Bertil Vallien was born in 1938, in Stockholm, Sweden, where he lives and works. He is one of Europe’s best known artists in glass, famous for his sculpted boat forms, rich with narrative imagery, and for figurative faces or masks and heads that are both enigmatic and beautiful.
He graduated in 1961 from the University of Art and Design in Stockholm Sweden. He studied in USA and Mexico from 1961 to 1963. He began designing for Kosta Boda glassworks at Åfors in 1963 and by the 1970s it became necessary to devote a whole glassworks to his artistic output because of his innovative sand-casting technique. In developing this technique he has created a new language in glass that will be used for centuries to come. His work is owned by some of the world’s most important museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Corning Museum of Glass, New York; Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, Denmark; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Museum Stockholm; and The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Since the early 1960s, Vallien has been honored for his work in glass. His most impressive accolades include Second Prize at the 1985 Zweiter Coburger Glaspreis, Coburg, Germany; the Visionary Award from the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the 2005 Gold Medal granted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences; and an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Växjö, Sweden. He has had solo exhibition at Museum of Arts and Design (1997), New York; Eretz Israel Museum (1999), Tel Aviv; Riihimäki Museum (2001), Finland; Museo del Vidrio (2004), Monterrey, Mexico; Heller Gallery (2007), New York; Leger Gallerie (2009), Malmö; and for Berengo Studio (2012), Venice.