Sasha Zhitneva

As we end our last exhibition COLD+HOT 2008, I have to say something about Sasha Zhitneva's contribution: what a beautiful surprise! Although Sasha resides in the U.S., awarded credentials include MA and BFA diplomas from Moscow State University. Her contribution, entitled, "Illuminated Pages from the Book of Seconds" is a set of works inspired by the Book of Hours, a medieval illuminated manuscript containing a collection of brilliantly illustrated prayers, in reference to worship and devotion. Inspired by the beauty of these books, Sasha was drawn to present the concept in glass, to register, experience and celebrate every hour (or, fleeting second) of life, and its related questions and issues. Her process seeks to match the vibrant colors of the illustrations in the Books. As medieval artists used ground gemstones and gold, ensuring imageries that withstood the trial of centuries, her work retains a similar permanency resulting from her fine understanding of gravity and glass viscosity. She employs thin veils and transparent washes of color created from opaque sheet glass through repeated firings in a kiln and manipulations in-between, not paint. Her work, a single page, becomes ready for viewing after a kiln-firing process of a month or more. Sasha's work successfully conveys an appreciative regard for color and introspection. Bravo Sasha!

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