Miles Van Rensselaer has exhibited professionally for over 15 years; his first solo show was at Heller Gallery in 2005 in NYC. His works are well-conceived juxtapositions of material and concept that...
This installation represents the culmination of several years of groundbreaking technical and conceptual development in my work. All bronze is cast in a former marble warehouse along the Delaware River in Lopatcong, New Jersey that I converted to a foundry several years ago. Hot glass is done in hot-shops throughout the tri-state area (UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, Wheaton Arts in Millville, NJ and Tyler School of Art in Elkins Park, PA.) I’ve always been fascinated with the human hand and its power as a gestural communicator. I seem to have incorporated it into my work all along: from grade school plaster-casts to photographing petroglyphs and pictographs in Anasazi cliff dwellings of Southeast Utah to the installation you see here today.
Soon after committing to my first solo show at Heller Gallery in NYC in 2005 however I grew tired of my own hands - even with their infinitely changing positions. Coming from a very close family, I decided to redirect myself and launched a hand-casting project of all living members of my immediate family. Ancestral Flow is the resulting installation. The ceiling “drips” (not shown) represent my father’s deceased parents and flow, accordingly, into his rather fleshy meat-hooks. The highest pair of hand are those of my maternal grandparents (ages 92 and 95 respectively) and they, likewise, pour into their offspring, my mother. My parents pour into the overflowing set of hands, which are my own. Being that I have yet to pro-create, glass in my hands does not drip downward yet overflows into the floor puddle (perhaps referencing the work I do.) Glass in these pieces is metaphor for the ‘intangible’ that is passed from one generation to another: call it DNA, genes, innate idiosyncratic quirks, perhaps even spirituality.
As a sculptor having incorporated glass with other materials for over 10 years, I have found my work does not cleanly fit into pre-existing categories of ‘Art’ or ‘Craft.’ I can only hope my work helps to bridge the historic gap between these two worlds, while developing content and technique together, not exclusive of one another.