Canadian Architect

Feature

Warren Carther

RAIC Awards--Allied Arts

May 1, 2007
by Canadian Architect

Warren Carther’s career as an architectural glass artist spans 30 years, beginning with glass-blowing studies in New York and California in the 1970s. An aesthetic vision combined with an understanding and emphasis on the structural qualities of glass has enabled Carther to create sculptural works of unique form and immense scale. His interest in working sculpturally on a large scale and within the architectural environment has led him to develop innovative techniques resulting in work that defies categorization and which often blurs the boundaries between art and architecture.

As with good architecture, Carther’s work is contextually based and manifests a strong relationship to the site. He responds to the architectural environment by exploring each site’s unique physical space, its purpose and its significant cultural and historical aspects. After a period of familiarization, consultation and research, he expresses his concepts for the site in his work, producing sculpture that is both visually engaging and which resonates with those who experience it.

His ambiguous, multi-layered themes enhance the architectural environment in defining a sense of place. All of his work addresses, in some way, the idea of the interdependence between human beings and nature. The work aims to represent our innate desire to comprehend the world around us, to look beyond the rational and the visible, and to reveal some essential truth about the world and our place in it.

Significant works by Carther include: a massive carved glass wall measuring 25′ x 22′ for the Moriyama & Teshima-designed Canadian Embassy in Tokyo; Prairie Boy’s Dream, a carved glass installation for the Investors Group headquarters in Winnipeg; Chronos Trilogy, a suite of three large-scale glass sculptures for the Lincoln House office tower in Hong Kong; and Euphony, a massive 27-foot-high installation of nine sculptural glass towers located in the Anchorage International Airport in Alaska.

Carther has been featured in numerous books on international contemporary architectural glass and is often invited to speak about his work and related topics. He has spoken in Canada, the US and Australia. Carther will be presenting a lecture to the Glass Art Society in Pittsburgh next month, and will speak about the transformations in the relationship between art and architecture in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and the role that glass has played.

Jury Comments

Carther’s work goes well beyond being decorative and becomes an important part of the space. You can see that his hands-on understanding of the medium is translated into the sculptural quality of the finished work.–Philip Pratt

It is impossible to look at Warren Carther’s creations and not be moved. They fuse with the architecture and define an area with their size and form. Through innovative experiments with luminosity, Carther creates sculptural works that fully interpret an architectural space. His contextual approach to his work, in terms of both theme and formal composition, enables art to become architecture, and architecture to become art. The tremendous artistic quality of Carther’s many large-scale works is enhanced by his technical mastery. These installations speak eloquently of his focus on “paying tribute to the architecture.” By working closely with the architects during a project, Carther strengthens the dialogue and blurs the line between art and architecture. Warren Carther’s outstanding and exemplary contribution to architecture demonstrates an originality and sensitivity deserving of this award of excellence.–Anne Carrier, FIRAC


Carther's massive 25-foot-high sculpted glass wall is an integral part of the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, designed by Moriyama & Teshima Architects.

Carther's massive 25-foot-high sculpted glass wall is an integral part of the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, designed by Moriyama & Teshima Architects.



Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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