Works in Glass

4 For Art is pleased to present a selection of Tom Patti’s artwork. The featured artworks are part of a succession of works developed over a 30 year period that are all part of a search for aesthetic perfection – a process of creative evolution influenced by the other.

The artist brings the viewers into the work of art both spatially and emotionally. His works are not confined by boundaries of edge and surface. The Plateau Tables, the compacted spatial OPUS Series and a major classic work from his ECHO Series maintain the same formal relationship of expanding space, surface and shape. Patti captures in his works the formal elements of line as plane and circle as ellipse, expanding our sense of peripheral vision and infinite space.




Patti’s decades long career is synonymous with artistic innovation. During the 1960’s he worked with an avant-garde group of multi-disciplined artists (E.A.T), including Robert Rauschenberg, in collaboration with engineers to explore the relationship of art to science and technology - an exploration that was to become a predominant theme in all of Patti’s later work. Throughout the 1970’s Patti pioneered the use of architectural and industrial glass within the studio glass movement to develop an innovative process that remains unique to his sculpture. Today his works are synonymous with an esthetic subtlety and mystical perfection that transcends the sculptural glass medium.

In SOLARIZED ECHO WITH LINE, “the compressed glass planes and muted-green tones extends the range of abstract, color-field painting by going beyond the boundaries of the framed canvas.” In OPUS, the unnumbered, undated works exist as an evolutionary process– a search for perfection – an essence and a purist ideal. Begun in 1990, the ellipses can be viewed as a circle or circles in space that are tilted on their axis, becoming elliptical lines, shapes and planes. The viewer experiences a sense of open-ended space, allowing them to locate their position/location relative to the perceived image and angle of reflection. The materials are micro-thin precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) fused and laminated between glasses. And with the PLATEAU TABLE SERIES there is a conscious effort to create a similar experience on a functional scale. The tables provide a means to explore a horizontal planar glass axis within an open frame structure - free of an architectural program and symbolically constructed of contemporary building materials – steel and glass.

Jane Adlin, former curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art noted, “Patti’s work reveals a highly mature aesthetic and demonstrates that his work is like no other.Never purely formal, it suggests a narrative dimension that invites participation of the audience. His primary aim has always been to alter the spectator’s perception of the universe.”

Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, he received his Masters Degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute in 1969. Honored in 2012 as a Pratt Icon, and chosen by Corning Inc. for a Specialty Glass Residency in 2015-16, Tom’s work has been exhibited throughout the world, and is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Louvre in Paris and numerous others.

He has collaborated with architects, engineers and scientists in the United States and abroad, including Cesar Pelli, Graham Gund, FX Fowle, Arquitectonica and Buro Happold, on projects ranging from NIGHT PASSAGE - at a New York subway station where over two and one half million people per day experience the artwork, to MIAMI RAIN, a constantly changing sculpture on the north corner and west wall of the MARQUIS building across from the Perez Museum.

"When I was a kid General Electric was in my backyard. They were experimenting with man-made lightning and I went to the building where they were doing the test. When I saw it for the first time I knew what I was looking for – that mystery event of discovery between science and creativity."