Roberta Smith, NEW YORK TIMES...
"it is not clear if Ms. Rockriver
is the next Dale Chihuly,
an unusually festive heir to Eva Hess,
or an artistically inclined scientist.
But she is definitely something."
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ART THEORY BLOG
By the turn of the century, Rockriver's work was considered too experimental; an unsound treatment of glass. However, her processes were actually carefully researched techniques that created specific geological results. Few artists or collectors had seen the hot combination of glass and ceramics, and Rockriver worked without a glass audience. She finally found her main supporters in the minds of Contemporary Art. During her 2002 solo exhibition in New York, she was hailed by Roberta Smith in the New York Times, Art in Review, as "some kind of contender". By 2004, her combination of glass and ceramics was recognized by the ceramics community in a Ceramics Monthly cover article. It took a decade for Rockriver's work to be valued by the glass audience. In 2010, Jessamy Kelly received her PhD from the University of Sunderland. She focused on the combination of glass and ceramics. Kelly researched the glass artists of the world, and found only a handful that were pertinent to the study. Upon final evaluation, Sally Resnik Rockriver had the earliest work that combined glass and ceramics at high temperatures. In 2012, at the Ox-bow School of Art , Rockriver taught an intensive course entitled Beyond the Limits which required students to approach the medium without inhibition. Her students from SAIC made glass work that addressed their own art context. By 2013, Rockriver connected with Tim Tate and discovered that he had similar non-conventional views on glass in this New Century. He invited her to join his "Glass Secessionism" topic group. Rockriver soon identified her work as Glass Secessionist due to its rejection of established approaches and use of glass as part of a broader art dialogue. Her work has influenced a generation of young artists who embrace experimental glass processes as art.
Sally Resnik Rockriver paved the way for a generation of artists who embrace the geological nature of molten glass. Similar to many other Glass Secessionists, her unique processes are self taught. Although Rockriver uses a Conceptual framework influenced by her MFA years in NYC, the origin of her inspiration preceeded her education. In 1989, she grew her first ceramic crystals, and by 1993, she had developed the concept of a "Geochemical Landscape". When Rockriver started blowing glass in the mid 1990's, she applied her chemicals blown glass. Once cooled, these reactions became "Frozen Moments". With her 1998 body of work entitled "Research Station", she had pioneered the chemical experiment as a glass artform.
"The works Sally creates can leave us feeling as if we have actually traveled into the unknown to find glass that remains after an eruption. Perhaps we will find a carbon bubble frozen in time, or jewels encrusted along a volcanic crater. Rockrivers art allows us to live in a beautiful world that is much more exotic than our own.
We become aware that sudden forces instantly transform the landscapes of planets in faraway galaxies, just as it happened on Earth. Elsewhere, if a hot meteor hits solid silica ground, the heated surface could burst into tendrils of glass that explode from a newly created hole." Mike Lamastra