Gene Koss: Silo

Exhibition Dates: August 4 – September 8, 2007
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 4 from 6–8 pm, in conjunction with White Linen Night
Gallery Location: 432 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999;

The Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent glass sculpture by internationally known glass sculptor Gene Koss. Included in the exhibition will be Koss’ monumental work “Silo,” an 11 x 14 ft. cast glass and aluminum rotating sculpture that will be installed in the main gallery. The exhibition opens August 4th and continues through September 8th, 2007 at the Arthur Roger Gallery, 432 Julia Street. The gallery will host an opening reception to meet the artist on Saturday, August 4th, from 6 to 8 pm, in conjunction with “White Linen Night.”

Gene Koss, Silo Block Series. 2007, glass. 8 x 8 x 1 1/2 inches.

Gene Koss, Silo Block Series. 2007, glass. 8 x 8 x 1 1/2 inches.

Gene Koss’ Silo sculpture was in fabrication for five years and even endured the ravages of wind and water from Hurricane Katrina, which flooded the artist’s studio in Belle Chasse. The rotation of Silo allows glimpses into its mysterious center space. The cast glass wall of the sculpture serves as a metaphor for the land, with the textures on the glass representing the plowing and tilling of the land.

In creating Silo, Koss was inspired by his memories of working many hours as a young man inside his family farm’s silo in the cold Wisconsin winters. His task was to use a pickax to loosen frozen silage from the silo walls. The solitude of the space was magical for Koss as he was surrounded by frozen crystals sparkling in the deep, cavernous cylinder.

Accompanying Silo in the main gallery will be Koss’ Levee Break, Plaquemines Parish, a timber, steel and cast glass sculpture. The work is the artist’s response to the massive destruction caused by the levee breaks in lower Plaquemines and the Katrina-related topping of the levee, which severely damaged his studio. Koss was working on the timber piece prior to the storm, but it was carried away in the flood waters that invaded his studio. After Koss recovered the sculpture he altered his original design.

Wheel, another large-scale sculpture by Koss, will be suspended in the rear gallery.

Koss left the Wisconsin farmland in 1974 after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. The artist then earned a Master of Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in Philadelphia. Developing a new glass facility and program for Tulane University brought him to New Orleans in 1976. Since that time he has been greatly involved in the development of the city’s glass artistry as head of the glass department at Tulane University.

Koss’ work has been exhibited at the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans, the Masur Museum of Art in Monroe, Louisiana, and the Sculpture Center in New York City. His work is in many prominent collections including the Pan American Life Collection and the Corning Museum of Art in New York.