Mathew Cummings


In my work, I am attempting to capture the essence of human movement (gesture) through minimal, abstract forms. While always interested in the human figure, I was inspired by a summer trip to Italy where I studied and sketched sculptures of the High Renaissance and Baroque period. I was particularly moved by the sculptures of Giambologna and Bernini. I was drawn to the tension created by their sculptural groups and the curves of the human figure.

While my first explorations of the human figure were realistic, I have chosen a more abstract and minimal approach in order to focus the viewers attention on the human gestures presented. Besides concentrating on the form of a single figure, I am challenged by relating figures to one another. When I am in the glass studio, I am trying to create very specific forms, while expecting a more ambiguous reaction from the viewer. I welcome different interpretations of these sculptures by the viewers. I have begun more and more to view my work as being removed from the human figure and directed towards representations of pure form, movement, and gesture.

The lack of surface decoration establishes continuity and encourages the viewers’ eye to examine the entire piece. Through trial and error, I have discovered that translucent colors enable me to experiment with variations in color saturation throughout the sculptures. This aspect of my work demonstrates my interest in Czechoslovakian cast glass. Czech glass artists, such as Vizner and Libensky/Brycktova, utilize varying thickness of colored glass to produce wonderfully subtle variations in color in their cast sculptures. Being influenced by these artists, I was drawn to the challenge of producing a similar effect in blown glass. Light, in combination with the matte texture, creates a soft surface that emphasizes the internal glow. Once lured in by the remaining figural references in my work, I hope to expose the viewer to the emotionally expressive qualities of subtle color and form. With a closer look, the pieces come to life through their interaction with light.