Maxwell Davis began teaching at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, in 1973. Throughout his tenure at CCS he's taught: ceramics, glass, industrial design, and currently, is head of the Furniture Area.
Always on the cutting edge of his craft, Maxwell Davis has been working in glass for over 40 years, and custom home furnishings for 35 years. He has exhibited in over 130 national and international shows and competitions and has been privately collected by dozens of furniture and fine art collectors, including the High Museum in Atlanta, GA, and the Detroit Institute of the Arts. He's also been featured in the HGTV High Noon Productions, “Modern Masters," and “Look What I Did”.
artist statement: art furniture
In my work I try to express the dual nature of glass - the sensuality and fluidity of hot glass and the cold, hard, and dangerous connotation of flat glass. In my latest work I use stainless steel for frames in the same way; the cold, sterile connotation of the stainless is contrasted with the energetic patterning on the surface.
The signature of my furniture has always been the broken edge on some part of the flat glass. This tends to be the ultimate in contradictions for me. People are drawn to touch the edge because of the intense energy produced by the refraction of light on the broken edge, even though they know in the back of their minds that its sharpness could easily harm them. It is the same attraction we have to fire, seductive and yet dangerous.
The final emphasis of my work is the idea that we should look for the beauty and function of things that at first glance might appear to be broken or imperfect. This to me is a metaphor for being human. Our imperfection and unpredictability is what makes us interesting.
Artist Statement: figurative sculpture
My approach to figurative sculpture has always been to abstract or modify the presentation of the body in order to express a more universal, as opposed to an individual figure. In this latest series, I combine the cast glass figure with furniture and in this case a cabinet. The closed view of the cabinet draws the viewer in, because the outside conveys a pure organic form to which we are drawn, but may not know why. The answer comes when we open the cabinet and discover an image of a human body on the inside. The interesting part for me is that the cabinet is in reality empty except for the body image and it is the outside that contains the body, which in reality, is a positive view of a negative space.
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