Alex Gabriel Bernstein
Steel Blue Circle
Cast and Cut Glass
Approx. 14 in. diam.
Alex Gabriel Bernstein presents a bold and refreshing exploration of visual form and storytelling through the art of glass. Bernstein skillfully combines metaphor with the impact and optical quality of glass. His cast, carved, and polished glass sculptures provide the viewer with intimate narrative landscapes, drawn from light, form, and color. Alex explores ideas about the passage of time and the processes of creation and transformation.
The forms of Bernstein’s pieces, as well as the techniques he uses to work the glass, mirror processes in nature such as oxidation, erosion, growth, and decay. As a result, many of his pieces evoke images of flowing water, ice crystals, mountain peaks and jagged canyons, all structures that seem solid and unyielding but are in constant flux. The work reflects his sense of exploration: an exquisitely cut geometric crystal sculpture set against a brutal, rusted steel backdrop, volcanic bursts of cut-glass spewing from a steel-encrusted base, layers of transparent color intermingling with ambient light. Alex’s sculptures reflect his feelings and sensitivity to others, curiosity, and enthusiasm for bringing new dimensions to his sculpture.
Others will seek to employ Alex’s techniques, but none will achieve the depth of expressionism, his ability to depict the emotions and responses that objects, and events arouse in him. This is the underlying strength of his work in glass.
Alex holds an M.F.A. in glass sculpture from the School for American Crafts at RIT.
Alex Gabriel Bernstein grew up in a creative environment with access to many of the artists of the American studio glass movement. As the child of two established glass artists, William and Katherine Bernstein, the beautiful surroundings of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina where they lived played almost as much of a part in his inspired upbringing as did the breadth of teachers around him.
Alex studied psychology at the University of North Carolina in Asheville and worked at a children’s psychiatric hospital before making the decision to pursue his artistic endeavors full time. He received a Master of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts and went on to teach at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Penland School of Crafts, and The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass.
Most recently Alex was the Department Head of Glass at the Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, but he made the decision to return to his hometown, Asheville, NC, in 2007 to set up a studio and focus on creating his own work full-time.