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Embodied Beauty:

Sculptures by Karen LaMonte

Hunter Museum of American Art

Chattanooga, Tenessee

May 25 through September 2, 2018

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Embodied Beauty

Artist Karen LaMonte challenges the inherent qualities of glass and explores the dress form as a metaphor for gender, identity and the human body. Embodied Beauty examines her two newest series, Floating World and Nocturnes, through 32 sculptures in various media.

Floating World developed from LaMonte’s residency in Kyoto, Japan, where she studied all aspects of the kimono—from weaving and construction, to ceremonial function and historic meaning.

The Nocturnes harken back to LaMonte’s earlier works which drew on her interests in Classical Greek and Roman figures. The female forms in LaMonte’s sculptures, absent, yet implied through the clinging fabric, raise questions about the role that clothing plays in society, and the impact it has on women’s lives, whether in the east or the west. In the last decade, the artist has also created her ethereal sculptures from clay and cast her pieces in bronze and iron, several of which will be featured in the exhibition.

All Things Considered NPR

WUTC interview

Hunter Museum Displays 'Embodied Beauty' Sculptures by Karen LaMonte 

This video is an NPR interview with Karen LaMonte about the exhibition, combined with a slideshow of photos from show.

     Station: WUTC

     Interviewer: Will Davis

     Original air date: June 1, 2018

NPR Interview with Karen LaMonte

During the 57th

Biennale di Venezia


Palazzo Franchetti,

San Marco 2847

Venice  Map

May 11 - November 26, 2017

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Cumulus — Cloud sculpture in Marble

Cumulus — Cloud sculpture in Marble

Cumulus is a monumental sculpture of a cloud in marble. It is based on work I did with climatologists modeling an actual cumulus cloud.

Here is it is exhibited in Venice during the La Biennale di Venezia.

The exhibition is open!  I have two installations as part of Glasstress during the Venice Biennale.  In the gorgeous main foyer of the Palazzo, I will show an installation of reclining and standing figures in white bronze and glass from my Nocturnes series. Watch a 5-minute video short Understanding Nocturnes.

In front of the main entrance in the garden, I will premiere my first monumental sculpture in marble called CumulusCumulus is a meditation on the contradictions of weight and weightlessness, material and immateriality, presence and absence. Clouds are elusive – they have no edge and no fixed form – yet this carved marble piece is an exact representation of an actual cumulus cloud.

Although, clouds appear to float effortlessly, they carry enormous weight, as much as 80 elephants. The size of the sculpture is driven by the water weight of the cloud. This is a 50% scale version.

Cumulus will focus peoples’ attention on weather and climate change. There could not be a more appropriate city than Venice.

Other artists in the exhibition will be from around the world: Koen Vanmechelen, Ai Weiwei, Paul McCarthy, Ugo Rondinone, Abdulnasser Gharem, Loris Gréaud, Jan Fabre, Thomas Schütte, Vik Muniz, and Sarah Sze among others.

The exhibition is curated by Dimitry Ozerkov (Director of the Hermitage 20/21 Project for Contemporary Art at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg), Herwig Kempinger (President of Secession, Association of Visual Artists, Vienna) and Adriano Berengo (President of Fondazione Berengo and founder of Glasstress, Venice), with the consultancy of Clare Phyllis Davies (Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).

Floating World Exhibition

Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum

October 6 – December 16, 2017

The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum will exhibit Floating World, a multi-room installation of kimonos sculptures in bronze, rusted iron, cast-glass, and ceramic.

  Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum
  Saginaw Valley State University
  7400 Bay Road, Saginaw, MI 48710

  October 6 – December 16, 2017

I am grateful for the support of the https://www.arts.gov/National Endowment for the Arts, the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Also, thanks to the http://www.jusfc.gov/Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission for my fellowship in Japan. They are doing great work this year promoting Arts Japan 2020.

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Young Maiko

Young Maiko

Ceramic and gold leaf
36 x 19 x 16 inches

Sadly, the exhibition is now over:

Floating World at the Chazen Museum of Art

The Chazen Museum of Art has created an immersive exhibition where you walk through groups of kimono sculptures interspersed with stunning Ukiyo-E prints from their own collection.

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54" x 30" x 17"
2012, Bronze — Kimono Sculpture

Museum Exhibition

Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery.

After a multi-year renovation, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery has reinstalled their permanent collection in an exhibition called Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery. Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery will be exhibited.

