Beth Lipman is a glass artist. She takes inspiration from Renaissance and Baroque still-life paintings, and makes clear glass objects whose silhouettes come from historic imagery. These objects are then arranged into extravagant compositions of fragility, transparency, mortality, such as the tablescape All in All, now on view at the Nohra Haime Gallery. Colorless, the scene puts one in mind of Herman Melville’s meditation on “The Whiteness of the Whale,” in Moby Dick. It’s an indefiniteness, writes Melville, that “shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation.” Lipman has also made small dioramas of cardboard, ancient flora (lichen, conifer, ferns), and tiny furniture, the whole hauntingly patinated in rust, iron, or brass. This exhibition, and the concurrent one at the Museum of Arts and Design, mark the first major scholarly assessments of Lipman’s career. —L.J.
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