Friday, January 14, 2022

Murano - Museo del Vetro - Tony Cragg - Silicon Dioxide

 Museo del Vetro di Murano  
Tony Cragg - Silicon Dioxide 
At the Museo del Vetro di Murano the new solo exhibition - Tony Cragg - Silicon Dioxide is curated by Adriano Berengo, Berengo Studio in collaboration with the Musei Civici di Venezia and runs through March 13. A selection of about forty sculptures are on display, they faithfully reproduces Cragg's artistic vision and his unique ability to communicate through glass, a material of which he has always been able to enhance the intrinsic geometries. The exhibition traces  the most significant stages of the English artist's career, starting with the assemblages, historical large-scale works where small groups of objects are juxtaposed and superimposed. It is from this point, as early as the 1980s with his large-scale sculptural assemblages, that Cragg began to define his artistic output through his interest in the material itself. Cragg continually tests himself with his use of different materials, and glass is certainly one of the most fascinating and complex materials to manipulate and decipher.
Tony Cragg - Bromide Figures - 1992


The British sculptor Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool in 1949, and first came to Venice in 1980. Little did he realise it would be the first in a series of encounters with the Serenissima. As his career progressed he featured in a number of editions of La Biennale di Venezia and in 1988 had the double honour of winning the prestigious Turner Prize as well as representing Great Britain at the Venice Biennale in the giardini.
Sir Tony Cragg CBE RA 

Glass is itself a crucible in which particles blend, are broken, 
and reassemble, where the free potential of organic 
matter manages to transform itself and go beyond its 
own limits to shift into a new material state. 
The artist's oeuvre is saturated in his essential ontological exploration of matter, and his desire to investigate the relationships that regulate the dynamic energy of materials results in works that manage to balance the interior and exterior energies of the forms he creates. Cragg's works, even his most recent creations, reflect on the complexity of physics, reconciling a total understanding of the organic nature of reality with an acceptance of its less intelligible characteristics. 
Tony Cragg - Untitled - 2021 

Cragg's creations are constant paradoxes of 'shapeless forms', in which each work of art is a pure mental evocation. While his experiments in bronze, wood and plaster seem to escape gravity, his glass sculptures, conceived in living matter, challenge the brilliance and transparency of this expressive medium ".
Adriano Berengo
President - Berengo Studio
Exhibition curator 
Maurizio Musatti, Jean Blanchaert and Adriano Berengo
Tony Cragg - Blood Sugar - 1992

Glass is a material and at the same time a living matter, which over the years has lent itself to various experiments, ranging from those in which it interacts in a way that is never inferior to its surroundings, to those in which it is the protagonist of more intimate reflections. Using this perspective, the sculptures that Cragg began to produce in 2009, when he began working with Berengo Studio in Murano, are particularly important. In a striking evolution from the larger assemblages of the 1990s, the smaller hand-blown sculptures in glass, created with the master glass maestros of Berengo Studio, have allowed Cragg to access a new dimension of the material. 

Tony Cragg - Untitled - 2021 


Tony Cragg - Untitled - 2021


Chiara Squarcina and Jean Blanchaert



Tony Cragg - Untitled - 2021



Tony Cragg - Untitled - 2021



Tony Cragg - Cistern - 1999



Tony Cragg - Eroded Landscape - 1988-2021


Zbyszek Gula


Tony Cragg - Larder
- 1999



No longer bound to the traditional found forms of bottles and other classical objects, in his more recent works Cragg has been able to explore the possibilities of manipulating the medium in its molten state. This flexibility has seen him choreograph elaborate and original compositions in the Berengo furnace, which have emerged organically, sprouting from his mind and slipping through the hands of the maestro into a new physical presence, one that resists the stasis of sculpture and reaches instead to capture the movement and energy of single moment. 

Maestro Glassblowers 
Nicola Causin and Roberto Mavaracchio



Mario Berengo

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Saturday, January 01, 2022

Wishing you - Peace 2022

Think Peace
Act Peace
Spread Peace
Imagine Peace

Yoko Ono

Wishing you - Peace in 2022 - I also wanted to share with you this wall at MoMa. The museum commissioned Yoko Ono in 2017 to create a full-page insert in the New York Times, which invited the newspaper's readers to add color to the areas of the world that they believed needed Peace. A rotating selection was put on view in the exhibition Peace is Power at MoMa in 2017. Yoko Ono has consistently made use of mass media in an effort to address the public directly, encourage their Participation, and promote humanitarian concerns.





