Exhibitions: Jean-Michel Othoniel: My Way

Jean-Michel Othoniel: Tears

This work comprises a table set with sixty-two apothecary-like jars stopped with glass spheres, a form inspired by traditional glassware in Monterrey, Mexico, where Tears was produced. The jars contain a kaleidoscopic assortment of colorful glass suns, stars, hooks, rings, and beads floating in water. Arranged like votive offerings, the jars resemble lachrymatories, bottles that ancient Roman mourners filled with their tears and placed in burial tombs, or “Passion bottles,” which contain floating glass representations of the instruments of Christ’s Passion.

Are the small elements in these jars individual tears, mythically transformed into jewels, or are the glass jars themselves the tears, a collection of moods preserved or yet to be expressed? As multivalent symbols and catalysts in countless myths and religions, and as traces of both the physical and emotional realm, tears are a potent reference for Othoniel.