Venice: Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore – Le Stanze del Vetro - Glass from Finland in the Bischofberger Collection. When you are in Venice, it always seems to be such a trek to go to the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, though, you do have a feeling of going on a special expedition. As the vaporetto crosses the Bacino di San Marco and the spectacular view of the church of San Giorgio approaches leaving San Marco and Palazzo Ducale behind prepare for two perfect postcard photo opportunities one in front and one behind you. The short walk to the Stanze del Vetro down the fondamenta, where sailing boats are moored, is special, and free of tourist, as are all the exhibitions, which never disappoint, in the relatively young exhibition space.
Le Stanze del Vetro: Glass from Finland in the Bischofberger Collection. Glass from Finland in the Bischofberger Collection, is curated by Kaisa Koivisto and Pekka Korvenmaa and on show until August 2. The 300 plus works celebrate the beauty of artistic glass in this exhibition featuring masterpieces by the most important Finnish designers of the 20th century; Aino and Alvar Aalto, Arttu Brummer, Kaj Franck, Goran Hongell, Gunnel Nyman, Timo Sarpaneva, Oiva Toikka and Tapio Wirkkala.
Above. A showcase with designs by Gunnel Nyman – Mexican Hat – bowl – 1938.
Glass from Finland in the Bischofberger Collection – 1920s-1930s. In the early 1920s, Finland used design as its manifesto, in an attempt to establish its autonomy and its cultural sovereignty. Some of the country’s greatest designers began to use glass to create works of art that blended tradition and experimentation. After 1932 Finnish glass became known worldwide and served to reveal the skills and creative talent of those who would soon be regarded as the visionary geniuses of Scandinavian design – i.e. Arttu Brummer, Gunnel Nyman, Goran Hongell and spouses Aino and Alvar Aalto.
Above. Alvar Aalto – 1930s.
Gunnel Nyman – String of Pearls – Vase – 1947
Aino Marsio-Aalto – Pitcher and Tumblers – 1936
Tapio Wirkkala - Chanterelle - vase -1946
Glass from Finland in the Bischofberger Collection – 1950s. In the early 1950s, through the new spirit of optimism and the international influence, designers and artists built up the foundations of what will become known as “the golden age" of Finnish glass. In order to meet the functional and psychological demands of its users, designers started producing objects and works of art that were both aesthetically sophisticated and mainly referred to nature by the free use of organic shapes and curves. Along with internationally acclaimed designers such as Alvar Aalto, other artists became the new stars of Scandinavian design, such as Kaj Franck, Gunnel Nyman, and Tapio Wirkkala, who is considered to be the symbol of the international success of post-war Finnish design.
Above. Tapio Wirkkala – Vases – 1954.
Glass from Finland in the Bischofberger Collection – 1960s. During the 1960s and the 1970s color and energy became the main focus of Finnish design; the glass works became colorful and were given elaborate shapes. Oiva Toikka designed glass birds, which became Iittala’s iconic brand. Through his irreverent approach to the glass medium and tradition, Toikka represents the connection between "the golden era" of the fabulous Fifties and a more contemporary design.
Above. Kaj Franck – 1960s.
Oiva Toikka – Sculpture, Bird – 1975