Jowa

Ursula Ott
Jowa

Ursula Ott, Jowa, 2015, Optical interference coated glass, overall (diameter): 36 in. (91.4 cm), Museum purchase, The Dorothy Johnston Towne (Class of 1923) Fund 2018.275

Jowa, a glass relief panel by Ursula Ott, an artist working in Düsseldorf, Germany, was recently acquired by the Davis Museum. Born in Baden-Wurttemberg in 1960, Ott was a student of painter Gerhard Richter in the 1990s. It is likely that Ott was first inspired to work in glass by Richter, who began to experiment with the medium in 1967. Ott’s geometric mirrors make the viewer aware of minute changes in light, as the color of the lens shifts based on the position of the viewer and the light source. An optical coating alters the surface’s interaction with light, complicating the reflection. From far away, the glass appears as a golden orb. However, depending on the location of the light source or the viewer, it can also appear as blue or green. The mirror itself distorts reality: the figures that appear are blurry and undiscernible, the outside world is obscured. As a result of the irregularity in color and presentation, Ott’s mirrored works are often described as self-contained and meditative.