Today I want to tell you about a very special artist named Gloria Glarfinkel! She is from New York and makes vibrant, colorful abstract work that has been included in museum exhibitions and contemporary art gallery shows throughout the United States, and even other countries! Gloria is inspired by traveling world wide, and by her love of science and math. Over the last seven decades (70 years!), these experiences and interests have influenced her use of color, textures and patterns in her prints, paintings, movable sculpture and handmade books.
Take a look at this art work, it is a sculpture. What shape do you see repeated in this work? Triangles! Triangles are a very important shape in Origami. (we will learn about origami soon!)
What colors do you see? Are the colors soft and muted, or loud and vibrant?
What about patterns? How many can you count?
In a career spanning almost 40 years, artist Gloria Garfinkel has been inspired by her travels, her interest in science and math, and her conviction that anything is possible. That was evident in Origami Variations, an exhibition of Garfinkel’s paintings, prints and maquettes for large-scale sculptures in the Albany Museum of Art’s Haley Gallery. The exhibition was Oct 17, 2019-Feb 8, 2020.
With a curiosity described as unquenchable and constant invention, the creation of each piece of art is a new experience for the New York-based artist. “I don't think I’ve ever painted anything that wasn’t new for me,” Garfinkel says. “Having a vision, and having it come out well, and the excitement of doing it -- that's what I'm all about.”
An enthusiastic traveler, she first visited Japan in the early 1970s. Her three visits have left an indelible influence on her work. Captivated by the range of Japanese culture, she also has devoted close study to individual works, in particular 19th century Japanese printmaker Hiroshige.
"In 1980, I became, after a trip to Japan, very enchanted with the iconography of that country," Garfinkel said. "The kimono, in particular, was the principal area of my interest. It was in that year I started to do large color etchings and used the kimono fabric motifs as the inspiration in the imagery.”
Garfinkel has made prints since 1980, first as a student of celebrated printmaker Mohammed Khalil at the New School in Manhattan, and soon thereafter as his collaborator. She uses whatever medium suits her particular needs, and is willing to combine them, cut and collage them, and add details by hand.
Garfinkel has exhibited internationally for more than 30 years, with solo exhibitions at Paul Sharpe Contemporary Art, Associated American Artists, and Bodely Gallery, all in New York; Yellow Bird Gallery, Newburgh, N.Y.; The International Museum of Art & Science, McAllen, Texas; Ulrich Museum, Wichita, Kansas; Artestudio Sumithra, Ravenna, Italy, and Emerson Gallery Museum, Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y. Her work is the permanent collections of the Albright Knox Museum of Art, Buffalo, N.Y.; Citicorp, New York; IBM, New York, and the Exxon Corporation, Stamford, Conn.
- Architecture and Civil Engineering: Origami is used in the manufacturing of miniature models of bridges and stadiums.
- Medicine: Paper folding techniques are used to embody the cell membrane and protein, and are used in modeling DNA samples.
- Mechanical Engineering: Origami techniques were used in the pipes of the Japanese high speed trains. In-pipe supports were used to absorb the excess pressure, thus reducing the risk of accidents.
- Mathematics: Some teachers currently use origami as an educational tool that helps clarify geometry, explain fractions and solve problems.
- Space technology: There are plans to launch an aircraft made using origami techniques into space. Tests were implemented in 2008, but it has not been launched yet.