excerpts from articles and reviews

"They Break Out of the Mold"
The Columbus Dispatch, October 13, 2002, p.G8.

The Thomas R. Riley Galleries formerly Riley Hawk Gallery have brought to Columbus seven young artists whose talents hold promise for much excitement in art glass.

Christopher Clarke, Deanne Clayton, Keith Clayton, Ralph Mossman, Janusz Pozniak, Ross Richmond and Milon Townsend whose works are presented in 'Constellate: Emerging Artists Series' are no beginners. Still, these experienced artists have not received major exposure from around the country; they are members of a generation that has benefited from the efforts and innovations of the artists in the 1970's, '80's and '90's, pioneers in the use of glass as a fine-art medium.

'Constellate' is strikingly diverse. Traditional vessels consort with abstract organic shapes and realistic human figures, while light plays through delicately colored translucencies, plumbs reflecting and refracting transparencies bounces from highly polished opacities, or dies into lusterless surfaces.

In Pozniak's hands, the vessel takes on a stylized human quality, playing translucence against opacity. His figure-like forms have an elongated elegance with a hint of motion. Their simple lines radiate serenity, bringing to mind traditional depictions of the Madonna.

"PO BOX 15153" by Geoff Wichert
Glashaus, Fall 2000, p.16.

Between the attitude of Morris and the altitude of Tagliapietra, and probably taking the measure of both, is the witty commentary of Janusz Pozniak. The preferred assistant to such demanding artists as Sonja Blomdahl and Dante Marioni, Pozniak has carved out twin niches as a designer of functional ware and a maker of satirical objects. Both combine relaxed and absolute control with emphasis on idiosyncratic forms embodied in bold colors. The functional ware presumably reveals the impact of his training in the British system of art schools (responsible for Lennon and McCartney and Arlen Bayliss), while his art brings together an impulse from the early 20th Century with one of art's most timeless themes, combining non-objective portraiture with sometimes scathing social criticism.

One example of each. A mold-blown vase presents an essentially square column. On two opposing sides are left and right silhouettes of a human figure. The remaining sides plot the angles and slopes of those familiar shapes into an intriguing geometry. "The Jesters", meanwhile, present a generic image of human folly in the form of a single vessel with two spouts. Initially recalling the virtuoso glassblower's trick of putting wine and water or oil and vinegar in separate compartments of a single vessel, on reflection they remind us that the mouths through which we speak run a direct connection to another productive organ. As a critic, I've never before been told in such an agreeable way to "Blow it out my ass".

"First Impressions" Press Release
William Traver Gallery, August 1998

Janusz Pozniak's sculpture touches upon the metaphorical archetype of the body as vessel while foregoing, as critic Geoff Wichert has noted, all but vestigial utilitarian references. (UrbanGlass Quarterly, Fall 1996) The artist asserts that the impetus for his work is rooted in his impressions of people and in the recollection of events, yet the abstract nature of his sculpture remains sufficiently enigmatic to invite personal associations into the identity of the work.

Born and educated in England, Janusz Pozniak relocated to Seattle nearly ten years ago. Over the years he has worked professionally in association with numerous renowned glass artists including Dante Marioni, Benjamin Moore, Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, Sonja Blomdahl, and Dick Marquis. Pozniak has been a visiting artist/lecturer at Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, and Alfred University, among others, and has been the recipient of numerous awards from institutions such as Pilchuck Glass School, Haystack Mountain School of Craft, and Artist Trust.

"A New Generation: Preston Singletary, Paul Cunningham and Janusz Pozniak" by Geoff Wichert
Glass: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly, No. 64, Fall 1996, p.53, ill.

The three gaffers represented in A New Generation have a lot in common. They learned their skills over a decade of experience, working for and with the world's best glassblowers. They know how to make anything, over and over again, precisely the way it's supposed to look. It gives them great freedom, but also a particular idea about what the work is. They tend to produce variations on a theme, the glass world1s idea of a 'series.' They invoke the vocabulary of vessels, but for sculptural use, not for utility. They leave no fingerprints, and acknowledge gravity only by resistance. Shapes range from controlled to severe. Glass is thin. Colors run from strong to brilliant. [...]

Janusz Pozniak shows a dozen pieces twice the size of anything else. Aggressively colored with contrasting studs, they are blatantly sexual, and though they jest at male posturing, it's still one man teasing another. Jester, a large flask covered in bright yellow-on clear harlequin, has two counter-balanced necks, each spouting a chain of black balls. This is bravura glass making, accomplishing the more difficult feat of being genuinely funny without satire. Pozniak forgoes all but vestigial utilitarian references. Yes, these shapes could have become vessels, and those could be stoppers, but the real parallel is to human bodies with symbolic heads. This is a generation too ironic to admit a metaphor but too sharp not to make one.

"Many nurturing art works of varied media showing this month in Seattle galleries" by Robin Updike
The Seattle Times, March 14, 1996, p.E5.

If you want to know what some of the new generation of younger, Seattle-area glass artists are up to, visit the William Traver Gallery, where three of them are showing new work. Paul Cunningham, Preston Singletary and Janusz Pozniak have all been affiliated with Pilchuck Glass School as students and teaching assistants, and all have put in years working in the hot shops of local glass artists. Now they've honed their own styles, and William Traver Gallery is obviously presenting them young artists who can leap the gap between aspiring assistants and production workers to top-of-the marquee artists.

All three could be categorized as glassblowers who fall into that sometimes-contentious area that looks like production but wants to be fine art. Surprisingly, there are still critics and collectors who like to debate the difference, even though such acclaimed glass artists as Dante Marioni and Sonja Blomdahl make the same forms over and over with slight modifications.

Given the individualistic looks of the work of Cunningham, Singletary and Pozniak, they shouldn't have trouble finding collectors who want to buy their work. Singletary's two toned 'genie' bottles, as he calls them, have a pleasantly retro look, like moderne glass vessels from the '40s and '50s. Cunningham is more fanciful. He makes cheerful, fiesta-colored vessels and bottles that look like big Technicolor baby rattles. Pozniak has a wicked streak. If underground cartoonist R.C. Crumb collected glass, he might like Pozniak's spike-topped, pustule-covered gourds in cartoon colors.

"Design Fellowship Recipients"
Artist Trust Journal, Fall 1994, p.7, ill.

Janusz Pozniak, Seattle, is a glass blower who captivated the Design Panel with vessels and decorative objects comprised of strong, vital forms and rich provocative colors. Pozniak has worked as an assistant to local glass blowers Dale Chihuly, Dante Marioni, and Sonja Blomdahl. Last year, he was visiting artist at Penland School in North Carolina. He created a new glass studio in Numazu, Japan in 1992. Since 1989 he has worked as a teaching assistant and facilitator of glass blowing workshops in London and at Pratt Fine Art Center, Pilchuck Glass School and Haystack School in Deer Isle, Maine. Funding for this award was provided by Washington State Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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