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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Venice - Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore - Le Stanze Del Vetro - Tapio Wirkkala at Venini and Toni Zuccheri at Venini - Twin Exhibitions

Le Stanze Del Vetro
Tapio Wirkkala at Venini - Toni Zuccheri at Venini
Twin Exhibitions
Tapio Wirkkala at Venini and Toni Zuccheri at Venini are two side-by-side exhibitions at Le Stanze del Vetro - until March 13 - curated by Marino Barovier and dedicated to two artists and designers who were active at the furnace mainly in the second half of the 1960s. They both contributed, with their strong personalities, to the character of the production of the glassworks. In those transformational years, Venini was able on the one hand to present new models without giving up the use of colour, and on the other to respond to the new minimalist requirements in the world of design. The first aspect was developed in particular by Toni Zuccheri, to whom we owe the extraordinary series of fowl and farmyard animals, which were soon joined by vases in bright colours with organic lines, inspired by the plant kingdom. From 1966 the furnace also entered in a collaboration with Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala, who brought his experience with glass at the Iittala glassworks to Venice by combining Nordic culture with Murano craft, achieving remarkable results.
Tapio Wirkkala
Lapponi - 1966
A distinctive feature of the design of these objects is the wide flared rim, the upper section of which brings to mind a stylised headdress. From the available graphic evidence, it can be argued that the series was created initially for the Venice Biennale of 1966. 
"I have the feeling that Tapio's happiest moments were anchored in Venice and Lapland.  In the South and the North. They share a reflection of water, the limpid air, the movement of a long dark boat". 
Maaria Wirkkala
from the catalogue Tapio Wirkkala at Venini

Tapio Wirkkala
Medusa - 1966

Exhibited at the 33rd Biennale of Venice in 1966, the Meduse series is an attempt by Wirkkala to combine Nordic design with the traditional Murano techniques, such as filigrana.

Tapio Wirkkala alla Venini - installation view - photo - Enrico Fiorese - copyright -Tapio Wirkkala - SIAE - 2021
courtesy - Le Stanze del vetro

Tapio Wirkkala
Ai Lieti Calici - 1966
"When my parents visited Venice for the first time, Paolo Venini sent his private gondola to pick them up from their hotel."
Maaria Wirkkala
from the catalogue Tapio Wirkkala at Venini  
Tapio Wirkkala
Gondolieri - 1966
This series has the characteristic contours of the gondolier’s hat.The vases, with a cylindrical body and wide rim, are made of transparent glass with several colours joined by the incalmo technique. 

Tapio Wirkkala
Bolle - 1966-1967
The most famous Bolle series designed by Tapio Wirkkala, have enjoyed considerable success over the years. The series includes vases with evocative shapes, with a flattened globular body.  These objects are made of thin, transparent glass in two colours joined by the incalmo technique. 

Tapio Wirkkala
Silma - 1966-1967
The Silma series is made of monochrome glass with the inclusion of two large polychrome murrine, each with a circular core, indicated in the catalogue as ‘eyes’ from which the term Silma comes, which in Finnish means ‘eye’. 

Tapio Wirkkala
Coreani - 1966-1967
Coreani is one of the best known series designed by Tapio Wirkkala, recognisable by its distinctive two-colour technique with large twisted bands generally in verde mela and acquamare transparent glass, but also, to a lesser extent, in green and purple. The basic idea is that of a spiral, a recurring theme in Wirkkala’s work. In this case the two colours spiral around each other to form the walls of the piece. The working process provides initially for the production of a pea (small hollow glass ball) of cristallo on which two bands of colour are applied under heat, obtaining a two-colour ball.

Tapio Wirkkala
Coppe - 1970-1981
Tapio Wirkkala
Filigrane di Tapio - 1970
Indicative of Wirkkala’s production for Venini in the 1970s, the Filigrane di Tapio include a series of vases and bowls  in white - lattimo - and black filigrana joined by the incalmo technique. These are artefacts in which the essentiality of the design is accompanied by a play of opaque and semitransparent effects, which seems aimed at marrying design and tradition. 

Tapio Wirkkala
 Pavoni - 1981c.
For the Pavoni,  Wirkkala used the filigrana technique and that of fenicio glass to create artefacts with a characteristic structure where the continuity of the filigrane is interrupted by a kind of vertical groove which changes the pattern.

Tapio Wirkkala
 Piatti di Tapio - 1967-1981
In his approach to Murano glass Tapio Wirkkala also dealt with murrina, which he interpreted in his own way. He created some unusual large polychrome murrine with geometric motifs or abstract designs. Some of these murrine were used in the production of a series of transparent plates with two or three colours joined by the incalmo technique.  In the Venini Glassware Catalogue, 1967 the series was referred to as Piatti di Tapio, eleven coloured variants were proposed, each marked by a letter of the alphabet. Some examples were exhibited in 1968 at the 34th Venice Biennale and in Turin, at the second edition of Eurodomus
Marino Barovier
Curator - 10 exhibitions
Stanze del Vetro

 Toni Zuccheri At Venini
Experimentation with the material of glass and the processes for shaping it are the distinctive marks of Toni Zuccheri who, while still a student of architecture, was invited to the Venini glassworks with the task of designing a bestiary in glass, which was displayed at the Venice Biennale in 1964.  In this way he began an association which, albeit intermittently, continued for a good part of his life. He also worked as an architect and later became interested in communications.
 Tronchi - 1967  
Toni Zuccheri
Ninfee - 1967

