Monday, September 19, 2016

Venezia: Le stanze del Vetro - Paolo Venini and his Furnace – Opening and Lunch

Photograph courtesy Le Stanze del Vetro – Paolo Venini – the Incisi Series – 1956-57

Venezia: Le stanze del Vetro - Paolo Venini and his Furnace – Opening and Lunch. At Le Stanze del Vetro,  the autumn exhibition Paolo Venini and his Furnace, until January 8, is curated by Marino Barovier. 300 works recount his creative vision as well as those of artists who collaborated with him over the years such as Tyra Lundgren, Gio Ponti, Riccardo Licata, Ken Scott, Massimo Vignelli and Tobia Scarpa.


 Luca Massimo Barbero and Marino Barovier

Le stanze del Vetro - Paolo Venini and his Furnace

Milanese by birth and Muranese by choice, Paolo Venini (1895-1959) was a great protagonist of twentieth century glass, and made a decisive contribution to keeping it alive with his enthusiastic works over the course of forty years, in his important role as cultured, enlightened and creative entrepreneur. He founded the V.S.M. Venini & C. glassworks together with Napoleone Martinuzzi and Francesco Zecchin in 1925. He later became Chairman of the company and worked tirelessly as guiding mentor and manager of the firm until his death in 1959. Paolo Venini, a skilled businessman attentive to both contemporary artistic trends and the needs of the international market, was also the creator of a new series of glass, using his own technical department and contributing to the list of glass works that still featured the intervention of several designers.

The grandchildren - Laura and Paolo Diaz de Santillana

  Paolo Venini – The Diamate Series – 1934-36

Paolo Venini – The Murrine “a Dame” Series – 1953

The revival oft he murrine technique gradually led to new types of glass patterned, mostly opaque - ‘a dame’, mezzaluna, ‘a puntini’ – using striking color combinations.

Paolo Venini Mosaico Multicolore – 1954

Characterized by a novel interplay of delicate shades of multi-colored glass threads

Le stanze del Vetro - Paolo Venini and his Furnace

Drawing and studies for nine types of bottles with notes in Gio Ponti’s hand – graphite, pen and colored pencil on paper – c. 1950

Gio Ponti – Bottles – 1946-50

An artist with whom Paolo Venini worked fruitfully after WWII was the architect Gio Ponti (1891-1979), who created original bottles, table services and lamps.

Paolo Venini – Mosaico Zanfirico Series – 1954

Decorated with a white lace-like pattern that stands out against the colored surface

Pasquale Gagliardi


David Landau by a photograph of Paolo Venini


 Paolo Zevi and Marie-Rose Kahane

Silvia Damiani

Tobia Scarpa - The Battuti Series – 1959-60

Irregular satin finishes obtained in the cold shop were produced in delicate colors, the shapes of which show traces of Nordic influences


Tobia Scarpa – The Occhi Series – 1959-60

The Occhi – eyes - represent an interpretation of certain glass pieces designed by his father Carlo before the war.  They are characterized by the use of original murrine with a colorless transparent nucleus and rim in colored  glass or glass paste with vivid colors. 

Ken Scott – Pesci – 1951

Fashion designer Ken Scott designed a gaily colored series of fish produced for Macy’s. The series are characterized by brilliant novel polychrome patterns obtained with the use of the cased-glass technique and enriched with decoro fenico, applied threads. etc.


Documentary - Gianluigi Calderone – Paolo Venini – L’Uomo di Notte

Through the use of anecdotes and first-hand accounts, the documentary describes the extraordinary attention of the Venini Company to the colors and not just to the shapes of the glass pieces, to the extent that, in his search for new mixtures, Venini came close to loosing his eyesight.

Film director - Gianluigi Calderone

Tyra Lundgren – The Pesci Series – 1936-38

The Swedish ceramic artist, used models similar to those already executed in ceramics, employing techniques then in use in the furnace, such as corroso, iridised or sommerso glass.

The Lunch
On a bright sunny September day, next to Le Stanze del Vetro and The Fondazione Giorgio Cini, lunch was served on the riva of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore where the sailing boats are docked.

The Aperitivo

Acquolina’s Marika Seguso catered lunch


Curator - Marino Barovier

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