Complementary Contrasts

The Glass and Steel Sculptures of Albert Paley

Tina Oldknow and Paul Greenhalgh

Museum of Glass

University of Washington Press


Complementary Contrasts: The Glass and Steel Sculptures of Albert Paley highlights the significance of glass in the work of the celebrated sculptor Albert Paley. Though best known for his large-scale metal sculptures, Paley has incorporated glass in many works for over a decade.

After beginning his career as a jewelry maker, Paley soon transitioned to furniture and freestanding sculpture. In the 1970s, Paley delved into large, site-specific works that blurred the line between sculpture and architecture. Despite disparity in size, Paley’s collective artworks display a synergy of forms and philosophy, favoring natural curves and lines that defy their rigid materials.

In 1999 Paley was invited to Pilchuck Glass School to collaborate with artist Dante Marioni. His experience utilizing fire to manipulate metal translated naturally into his glass design and allowed him to embrace the new material with ease. Since this initial introduction, Paley has collaborated with a number of glass artists and created over a hundred sculptures incorporating glass.

The first book to focus on Paley’s glass and steel sculpture, Complementary Contrasts includes approximately forty new sculptures created at the Museum of Glass in collaboration with Seattle-based glass sculptor Martin Blank. These sculptures will be supported by earlier works from Paley’s personal collection. Thirty works on paper that illuminate Paley’s process of incorporating glass in his sculpture are also illustrated. Collectively, the objects in this publication demonstrate a culmination of Paley’s talents as a sculptor.

From the publisher ↗