Artist

Michael Behrens plays with the idea of movement and balance in massive solid glass objects. Embodying decades of personal sensory experiences, Behrens’ sculptures appear almost naturally grown.

Deliberately random shapes line organic inner structures, velvet and transparent surfaces alternate, thereby creating a dynamic harmony of inside and outside. “I’ve always enjoyed nature, the sea, the underwater .....

Michael Behrens plays with the idea of movement and balance in massive solid glass objects. Embodying decades of personal sensory experiences, Behrens’ sculptures appear almost naturally grown.

Deliberately random shapes line organic inner structures, velvet and transparent surfaces alternate, thereby creating a dynamic harmony of inside and outside. “I’ve always enjoyed nature, the sea, the underwater world – this made me start creating the Seaform series,” he says, “We are coming from nature and we will go to nature again. I want to stay aware of this moving cycle.”

Behrens began experimenting with melting glass in the early 2000s by adapting the ancient technique to create abstract objects. He finally founded his own casting studio because of the complexity of the working process. It took several years, using modern techniques and testing the limits of materials, until he was able to finish his objects in perfection.

 

THE SEAFORM SERIES

Behrens’s has developed his exclusive and noteable style in his career. The Seaforms series embodies decades of his personal sensory experiences above and below water. The resulting works appear almost natural in nature, grown in the wild and then ossified, frozen in time.

The diverse color range and interior movement varies as if created organically by the environment while each shape and structure provide a strong and powerful appearance. The natural and random appearance of the artist’s works is created by the exterior form and the specific details: The fine modeling of the subareas and edges, the interplay of matt and polished surfaces as well as the cell-like structures emerging from fusing of the glass sections.

Over the years Michael has perfected his glass casting process and has become one of the most recognized German sculptors in his field. His creation process begins with the sculpturing of his models out of rigid foam. This detailed and critical process is followed by the mold making and then the arrangement of the glass in the mold. The melting and cooling process takes place in custom-built furnaces. The last step involves a sequence of sandblasting, grinding and polishing techniques bringing the objects to life.

 

BEHRENS ABOUT HIS WORKS

“To me, nature is a meditative place where I can structure my thoughts and gain new energy. As a sculptor I perceive nature intensely. The sensual impressions I collect in my daily life and abroad while traveling are the key to my creativeness and form the basis of my work.

In order to provide the works with the expressiveness to reflect these impressions in all their facets, I am continuously exploring the relationship between outer shape and content. Almost in an evolutionary sense, old shapes transform and give way to a new sculptural language.

Thereby, the environmental context must be considered during the creative process, as with every sculptural object, the model and its surrounding are interrelated. But space does not only determine the impact of the work, the work rather determines the impact of the space and has the power to internalize it.”

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2024    German Museum of Glass painting – Linnich, Germany

2023    Glass Museum Frauenau – Frauenau, Germany

2022    Chihuly Collection – St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

2021    Sandra Ainsley Gallery – Toronto, Canada

2019    Achilles Foundation – Hamburg, Germany

2019    Continuum Gallery – Königswinter, Germany

2018    Sikabonyi Gallery – Vienna, Austria

2017    Habatat Galleries – Royal Oak, Michigan, USA

2017    Etienne Gallery – Oisterwijk, Netherlands

2015    Sikabonyi Gallery – Vienna, Austria

2014    Etienne Gallery – Oisterwijk, Netherlands

2012    Continuum Gallery – Königswinter, Germany

2010    De Glorie Gallery – Oosterbeek, Netherlands

2010    Van Loon & Simons – Vught, Netherlands

2008    Ernsting Foundation – Coesfeld, Germany

2008    Hélène Porée Gallery – Paris, France

HONORS

2021

Scholarship form the Ministry of Culture and Science,

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany,

Sculptural analysis of the creative power of nature –

New Series Random Shapes

2020

Scholarship form the Ministry of Culture and Science,

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany,

Socio-critical analysis of the fundamental irreparable change

of nature by human being – Evolution Series

2018

Collector´s Award, 46th Annual International Invitational Award Exhibition,

Habatat Galleries Royal Oak, Michigan, USA

2017

Imagine Museum of Glass Award,

45th Annual International Invitational Award Exhibition,

Habatat Galleries Royal Oak, Michigan, USA

2014

Charles Shepard Fort Wayne Award,

42nd Annual International Invitational Award Exhibition,

Habatat Galleries Royal Oak, Michigan, USA

2013

Jutta Cuny-Franz Memorial Award, Selected Entries,

Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany

2013

Frederic Meijer Sculpture Award,

41st Annual International Invitational Award Exhibition,

Habatat Galleries Royal Oak, Michigan, USA

2012

Collector´s Award, 40th Annual International Invitational Award Exhibition,

Habatat Galleries Royal Oak, Michigan, USA

2011

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Award,

39th Annual International Invitational Award Exhibition,

Habatat Galleries Royal Oak, Michigan, USA 

2009

State Prize for Sculpture, North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf, Germany

2009

Jutta Cuny-Franz Memorial Award, Selected Entries,

Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Imagine Museum – St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Seven Bridges Foundation – Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

Kunstpalast – Düsseldorf, Germany

Achilles Foundation – Hamburg, Germany

Ernsting Foundation – Coesfeld, Germany

MusVerre – Sars-Poteries, France

Novotný Museum – Nový Bor, Czech Republic

Glasmuseum Immenhausen – Immenhausen, Germany

Glasmuseum Lauscha – Lauscha, Germany

Museum of Modern Glass – Öhringen, Germany

PROJECTS AND TEACHING EXPERIENCE

2021

Scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and Science,

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany,

Sculptural analysis of the creative power of nature –

New Series Random Shapes

2020

Scholarship form the Ministry of Culture and Science,

North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany,

Socio-critical analysis of the fundamental irreparable change

of nature by human being – Evolution Series

2013

SAP Pinnacle Award, Selected Artist,

Walldorf, Germany – Orlando Florida, USA

Since 2011

Focus on own sculptural work,

objects of the series Seaforms, Landscapes and Phoenix

Concept creation for solo exhibitions for galleries and museums

2009

Project management sculptural kiln-casting techniques, Arte Vetro,

Damascus, Syria

2008/2009

Lectureship on sculptural figures,

Technical University of Darmstadt, faculty of architecture,

Darmstadt, Germany

2004/2007

Project management abstract sculpting, model and mould making,

PUM Netherlands Senior Experts, Den Haag, The Netherlands –

Ethiopian-Reflections, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2004

MusVerre – Ateliers, workshop glassblowing and hot glass techniques,

Nicolas Morin, Sars-Poteries, France

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

2010  Artista Forum, Schott AG, Grünenplan, Germany

2009  TGK Glass, IGS Glass Symposium, Nový Bor, Czech Republic 

2008  Artista Forum, Schott, Grünenplan, Germany

2007  Uroboros Glass Studios, Portland, Oregon, USA

2006  Artista Forum, Schott, Grünenplan, Germany






 

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