The Ninfee series, most of which are large in size are intended as plant holders, receptacles for bunches of flowers or table centrepieces of a remarkable figurative impact. They are distinguished by their original shape with strong ribbing and waving rims, associated with a glass pattern of thin ribbing and with evocative chromatic effects. 
Toni Zuccheri
 Scolpiti - 1967

The Scolpiti series includes vases of great sculptural and figurative significance made of opaque glass and cristallo glass  they have in common the presence of two vertical contraposed ‘fissures’ in cristallo glass interrupting the continuity of the coloured surface.  Some pieces of this series were exhibited in Venice at the ‘contested’ Biennale of 1968. 
Toni Zuccheri
Crepuscoli - 1964 
The Crepuscoli series of coloured transparent glass vases, of which the distinctive mark is the presence of a convexity and/or concavity visible in transparency is mostly made in a different colour from the walls of the piece. In some of these models the personal reflection of Zuccheri on the works of Thomas Stearns of 1961–62 is evident. Examples of Crepuscoli were exhibited in 1964 at the 32nd Venice Biennale and in New York, at the exhibition Glass: Czechoslovakia and Italy held at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts. 
Toni Zuccheri
Grovigli - 1964
The series represents, together with Giade, an experiment on the use of metal filaments to obtain new glass patterns by applying or incorporating them in vitreous substance.  The theme, already tackled by Ercole Barovier with the technique of colorazione a caldo senza fusione, in particular in the series Crepuscolo - 1930s - is developed here in a completely personal way with unprecedented results precisely due to the formal value Zuccheri assigns to the groviglio - tangle - of threads in their solidity and their bundling in suspension in the vitreous mass.
Toni Zuccheri
Giade - 1964
The series stems from Zuccheri's experiments with vitreous materials in the early years of his collaboration with Venini.  Bottles and vases made with an unusual opaque glass enhanced by filaments of copper or brass applied under heat and embedded in the wall of the piece.  Their presence creates a mottled surface evoking that of the semi-precious stone from which these glass pieces take their name. Nine pieces were exhibited at the 1964 Venice Biennale.

"And here a Venetian, Toni Zuccheri ... an artist of good taste who “discovered” for me and implemented, at Murano, at the school of Ca’ Venini, that knowledgeable and ingenious school, “discovered”, I repeat, all or nearly all that can be done and has not yet been done with thick glass or inside thick glass with the colours of the glass pieces that make it up and with their different textures, with the insertions of murrine, of canes, of threads and delicate nets of metal or of filigrana. A new world.’ 
Gio Ponti
Domus - March -  1966 
Gio Ponti / Toni Zuccheri
Vetrate Grosse
 Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo
 Padova - 1964 

Toni Zuccheri

At the end of 1961, while still a university student, Toni Zuccheri was introduced to the Venini glassworks, with the objective of creating a bestiario - bestiary - in glass. The project came to fruition at the 32nd Venice Biennale in 1964, where two guinea fowls and a turkey in murrine glass were exhibited, together with three ducks in polychrome glass. 

Toni Zuccheri
Tacchino  1963-1964

 Toni Zuccheri
Gabbiano - 1980 - Gabbiano - 1980 - Gallo - 1979
Toni Zuccheri
Fenice - 1986-1987
Toni Zuccheri
Fenice - 1986-1987 
Having re-established his association with the firm now under new ownership, Zuccheri continued his ceaseless research which would lead to new challenges, consisting in part in the development of subjects already dealt with in the preceding years in other contexts. This was the case with the Fenice - Phoenix - a subject he had tackled on a smaller scale in the study and realisation of the Fenice d’Oro prize for the best actor/actress at the Venice Film Festival in 1981. Between 1986 and 1987, with the cooperation of the Brustolin art foundry of Verona with which Zuccheri usually worked, the project took the shape of a large-scale fenice in lost wax bronze with elements of mostly opaque polychrome glass.

Toni Zuccheri
Gio Caroli - 1979 - Canne Sovrapposte - 1982
At the end of the 1970s we find a small series of glass pieces made by Venini and designed by Toni Zuccheri for the Valenza goldsmith company Gio Caroli. These were I Falconi, a series of containers with the characteristic lid in black glass bearing the stylised head of a falcon, shaped by grinding. Following this experiment Zuccheri studied two bottles and two vases in glass with thin superimposed polychrome canes worked at the wheel which were included in the Venini catalogue. The model of the bottle is surmounted by a stylised bird’s head in verde antico opaque glass or in avorio glass worked at the wheel.
Toni Zuccheri
Membrane - 1972
The Membrane series is an attempt by Zuccheri to combine an essential design, like that of the 1970s, with new research on colour and new production techniques. The result is a series of artefacts, almost all spherical or cylindrical in shape, in cristallo glass with an internal diaphragm - a membrane. In 1972, in the last Biennale devoted to the decorative arts, a series of vases called Membrane ondate bicolori was exhibited, where the internal diaphragm was enhanced by striations of irregular or coiled colours.
Toni Zuccheri
Barena - 1981
Marta Pasqualini
documentary film maker
Toni Zuccheri - Pezzi Sparsi
















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