The beauty of Christian Thornton’s glass works evoke the reinvigorated interest in glass art sparked by the monumental pieces by Chihuli, but go one step beyond by incorporating deep emotional, social and environmental concerns. Although for Thornton this supple medium generates a dialogue only allowed by the translucency and elegance that glass affords, it is true for his works that the “art” comes first and the material second.
Christian has worked with glass for over 30 years. His career began in Washington State studying at a graphic art centre and continued in New York City where during the 1990’s he worked with Joséph Porcelli, Victor Rothman, Urban Glass and other influential glass artists. During this period, he designed and executed projects for Jed Johnson, Daryl Hannah and Richard Gere with glass master Patrick Clark. Christian matured his skills in conservation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the Chicago Navy Pier Museum.
In 2001, Christian relocated to Oaxaca, Mexico where he designed and built Studio Xaquixe where he is Artistic Director and Master Artist. In his studio, not only does he continue to explore new artistic and ground-breaking glass techniques but has also developed a unique environmental and socially responsible space for the creation of his artwork. Years of labour yielded the creation of a sustainable art glass centre: formulation of waste glass, recuperation of heat, application of alternative energies and innovation of business models that adhere to the principles of social and environmental responsibility.
The studio has also collaborated on artistic projects of great importance both for signature artists such as Maestro Francisco Toledo and Jan Hendrix. Christian’s works are also held in private and public collections including the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art, the Harp-Helu collection (Mexico) and the Ellen Hoffman-Castleman collection (USA).
Puerta Roja has represented Christian Thornton in Asia since 2011.