Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Venice: Le Stanze del Vetro – Tomaso Buzzi at Venini

 Photograph courtesy Le Stanze del Vetro

Venice: Le Stanze del Vetro – Tomaso Buzzi at Venini. At the Stanze del Vetro on the magical Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, overlooking the most famous Piazza in the world the beautiful exhibition, Tomaso Buzzi at Venini, until January 11, an exhibition celebrating the Italian taste of the 1930s in the glass works by the well-known architect from Milan. Curated by Marino Barovier, it retraces this brief but fruitful collaboration, documented through the selected works and original drawings preserved in the Venini glassworks archive, as well as, a previously un-displayed collection of drawings preserved at Scarzuola, Buzzi’s 18th century convent home near Terni.
Above. Glass bowl with bird with high-truncated cone shaped foot, 1932-33.

Portrait of Tomaso Buzzi

Tomaso Buzzi at Venini. When Buzzi arrived at the Venini company in Murano, in 1932, he brought with him a remarkable cultural baggage and a thorough knowledge of ancient art, in particular of the Etruscan period, where he looked for inspiration with the aim of creating new and original artifacts.
Above. The Cristallo e Argento, 1932, series was presented at the 18th Venice Biennale in 1932 along with the Turchese e Nero and the Cristallo Verde e Oro series as a selection of Venini’s latest production. Ugo Nebbia called the Cristallo e Argento series “crystal clear and refined”.

Curator Marino Barovier photographed beside some of the floor lamps, 1933-1938. The floor light on the right was designed as part of the furniture of Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan, Buzzi started to design for the villa in 1938.

Tomaso Buzzi at Venini Piede Composto 1932 ca.  Cased glass bowl. The series of cased glass vases and bowls came with a very particular composite foot by the “small Chinese bases” which were used as foundations for both glass and ceramics. The sketches are for the Lattimo and Oro, 1932 series which feature a distinctive ribbing decoration obtained by using a deep mold.  The architect was fascinated by the color play created by cased glass, and devoted a lot of passion and research to this particular technique, until he came up with a new system of multiple layers with gold leaf decoration.

 The interior of the Venini furnace period photograph from the Archivio Storico Luce.


Tomaso Buzzi at Venini – Incamiciati 1932-33. Through experimentation with a new glass material, the “vetro incamiciato”, was achieved with several layers of color and gold leaf.  This technique radically changed the appearance of the glass produced at Venini, contributing to the drive for innovation of the Murano-based glassware company, and re-asserting its vocation for producing elegant and refined glass.
Above. Coppa delle Mani (Bowl of the Hands) in laguna glass consisting of different colored layers with applied gold leaf.  The bowl is supported by two hands with tapering fingers and joint wrists in gold-shaded ivory glass.  Bracelets and rings in gold-shaped laguna glass.  The bowl was exhibited at the 5th Milan Triennale in 1933 at the very center of the Venini showcase.  One example was bought by Benito Mussolini

Tomaso Buzzi at Venini – Incamiciati 1932-33. Small jugs consisting of different colored layers with applied gold leaf. The collar has a spiked dog collar detail.

Tomaso Buzzi at Venini – Incamiciati 1932. Fish shaped vases in glass consisting of different colored layers of applied gold leaf.  The vases features a truncated cone shaped foot and projecting mouth in the shape of an inverted truncated cone.  The items belong to the first Laguna series, which were illustrated in the Domus magazine issue of December 1932. Thanks to the analysis and research of drawings preserved in the Venini archives, it appears that Buzzi studied fourteen techniques for the production of multi-layered vetri incamiciati, that can be compared to the glaze techniques in painting.  The architect used several layers of color to obtain different shades of pink, green, blue-grey, and red-pink, that lead to the Laguna, Alga, Alba (dawn) and Tramonto (sunset) glass series.

 Photograph courtesy Le Stanze del Vetro

Tomaso Buzzi at Venini – Incamiciati 1932-33. Double mouth vase in grey-violet cased glass consisting of different colored layers with applied gold leaf.


Pentagram Stiftung’s David Landau. Tomaso Buzzi at Venini is the third exhibition dedicated to the history of the Venini glassware company organized by Le Stanze del Vetro, a long-term cultural initiative launched by Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Pentagram Stiftung, devoted to the study and the promotion of the art of glassmaking in the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Le Stanze del Vetro – Incamiciati 1932-1933

Tomaso Buzzi at Venini – Cristallo e Rilievi 1933.  Vase in thick uncolored glass. "Leaf” shaped relief decorations in sapphire glass and cylindrical base covered by uneven tesserae in sapphire glass. 

Tomaso Buzzi at Venini – Filigrana1933.  Chicken and Cockerel in blue filigrana with reticello (net-like) pattern and blue glass finishing. The 'filigrana a reticello' was used to make vases, fruit and animals which had originally been designed by Tomaso Buzzi for decorative arts applications other than glass. The items shown at the 5th Triennale in Milan (1933) were most probably exhibited in black filigrana glass variation.

 Photograph courtesy Le Stanze del Vetro

Tomaso Buzzi at Venini – Nero e Filigrana 1933 ca. Vase in black glass with wavy ‘collar’ in reticello (net-like) pattern with lattimo filigrana glass.  The vase features truncated cone-shaped foot depressed globular body and funnel-shaped neck.

