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Arts of North America

Art created in North America includes objects made by native cultures of the present-day United States and Canada; paintings and decorative arts produced during colonial times; 18th- and 19th-century masterpieces; and the work of contemporary artists and photographers.

© Toots Zynsky
American, born 1951
Acquamare Chaos
Fused and thermo-formed glass threads

11 x 21½ x 12½ inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum purchase with funds provided by the Museum Collectors
Arts of North America

Toots Zynsky’s glass vessels are frequently described as a combination of painting and sculpture because of the brushstroke-like color she employs. Influenced by her extensive travels to South Africa, the Far East, and South America, Zynsky uses vivid colors and textures that reflect the indigenous birds and textiles observed on her journeys.

Zynsky achieves her extraordinary forms through a technique that is her own. Glass threads are pulled from Murano glass rods by a special machine created for her by Dutch engineer Mathijs Teunissen van Manen. The colored threads are layered on top of one another and fused with heat. Zynsky then manipulates the fused threads in a mold or stainless steel bowl to create her stunning forms. Shapes are organic and emphasize depth and movement through the layering of both translucent and opaque colors. In Acquamare Chaos, the palette of blues, greens, and oranges reflects the sea and its life forms. However, its calming tones belie the reality of chaos in the water.