Louis Leloup, who was born in Seraing in 1929, is one of the most creative contemporary Belgian artists and is recognised as an exceptional glassworks designer at an international level.
In 1947, aged 18, Leloup was hired by the Val Saint-Lambert Glass Factory. He studied the art of glass-blowing and took classes at an art school. He quickly mastered the art of working with the material and became manager in 1957. The glass-blower then gave life to the creations of Charles Graffart, and then René Delvenne, preferring to model glass while hot, rather than blowing glass into a mould. In 1972, confident in his abilities and eager to create, he decided to open his own studio in Seraing, joining the "Studio Glass" movement that was created by the American artist Harvey K. Littleton. Free from any constraints, he could let his imagination run wild and develop new layout and design techniques.
This sculpture, which was produced in 1982 (just like the famous “Medusa”) is part of a series of the most emblematic pieces by the master glass-blower from Seraing. It is composed of a block of cut glass with irregular contours, which is satinised via successive immersions in acid baths. It is encrusted with yellow and gold metal oxides, which are tossed through the glass paste. The white-filigreed blue decoration is composed of a long cord with overlapping windings at the corolla-shaped end, a true feat of hot-glass application.
“Blue algae” was presented at Salle Saint Georges during the “The master glass-blower, Louis Leloup” exhibition, which was organised by the City of Liège between 11 June and 25 July 1982. To thank the curator of the Glass Museum at the time, the artist offered him this sculpture.
In 1993, its owner decided to sell it and Louis Leloup spotted the piece at the “Le Mosan” auction hall. From there, the artist bought it and donated it to the Liège Glass Museum, renaming it "The Gift".