“I want to unleash the inherent characteristics and enable forms to take shape freely without any preconceived notions of art.”
Unlike his glass artist counterparts who learn to master and control the material, producing an object of perfect technical execution, Kadonaga believes that the perfection already exists within the material. It is simply his job to expose the intrinsic properties and allow them to take form.
In his current exhibition titled Glass at WALKER CONTEMPORARY, Kadonaga explores two distinct techniques in working with glass, but within each technique, a secondary exploration of the presence of the artist’s hand versus the absence.
First there are the poured pieces Kadonaga made in his own studio using a steel rod and molten glass, onto which he allowed the liquid form to simply drip and ooze of the end of the rod and pile up. In order to then remove the artist’s hand from the process, Kadonaga produced a computer program that controls the temperature and rate at which the molten glass is poured from a large vat in a separate room. The resulting pieces are substantial solid masses of glass that have a stringy taffy-like appearance.
Having exposed the viscose quality of glass, Kadonaga turned his attention to that hard yet slippery, almost water-like quality that glass can have. His first attempt at this work was during a residency at Pilchuck where he produced pieces that appear to be glass drip castles, using a rudimentary hand made “machine” which consisted of a steel tube turned by a bicycle crank, which produced a marble-like piece of glass from a drop of molten glass
And finally, using a more high-tech machine at a glass factory in Japan, Kadonaga was able to take this idea to the next level with more emphasis on the material being produced autonomously, devoid again of the artist’s hand.