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Pull, Twist, Blow — Transforming The Kingdom of Crystal

Jun 15, 2013 to Oct 13, 2013
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A forest, battle bots, dentures all made from glass, make their U.S. debut at the American Swedish Institute (ASI)’s cutting edge exhibit, Pull Twist Blow-Transforming the Kingdom of Crystal. Presented in partnership with The Glass Factory of Sweden, Pull, Twist, Blow runs June 15 through October 13, 2013.

Pull, Twist, Blow showcases innovative pieces by eleven Swedish artists: Fredrik Nielsen (morphed pitchers), Åsa Jungnelius, Simon Klenell, Helena Kågebrand (pickled tongues and glass dentures), Peter Hermansson (Graal objects), Karl-Magnus Nilsson (lost-wax castings), Charles Stern, Matilda Kästel, Ingalena Klenell (“Homeland,” a glass forest), Ludvig Löfgren and Annika Jarring (combs and suitcase). Each work will be presented side by side with more traditional glasswork from The Glass Factory’s extensive collection that served as a reference point for the modern creations.  

Innovation in glass art is also happening in Minnesota. The exhibit includes pieces by eight Minnesota artists whose work demonstrates how each has expanded the potential of the medium of glass and impacted the craft of glass making. Minnesota artists represented in the exhibit include Michael Boyd, Eoin Breadon, Todd Cameron, Spencer Cleland, Christopher Gray, Fred Kaemmer, David Royce, and Rick Schneider.

“Homeland,” Ingalena Klenell’s Glass Forest, Makes International Debut At ASI

Swedish artist Ingalena Klenell’s “Glimmering Gone” glass forest (created with Beth Lipman) wowed audiences in the Pacific Northwest in 2010. Klenell’s latest piece in the series, “Homeland” will made its international debut at the American Swedish Institute’s Osher Gallery as part of the Pull, Twist, Blow—Transforming the Kingdom of Crystal exhibit opening June 15, 2013. Homeland asks visitors to ponder the relationship between landscape and memory and how those two elements coincide to create a feeling of home.  

Visiting Artists

Artists Ingalena Klenell, Charles Stern and Fredrik Nielson traveled from Sweden to Minneapolis to participate during the installation and exhibition of Pull, Twist, Blow.

Ingalena Klenel Klenell’s work explores the ideas of fragility and vulnerability, both in the material of glass and in life itself. Klenell sees glass as a way of investigating the limits of techniques and of her own skill and creativity, and of creating ways to transcend those limits. She uses several different techniques to create primarily sculptural works. In 2010, she collaborated with artist Beth Lipman to create the installation, Glimmering Gone, at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Wash. The installation used landscape and artifacts to investigate our connection with nature and memory.

Klenell visited ASI to install Homeland attend the exhibition opening of Pull, Twist, Blow held on June 15 in conjunction with ASI’s Midsommar Celebration and presented “Landscape & Memory,” a talk on Homeland.

Fredrik Nielsen : Known for his ability to captivate audiences through his glass blowing process, Nielsen gave two glass blowing demonstrations at ASI in July: Cocktails at the Castle: Hot Shop Herring Glass Blow Out (July 25) and ASI’s Family Afternoon (July 27).

Charlie Stern : Stern visited ASI to install his piece, World of No Craft (2011), an Artistic Development Project Konstnärligt Utvecklingsarbete (KU) made for Konstfack during 2011. Working with gaming technology and the development of the Microsoft Kinekt camera as a model for craft industries, the project resulted in an interactive exhibit that will debut in North America during the run of this exhibition.  

Key Events

ASI seeks to engage the community with the medium of glass through five not to be missed events outside the traditional exhibit halls.


“Empty Time” at Northern Spark – Saturday, June 8 (9 p.m.–5:26 a.m., Union Depot, St. Paul)

Pull, Twist, Blow Opening and ASI Midsommar Celebration – Saturday, June 15 (10 a.m.–5 p.m.)

Cocktails At The Castle: Hot Shop Herring Glass Blow Out – Thursday, July 25 (7–11 p.m.)

Pull, Twist, Blow – Family Afternoon – Saturday, July 27


A Night of Social Wonder – Wednesday, Oct. 9, 6:30 p.m.

Presented in partnership with the American Craft Council, A Night of Social Wonder will explore how a wide variety of industries are and have reinvented themselves, respond to innovation and cultivate new approaches to design and practice, tradition and innovation.

Project Partners

The American Swedish Institute is proud to partner with the following organizations to present Pull, Twist, Blow—Transforming the Kingdom of Crystal:

The Glass Factory (Sweden); FOCI - Minnesota Center for Glass Art (Minneapolis); The American Craft Council (Minneapolis)

Support for the Osher gallery comes from the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Support for this exhibit and related program comes from the Anne Ray Charitable Trust and the Swedish Council of America.

This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State's general fund and its arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008 and a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota.

Ticket Info

All admission requires advanced registration.
Admission is free for members, but registration still required.
Admission & Registration

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