Josiah McElheny is a conceptual artist best known for his works in blown glass. Inspired by minimalism, McElheny creates works that evince a bare, stripped-down quality while simultaneously exploring grand ideas, from cosmology and utopianism to history and the concept of infinity. Following his graduation from the Rhode Island School of Design, McElheny apprenticed with a series of master glassblowers, an experience that became fundamental to his artistic practice. McElheny began exploring the multiple possibilities of glass, recreating glass objects from iconic paintings, creating futuristic models of things that don’t yet exist, and using fragments of found glass to deduce stories about ancient populations. Often combining glass work with photographs, text, and other objects, McElheny converts these objects into works of art that contain multiple layers of meaning.
McElheny’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, among others. He has also participated in notable exhibitions such as SITE Santa Fe and the Whitney Biennial.