 Chambers, Karen. Transparent Motives: Glass on a Large Scale. Cincinnati, Ohio.1986 Findsen, Owen. CINCINNATI ENQURER. January.1985 ARTSPEAK. 1984.1984 Levin, Kim. Choices. VILLAGE VOICE. June 12, 1984.1984 Hollister, Paul. NEUES GLAS. April 1984.1983 Frantz, Suzanne. Sculptural Glass. Tucson Museum of Art.1982 Raynor, Vivien. THE NEW YORK TIMES. Connecticut. May 25, 1982.1982 Jinishijan, Russell. FAIR PRESS. Connecticut ed. May 9, 1982.1982 Milman, E. THE SUNDAY POST. Connecticut. May 19, 1982.1982 NCECA catalog. San Jose State University. California.1982 Contemporary Glass Review. Corning Museum. NY.1981 Wallach, Amei. A War-Born Rage for Shocking. NEWSDAY. Nov 8.1981 New Work. New York Experimental Glass Workshop.1981 Annual Report. catalog photo. Corning Museum. NY.1979 Hegman, William. MINNEAPOLIS TRIBUNE. Feb. 25, 1979.1978 Hare, Sharon. CRAFTS HORIZONS. Summer edition.Media:1991 Davis, Tony D. A New Voice. WCIN radio interview. Jan. 6, 1991.1989 Walker, Karla. A Different War. WKSU: National Public Radio interview. September 17, 1990. Kent, Ohio.
Permanent Public Collections: Metropolitan Museum of Art.. New York, NY. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, California Glass Museum Frauenau, Bavaria, Germany. Museum of Arts and Design. New York, NY. Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Willamette University. Salem, Oregon Palm Springs Desert Museum. Palms Springs, California. Corning Museum of Glass. Corning, NY. Honolulu Academy of the Arts. Honolulu, Hawaii. Museum of American Glass. Millville, NJ. Vietnam Veterans Arts Museum. Chicago, Ill. Fredrick R. Weisman Museum. Pepperdine University. Malibu, California LH Projects. Joseph, Oregon.
Every human being is born with the desire to express themselves in some manner. My work simply speaks of events in my life time. The desire to express runs deeper than merely a documentation of an event. It is about the human condition. During the early development of my Art, images appeared and reappeared with enough frequency, so as to form a language of symbols. The image is of strength and fragility and from a technical point of view much of my work is quite simple. It does not attempt to flatter the viewer. There is no reliance on technique for its' own sake. The object is the remaining statement left after we are gone. It is about life itself. Artists are the mirrors of society. They are the witness of our time.
The new frontier in contemporary American fine art glass
The works of Michael Aschenbrenner have been exhibitedon the national and west coast fine art scene since the1970’s and have for the most part been a collectivestatement upon his experience as an injured veteran ofthe Vietnam war. The “damaged bone series” were andcontinue to be a stark visceral reminder of the cost ofAmerican conflict (s) throughout the world and its effectnot only upon those who participated but on a larger publicbeing made more aware of our warrior class and its manyissues that they are facing as a section of our society withthe many returning veterans from foreign wars.The work can be often interpreted as an attempt atreconstruction not only wounds sustained during an eventbut of a nation attempting to heal from its foreign policyblunders. His wrapping and “splinting” devices act astherapeutic interventions of a fractured society coming toterms with various facets of conflict and how we asindividuals and nations deal with our changing attitudes toour perception of war and that which has been called theAmerican century. But, that was then.
Since leaving New York, Aschenbrenner has been living inCalifornia with his wife Mercedes, working quietly in hisstudio has he built behind their suburban home in thefoothills outside of Los Angeles. It was this writerspleasure to share a studio visit with the artist to discuss hisnew work and see the new direction and concepts he isnow working with in the contemporary fine art glassmedium.One of the series that stood out was the body of workcalled the “sighting devices”. (figure 1 above) These totemicforms of various glass colorations were topped with aorganically rounded, then flattened form that then gaveway to various textures, each with having a hole of varioussize near the center of each one. These pieces remindedthe writer of an instrument seen illustrated in a wood cutby Albrecht Durer. ( figure 2 below) In this woodcut, the artist is seen peering through a frame that is used inforeshortening and drawing. Another art historicalreference pays homage to Vermeer’s camera obscuraagain used in drawing compositions of the northernRenaissance by having light projected through a lens togive a clearer map to draw accurately upon asurface. (figure 3 below) Here we see the artist as usingtechnology to better craft his/her vision by carefullyselecting and editing information of the world aroundhim/her in a way to make better choices regardingdecisions effecting the work in question. The writer torecalls using a similar device while engaged in landscapepainting en plein aire, when attempting to isolate color withthe use of a small piece of card with a hole in it that thepainter peers through to better study a given part of thevista that has become problematic in terms of color valueor intensity.
With the use of repetition and variation to explore the ideathat Aschenbrenner so often uses in his work he invitesthe viewer to participate with the work(s) by either lookingthrough the orifice in the piece or imagining what might becoming back to the viewer with his/her aestheticexperience. It is with this “dialogue” he creates a powerfulconnection between his art object and his public. The titleof the pieces themselves create a pun that asks us toquestion what it is we are seeing and just what it mayimply. The work questions what means we may be usingto filter the myriad of signals we now get from ourelectronic environments. It poses important notions ofwhat kind of ability we have as individuals and as agreater society to being able to see clearly our direction asactive participants in this grand experiment calleddemocracy. The conceptual level of this work leaves openended the kind of information we process when dealingwith the work but does very satisfactorily provides acontextual metaphor with his sighting devices in which weview our world around us to pose the question “what am Iseeing?” and what am I looking at and finally what it mightmean.
Next, we must look at his “tools” series (figure 4 above) and the greater implications connected with this body of work. Artists, engineers, and builders et al have used tools since the beginning of recorded history to shape the worldaround them. With this idea, the word “tool” dictates theidea of some kind of function or extension of the tool maker or of the artisan employing that implement. (figure 5 below) However here we see Aschenbrenner again creating astructural metaphor for us to engage with. His tools, in all their variation do nothing other than mesmerize with his facility of the medium glass itself. We still witness his binding and wrapping obsession but conceptually he has moved into a brand new realm of thought and ideas. His tools now refer to not only the “work” to be done but also make reference to the new ideas and concepts we as individuals and a society have yet to learn and embrace in order to “build” a sustainable future. His implements challenge us to self examine our own inventory of skills and technology we use and to whatends. The work forces us to question just how “sharp” andeffective our modus operandi is and just where we might hone to better grapple with our modern lives. In short, his work using this direct literal approach works effectively to keep us plowing in the field of opportunity. It is a body of work that lets us begin to ponder just what does work and what does not. It poses questions concerning what is effective on all levels of our society and the kind of effort it will take to make this next century one that not just an American century but a global one that has the tools it needs to sustain itself.
Boyd Nyberg M.F.A. is a teaching artist who lives and works inSouthern California with his wife, Lorna and spends his time writing,building and creating in the studio.