Exhibition Opens July 1, 2016 - Ongoing
Open daily 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Renwick Gallery

Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW
Washington, DC


Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery

Museum Exhibition Closed

Crocker Art Museum
Glass for the New Millennium

Masterworks from the Kaplan-Ostergaard Collection

July 10, 2016 — October 02, 2016

Contemporary glass leapt into the 21st century with new heights of expression. This exhibition surveys the work of some seventy dynamic global artists pushing the medium’s boundaries to make art in its fullest definition. Included are the field’s premier visionaries—Dale Chihuly, Nick Mount, Klaus Moje, Lino Tagliapietra, Marvin Lipofsky, and others, who made glass a vehicle for ideas, forever transforming the 20th-century studio movement. Their passionate exploration of European traditions and pursuit of material mastery formed networks of artists, expanding the appreciation of studio glass across continents. More than ever, at the turn of the century, material handling and conceptual exploration challenged how we perceive mass, volume, and form. From the life-sized, figural forms of Karen LaMonte to the cast-glass abstractions of Richard Whiteley, and the expectation-shattering sculptures of Masahiro Asaka and Christina Bothwell, the future of contemporary sculpture emerges.


Ojigi - Bowing

Exhibition Closed

Alexander Tutsek Foundation for Arts + Science

Life is a Beach: Contemporary Art by International Artists

The exhibition at the Alexander Tutsek Foundation in Munich, Germany has been so popular they are extending it until September 2nd 2016!

Entitled LIFE IS NOT A BEACH, the exhibition addresses the dark sides of life.

When: Extended until September 2nd, 2016

Where: Karl-Theodor-Straße 27, 80803 München, Germany Map

Lark Mirror

Museum Acquisition

Corning Museum of Glass

I am thrilled that the Corning Museum of Glass has acquired Nocturne 5 for their permanent collection.  It joins Evening Dress with Shawl that they acquired in 2005.  Together, they represent the pinnacle of two distinct bodies of work spanning 18 years.  The Museum has just completed a stellar new wing and is a wonderful and worthwhile destination, even for those who have been there before.


Nocturne 5

Museum Acquisition

Vero Beach Museum of Art

I am honored that the Vero Beach Museum of Art Acquisition has acquired Reclining Dress Absence for their permanent collection. It is currently on display, paired nicely with a painting from Jim Dine of a bathrobe called The Red March Forward.

Exhibition Closed


Inspired by the beauty of night, I call these sculptures Nocturnes – dark, seductive, and sublime. They are absent female forms rising from penumbral garments as figurations of dusk.

With twilight as my muse, I am building on the legacy of night meditations from Whistler, John Field, and Frederick Chopin. These artworks explore the transition from known to unknown, from conscious to unconscious, from reality to dream, and from material to immaterial.

Night is transcendent, transfiguring the personal into the universal. When the veil of daylight recedes, the darkness of night opens the infinite space of the universe that surrounds us. Night tempts with a romantic, limitless, and unobtainable beauty. These sculptures explore evening’s sublime splendor, the mysterious side of feminine beauty.

The exhibition has closed but the some of the artwork can still be viewed by appointment.

CONTACT David Austin Email


Nocturnes Installation – White Bronze

Museum Acquisition

Cincinnati Art Museum

I am honored that the Cincinnati Art Museum has acquired Seat Dress for their permanent collection.  It will be unveiled on January 14th along with an exquisite Sanford Robinson Gifford from the Hudson River school of painting, a Jacob Lawrence and an early pieces by Rothko and Nevelson.


Cincinnati Art Museum

Exhibition Closed

Nocturnes — Chicago

Exhibition dates:   November 4th–8th, 2015
Address:  Austin Art Projects | Chicago 247 E. Ontario, 2nd Floor Chicago, Illinois
Contact:  David Austin Cell: (760) 636-2834  |  Email 

Nocturnes | Premier exhibition

Exhibition Closed

Toyama Glass Art Museum

I am honored to have two sculptures in the inaugural exhibition of the Toyama Glass Art Museum (富山市ガラス美術館) in Japan. 

The opening of the museum was great with a kimono clad woman dancing with gossamer fabric.

WHERE: Toyama Glass Art Museum, Toyama, Japan. Map.
WHEN: Aug 22 - Nov 8, 2015

Landscape Drapery Study

Exhibition Closed

Floating World at the Museum of West Bohemia in Plsen. 

The exhibition was terrific but sadly it has closed. 

James Renwick Alliance: Master of Medium Award

I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the The Masters of the Medium award from the James Renwick Alliance. The award recognizes artists for excellence of their body of work in the five craft areas of ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood. The award will be given on March 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM at the The Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. For more details, please see their website.

Recent Museum Acquisition

The Ringling Museum of Art has acquired Reclining Dress Impression as part of the Kolter Glass Collection, which the donated to The Ringling in 2012 marking the 50th anniversary of the studio glass movement in the United States.

Recent Museum Acquisition

Knoxville Museum of Art acquires Chado in cast glass for their permanent collection.

Smithsonian Archives Interview

The Smithsonian Archives of American Art recorded a oral history as a part of a program started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States. I was honored to be one of the youngest artists ever interviewed.

Exhibition Closed

Dayton Art Institute has closed the exhibition Dayton Celebrates Glass, which exhibited Maiko from July 12, 2014 - September 28, 2014

Exhibition Closed

Oklahoma City Museum of Art
FUSION [A New Century of Glass]
June 14 – September 9, 2012

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