Bertil Vallien is ranked today as one of the world’s foremost artists with glass as material. He has worked with glass for more than 60 years, and is represented, among other places, at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in Russia and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in the United States.
In Atlas, we take part of Vallien’s world through his thoughts, words and stories – accompanied by a rich visual flow of art glass, sketches and newly taken pictures from his studio and cabin. We get a premonition of the demanding work process that results in these unique glass sculptures, which is an example of when skilled craftsmanship and artistry meet.
Vallien’s sources of inspiration derive in everything from the story of the girl Karolina, who slept for 32 years, to the black series Desert Snow. His famous crafts have been developing from the first one in ceramics to the later ones in advanced sand casting in glass. This is a technique that he has been developing for decades, which has made it possible for him to increase the sizes of his pieces. Passage, the largest glass boat in the world, was created by Bertil Vallien.
Atlas is an unusual book at 400 pages, with Peer Eriksson behind the graphic design and idea. The images come, aside from Peer, from photographers that Vallien use when the pieces are photographed for catalogues and exhibitions.
This book is the only one out of all my books where I actually have written the texts myself. An idea from Peer Eriksson that both felt exciting and a little terrifying when we started talking about the approach to the book.
– Bertil Vallien