John Luebtow Artist Bio

Started working in glass in 1967 at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA.
www.luebtow.com

Birthed into a ghetto and a family environment of alcoholism…gifted with the ability to render…pencils and paper were my only available media for expression. I drew objects I saw and things I felt … always looking for avenues to portray life’s dichotomies, the internal and external obstacles before me. Athletic ability opened the doors of higher education with scholarship. There my interests were allowed to explore 3-D materials. I found home. After marrying, having a son, and completing a M.A. Degree in Art (clay and glass) from UCLA in 1969, I accepted a position in Delft, Netherlands being employed by “de Porcelyne Fles” to build architectural murals and sculpture in clay.  After 6 months I was made Director of the Architectural Ceramics Department. Some of my projects involved collaborating on commissions with Leerdam Glass in Amsterdam. Here my interest in glass was finalized. Marital incongruities arose and in 1971 I returned to Los Angeles, divorced, got custody of my son, a teaching position, a studio space, a MFA in glass from UCLA and began focusing my art using glass, visually expressing the bifurcations that confronted me. One venue of form is aesthetically pleasing, linear, surface embellished, technically perfect, work that denies my past and the overt realities of life’s struggles that surrounded me. The other re-addressed the always apparent questions …“Why are we here?…Where are we going?…What have we done to get where we are?”…  The resultant pieces were of glass, steel and braided cable, some of glass alone and some in the form of glass American flags. These were realized in 1500 Fahrenheit kiln formed with cable wrapped tormented  images, echoing the cry of Langston Hughes…”What becomes of a dream deferred”…

This duality continues in my work today and is now more politically relevant than ever.

“Ventus Vitae” (Winds of Life)
John Luebtow
2008
Glass, Water, Granite, Light, Sound
55’ x 15’ x 12’

“Ventus Vitae” (Winds of Life)
John Luebtow
2008
Glass, Water, Granite, Light, Sound
55’ x 15’ x 12’

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