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Glass draws inspiration from Malibu to craft one-of-a-kind art

Pictured is “Ocean Mystique,” an oil on birch piece created by Malibu abstract artist Andrew Glass. Photos Submitted
Malibu artist Andrew Glass is pictured.
“Kanon Dume,” a piece by Malibu artist Andrew Glass, is pictured.
Barbara Burke, Freelance Reporter
9:18 am PST February 15, 2017

Fond memories from one’s youth often inform the roadmap for a person’s life’s work.

The lovely drive along Kanan Dume Road that allows one to leave the chaos and cacophony of the city and gently make one’s way through rolling hills and canyons down to the sea at Point Dume serves as the inspiration for artist Andrew Glass, whose intriguing abstract works were recently on display at the Agora Gallery in the Chelsea art district in New York City.

The exhibit, “Emerging Visions,” focused on artists who innovate, who reach, who make the viewer reach, who educate with detail.

“When I was in college, I worked in the summer on Kanan Dume Road as a mason working on the marquee at the Morrison Estate,” Glass said. “It was so hot in the summer that I’d drive to Point Dume down Kanan Dume Road and sleep on the beach. It’s a nice drive. Now, I take my boys on that drive when they go to surf camp, and they’re always excited to see the ocean.”

Glass’ works are deconstructed and then reconstructed.

“I used to deconstruct canvases, but now I use wood,” he said. “I’m really particular. I am a flat board artist, I don’t work on an easel.” 

Many of Glass’ pieces are created by sawing apart and then rearranging painted panels. 

Glass is a material artist, and his work requires a viewer to dig deeper with him in order to understand the essence of his message. 

Inspired by grammatologist Jacques Derrida, a French philosopher known for his development of deconstructionism, Glass breaks apart the language of his paintings, reducing the works to the lowest denominator to explore their meaning. In his process, he uses several power tools, deconstructing not just his paintings, but art history itself.

“I am influenced by Richard Diebenkorn,” Glass said, referring to the American painter who is famous in part for abstract expressionism. “He took from Matisse in his works.”

Glass affably took Malibu Surfside on a tour of his home gallery, pointing out the evolution of his work.

Glass’ works are bright tile-shaped pieces of various dimensions, now often done on birch wood, and made with oil or acrylic.  

He often uses muted hues, but somehow they pop, shining right at an onlooker, inviting them to look closer and to do what many do not do when they look at artwork. To think. To carefully observe. To wonder, “What is this artist saying?” 

Glass’ works often depict that wonderful Kanan Dume drive and its gorgeous Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific to which it leads.

His work “Ocean Mystique,” an oil on birch, evokes that gentle swaying of waves when one wades in the ocean on an idyllic day. 

“Mulholland Color,” another oil on birch, is a beautiful work depicting the variant and radiant colors one sees there. 

When asked why he uses birch so often, Glass responds that it is a strong material. He does, after all, get physical with his work.

Glass has exhibited up and down the Pacific Coast, and his works are in private collections overseas.  

Glass’ works are not just an ordinary abstract. If the viewer digs really deep, they’ll find their inner meaning.  

Getting mellow enough to take the time to do so could start with a drive that Glass highly recommends. One that never gets old and that is close by: that lovely drive on Kanan Dume Road that ends at the crystal blue sea.

For more information on Andrew Glass’ artwork, visit andrewglassgallery.com.