Tomaso Buzzi at Venini. Between 1934 and 1938, Buzzi developed designs for the interiors of the mansions of one of the most ancient families of Milan, the banker and textile entrepreneur Nico Castellini.   In 1934 for dinning-room of the mansion located on Lake Maggiore, in Cerro di Laveno, near Varese, Buzzi drew inspiration from the surrounding lake environment.  Among these items was a pendant lamp with two fishes.  Venini received the commission in September 1934 for two fishes (similar in shape to lake fishes), which were made in uncolored bubble glass with jade green glass finishing.  A hinged metal frame allows the light source to be positioned inside the lamp. 


 Director of the Institute of Art History Glass Study Center, Luca Massimo Barbero.


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Friday, September 26, 2014

Venice: Palazzo Papadopoli. Aman Canal Grande Venice – Mi Tocchera Ballare – L’Ultimo Principe di Trabia book launch.

Venice: Palazzo Papadopoli. Aman Canal Grande Venice – Mi Tocchera Ballare – L’Ultimo Principe di Trabia book launch.

Mi Tocchera Ballare 
L’Ultimo Principedi Trabia

Special guest editor - Betsy de Lotbiniere

Under the impossibly high ceilings of the Palazzo Papadopoli -- the largest Palazzo smack in the middle to the Grand Canal -- top Venetians gathered for the launch of a book  "Mi Tocchera Ballare. L'Ultimo Principe diTrabia" (My Turn to Dance. The Last Prince of Trabia) celebrating one of their own. Conte and Contessa Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga (who live in chic bohemian splendour atop what is now the Aman Hotel), were the hosts.

From the start, it was a family affair. We were greeted at the gate by the secretary of the Conte and Contessa, then directed to the lift to the fourth floor by first one beautiful daughter, Mafalda then greeted at the door of the salon by another daughter Maddalena.  Seated facing the glorious windows overlooking the Grand Canal, the sense of a meeting of the tribes increased.  In front of us, Raimonda Lanza di Trabia and her daughter, Octavia Casagrande, (daughter and grand daughter of Raimondo Branciforte Principe di Trabia) co-wrote this epic tale.

Their cousin, Count Arrivabene gave a warm welcoming introduction.  Next the suavely handsome Roberto De Feo treated us to the story of the complicated lineage of the super-glamorous Sicilian Príncipe who was, as they say in England, born on the wrong side of the sheets.   Through twist after twist of fate, he turned into a supernova of manhood, fighting in Spain, racing cars, gambling, hunting, cavorting with Errol Flynn. As families do, there was much butting in.  After all, Giberto, or Gibi, as the Count is known, was the one who found the long lost trunk that held some clues as to why the prince who lived so vividly, took his own life in 1954 at the tender age of 39. . . You have to buy the book!

Contessanally's special guest editor:  Betsy de Lotbiniere is an American born poet, journalist and author living in London.

Vera Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga, Raimonda Lanza di Trabia, Fabrizia Caracciolo di Castagneto and Ottavia Casagrande

Palazzo Papadopoli: Aman Canal Grande Venice – Mi Tocchera Ballare – L’Ultimo Principedi Trabia book launch.  Ottavia casagrande, Roberto De Feo, Raimonda Lanza di Trabia and Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga.

 Photograph copyright and courtesy - Raimonda Lanza di Trabia

Mi Tocchera Ballare – L’Ultimo Principe di Trabia. Raimondo Lanza di Trabia with Errol Flynn in Rome.

  Giberto and Bianca Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga
Maurizio Pizzi, Barbara Berlingeri, Pier Luigi Pizzi and  Lucia Zavagli
Mania Hruska and Betsy de Lotbiniere
Lesa Marcello
Filippo and Alessandra Gaggia
Rosella Mamoli Zorzi
Marino Zorzi and Bianca Loredan
Roberto De Feo and Manuela Luca Dazio
Giovanni Giol and Antonia Miletto
Mi Tocchera Ballare – L’Ultimo Principe di Trabia - Raimonda Lanza di Trabia, Ottavia Casagrande is published by Feltrinelli in Italian.
Photograph copyright and courtesy - Raimonda Lanza di Trabia
Mi Tocchera Ballare – L’Ultimo Principe di Trabia. Aristotele Onassis and Riamondo Lanza di Trabia Trabia, Summer, 1954.

Gibi, Fabrizia, Bianca, Leonardo and Maddalena

Pasquale Gagliardi and Davide Battista

Pilar Coin and Fiammetta Fazio

Giordana Vaccari Manuela Luca Dazio and Cristina Beltrami

Pietro Dottor

  Vase designed by Massimo Micheluzzi

Marie Bagnasco

Giovanni Rubin de Cervin and Enrique de Guzman

 Clemy Viezzer and Carlotta Battistella

photographs copyright and courtesy - Raimonda Lanza di Trabia
 Mi Tocchera Ballare – L’Ultimo Principe di Trabia. Trabia Castle seen from the sea and the staff in their livery.

Benedetta Giannelli Viscardi, Letizia Bovio, Alessandra Gaggia and Daniela Suppiej
Alessandra and Alessandro Zoppi
Enrichetta Emo and Antonia Miletto
Maria Novella Benzoni, Pasquale Gagliardi and Cecilia Benzoni
Olivia Richli
 Mafalda, Maddalena and Leonardo Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga
Paolo Orlandi and Gilberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga
We Drank
Jane da Mosto, Servane Giol and Francesca Bortolotti Possati
Silvia Menetto, Bianca Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga and Veronica Tuzii
The view from Palazzo Papadopoli of the Grand Canal with Palazzo Grimani inthe foreground.



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