Jillian Mayer Unveils Mesmerizing ‘Glass Room’ for Bisquit & Dubouché at Frieze LA 2022Reimagining the cognac’s hues in decadent, tangible forms.
From February 17-20, Frieze Los Angeles played host to hundreds of exhibiting galleries from across the globe at its sprawling Beverly Hills outpost. Those visiting mazed through white cubicles to observe the trendiest contemporary art of various mediums such as Otani Workshop’s anime-inspired ceramics at Perrotin‘s booth or Ja’Tovia Gary‘s magnetizing video installation that touches on Black culture and history for Paula Cooper.
One of the most head-turning installations at the fair was Jillian Mayer’s temple-like Glass Room as part of a collaboration between premier cognac house, Bisquit & Dubouché, and Frieze. The Miami-based artist channeled the rich hues of amber, burgundy and sepia found in B&D’s swirling cognac to create a selection of mosaic glass sculptures that are quite artfully the opposite: messy, overlapped and striking in some aspects.
Not only did the artist reimagine the cognac’s hues in decadent, tangible forms, but Mayer coincidentally implemented the ingredients used in the beverage itself. “I was excited to find out that copper is a key component of Bisquit & Dubouché’s distillation process, just as glass is integral to the final presentation of the distiller’s art,” she said. “Glass, heat, copper and all these raw materials are the same materials I’m utilizing in my work.”
Bisquit & Dubouché was founded over 200 years ago by Alexandre Bisquit and Adrien Dubouché. The house is now heading towards a new horizon including a brand relaunch and a new design. Mayer’s Glass Room signals this new chapter that merges B&D’s rich heritage with a dynamic, contemporary approach that stems from her bold glass designs.
We sat down with Mayer to discuss her collaboration with Bisquit & Dubouché and inspirations surrounding her Glass Room installation. Read the exclusive interview below.
Tell us about your Glass Room installation and what it’s like working with Bisquit & Dubouché alongside Frieze.
So for this installation, we are inside a project called ‘Glass Room.’ And it is a collaboration I did with Bisquit and Dubouché. It’s a site specific installation and is inspired by the cognac that they’re presenting, especially the rich colors of their beverage. It’s all been a really fun partnership with Frieze. This is my first time working with the fair.
What specific aspects of the cognac resonated with you to create this installation?
When I saw the rich colors of Bisquit & Dubouché swirling, I instantly felt a connection to the materials, to that world, and to the colors themselves. I wanted to be surrounded by that warm colour palette — and then I started to think about what it would be like to have a room of these materials.
“This magical realism takes a hold of you.”
What made you want to create art using glass?
I had been making a body of work called “slump ease” with fiberglass, which is a material that is more interactive given the way you could kind of sit on it. But in the past year or so, I transitioned to glass with another commission that I’ve just completed this last week for the city of Miami for the Port of Miami where all the cruise boats go for Virgin cruise line. So that was my first dip into glass. It’s a material we all have a deep relationship with and has been present our entire life. Glass is prevalent in our phones that we hold up to our faces all day long, we see through them and are viewed through security cameras on them. It’s kind of just this prevailing medium that has been with us and will be with us forever.
I also like the fact that it’s regenerative in the way that glass can be crushed up and recast, or this idea that glass makes it out to ocean and then returns as sea-glass. Or, even the fact that like lightning strikes create glass — I like the transient nature of glass. It’s fun to play with the different opacities and opaqueness of glass and decide what a person should be able to see through or have access to, in terms of transparency in a larger realm.
Does the atmosphere in which you live and work affect your practice?
I live in Miami, Florida in a bird sanctuary called El Portal, which translates to “the portal.” Generally, a lot of the colors I touch on are influenced by Miami or South Florida or the tropics in general. But that’s just something that makes it into your visual landscape. It’s not so much deliberate. You know, we’re all influenced by our immediate surroundings in one regard or another but Miami or Florida is such a weird and beautiful and bizarre place. I live in a very dark yet very entertaining and majestic place. This magical realism takes a hold of you. It’s not a secret that when it gets cold, iguanas fall from trees.