CLUSTER AMPHORAE, glass, individual forms range 14 – 15 ½ ” high x 5 1/8 “ dia.

Reimagining Amphora: Vessels of Knowledge
September 29 – October 28, 2023
Opening : Thursday, September 28, 6-8pm
303 10th Ave. (bt 27th St. and 28th St.)

Heller Gallery is pleased to present Reimagining Amphora: Vessels of Knowledge, the first US exhibition of new work by Israeli Swedish designers and artists Noam Dover and Michal Cederbaum.  

Dover & Cederbaum question the traditional boundaries between design, crafts and production, address the cultural origins of materials and techniques, and create objects that tell the story of their making. They consider their work as part of a chronology of craft knowledge, looking to create a synergy between traditional craft and contemporary possibilities of digital fabrication, open sourcing, and collaboration.

This methodology and the cultural heritage of their immediate surroundings – their studio in Ein Ayala is near one of the largest Roman Empire glass studios found in Israel – prompted them to spotlight one of the oldest known human-made storage and shipping containers: the amphora. From the Dressel Table, an amphora classification project started by the 19thcentury German archeologist Heinrich Dressel, to the open-source Amphora Project, Dover & Cederbaum’s work examines the amphora’s symbolic meaning as a cultural signifier on early migration paths and trade routes as well as its real impact on the development of craft and trade as propellors of our civilization’s history. 

In the exhibition they weave a narrative that begins with the amphora and culminates in a celebration of the synergy between traditional glass making and digital fabrication. Reimagining Amphora: Vessels of Knowledge features three separate series of their amphora explorations:

Soft Interpretations take the malleability of fabric as the basis for mapping the amphora shape. The light tint of these blown glass pieces is reminiscent of their clay originals.   

In Cluster Amphorae Cederbaum & Dover go a step further and, by composing the outline of amphora clusters,  create a new, imaginary amphorae family with the actual object simply tracing the whole of the group.  Using digital drawings, which are part of the open-source Amphora Project,  these works are the unlikely combination of ancient artifact forms with 21st century 3D printing and traditional glassblowing.

Five embroidered drawings of historical amphora shapes by Michal Cederbaum accompany the two series of collaborative objects. 

This exhibition is being partly underwritten by AIDA, the Association of Israel’s Decorative Arts.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Heller Gallery, founded in 1973 in New York. We provide a curated platform for studio artists whose practice incorporates glass and whose work with the material broadens the horizons of contemporary culture.  We identify, nurture, and represent emerging artists as well as prominent international masters. Numerous artworks have entered preeminent public collections as a direct result of Heller Gallery’s exhibitions and advocacy.  Among them are New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art, The Corning Museum of Glass, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Louvre, and Hokkaido Museum, among others.