LINO TAGLIAPIETRA | SOFA 2018
This year is the 25th year for SOFA Chicago and we are proud to say that Jim Schantz has been there for 23 of those years! Unbelievable!!
Lino Tagliapietra has stated that SOFA Chicago is the most important show to present his newest creation, and he works towards that goal. When in the windy city, he enjoys meeting his fans, seeing long time friends, and the fine dining in Chicago.
For the 25th Anniversary of SOFA, Lino has created the Secret Garden, a wall installation featuring leaf forms that are blown and hot sculpted. Additionally he has taken his Florencia Series further…
We hope to see you there and share these and other exciting works by the Maestro with you. Here is a catalog of a selection of works to be presented – be sure you view full screen to get the full effect.
Distinctions in Glass
Distinctions in Glass | Bremers, Janecký, Shimomoto
Distinction can be defined both as a contrast between similar things, and an excellence that sets one thing apart from another. Two discrete meanings for the same word, yet both meanings apply easily to the glass work of the three artists—Peter Bremers, Harue Shimomoto, and Martin Janecký—featured in this exhibition. This gathering of three unique artists highlights the diversity of technique, form, and aesthetic which glass allows the maker. Bremers creates monumental cast glass sculptures—abstract, monochrome references to landscape and space. Shimomoto weaves glass threads into sculptural tapestries, employing clean lines to capture the essence of nature. Janecký is a modern-day Augustus Saint-Gaudens who sculpts molten glass into naturalistic, emotive busts and figures. Their commonality—a gift for manipulating this malleable material into astonishing works of art that elevate the viewer beyond the banal of the everyday.
Peter Bremers was an established light sculptor when he stumbled upon a glassblowing workshop in his native Netherlands, inspiring a journey of discovery in using glass to capture and bend light. The artist sculpts a model out of a dense foam block. By using the kiln cast method, the model is transformed into glass. He is well known for his awesome glass icebergs, inspired by a voyage to Antarctica in 2001, which bridge the psychic gap between humans and the natural world. He masterfully captures nature’s magnificence in flawless glass microcosms, bringing us intimately in tune with nature by kindling our sense of wonder and smallness around her majesty.
8.2 x 12 x 8.2
8.2 x 12 x 8.2"
11.8 x 12.8 x 4.4"
17 x 12.5 x 5.8"
cast glass, 15 x 16.7 x 5.6"
17.5 x 12 x 6"
Bremers work in this exhibition turns the journey inward with metaphysical cogitations on space that offer a healing salve in a disconnected and anxious world. Bremers takes the interplay of positive and negative space—an element inherent in our physical experience of three-dimensional sculpture—and extends it in a metaphoric direction. He brings negative space into the sculpture in the form of holes and hollow sections; visible through an outer transparent shell of glass, their volume constantly shifts as the light flows through. These studies of space are monochromatic meditations on form and light—at times intricately faceted, gracefully arched, softly geometric, languidly amorphous. Eloquent descriptors such as Circumscribed, Honey Sweet, Illusional, Optical, Sensuous, and Connected title these “spaces,” signposts that encourage our understanding of Bremer’s artistic intention. Of this series, the artist has written, “Finding ourselves in a time of increasingly negative perception of everyday news events and an overall rising feeling of being unsafe in a world of religious, political, and social divisiveness, we may forget to focus on the possibilities and comfort offered by positive action and attitude. Positive space symbolizes tolerance, appreciation, hope, and opportunity.”
While Bremers articulates the grand physical phenomena of nature, artist Harue Shimomoto relishes in its small gestures and broad strokes. Diaphanous curtains of glass express abstract notions—weather shifting with the seasons, light morphing throughout the day, leaves changing their hue, air circling a pond, fields blowing in the wind. Simple colors and forms mingle in a complex but soothing mesh of layered glass rods. Illusionistic depth emerges as Shimomoto deftly wields positive and negative sculptural space and carefully handles light and shadow, distilling moments into shimmering immersive impressions. Like with Bremers, Shimomoto’s work goes beyond mere physical exploration, becoming a meditative journey that holds tightly to the impermanence of fragile moments and shifts the viewer’s gaze beyond the tangible.
fused glass, stainless steel wire, pigment, epoxy, metal hooks,
51 x 37 x 7"
(Sun Spring Light)
fused glass, stainless steel wire, pigment, epoxy, metal hooks, 36 x 36 x 7"
Fused glass, stainless steel wire, pigment, epoxy, silver leaf, metal hooks, 36 x 36 x 7"
Shimomoto was born in Japan and received her BFA from Tokyo’s Musashino Art University, then came to the United States to get her MFA, settling afterwards in Rhode Island. Simplicity and ephemerality have a storied tradition in the Japanese aesthetic, a way of being that Shimomoto embodies, but also one from which she diverges. There is a quiet strength to her work—in its construction but more so it in its message—that makes her a unique amalgam. She has said: “I do not want the viewer to be too conscious of the glass. I almost believe that glass itself is too beautiful to be a medium. Many people see glass as functional object or decorative material. I want to break these images of glass and give it a different quality. Therefore, I am careful to make my work stronger than my medium.”
15.75 x 12 x 11.75"
approx. 27.5" h on stand
Martin Janecký is a master handler of the medium of glass, coaxing impossibly naturalistic figures and animals out of the material. Janecký was born to be a glassmaker, working in his father’s glass factory in the Czech Republic beginning at the age of 13. He likes to say “I didn’t pick glass, glass picked me.” After graduating from the glass school Nový Bor, he embarked on a path that has taken him to glass programs all over the world as a visiting artist and instructor to over 600 students a year. Teaching has been accompanied by endless learning, the time to formulate and hone his personal aesthetic, and the opportunity to push and perfect his innovative glass molding technique.
By “sculpting inside the bubble,” (blowing the basic bubble, then opening a hole and molding it with different tools from both the inside and the outside), Janecký achieves extraordinary realism and startling detail in his faces. Nooks, crevices, lines, and protuberances gradually emerge, a map of human emotion drawn in glass, radiating from within as is from a living, feeling soul. When asked about the meaning of his work, he has said: “I make things which fascinate me—not just from the workmanship point of view—I try to give them an expression. I don’t want to make just a realistic portrait. I want to capture feelings and emotions.” The external calm of the artist as he deliberately and slowly works the material belies his own creative mind—active, passionate, always seeking challenge.
A distinctive characteristic of glass as a medium is that it responds to challenge, yields to the vision of the passionate artist and skilled technician. A simple set of ingredients heated together to molten consistency, pushed, blown, poured, shaped, colored, etched, and altered in ways as myriad as the imagination can conjure. Peter Bremers, Harue Shimomoto, and Martin Janecký demonstrate the breadth of the physical and creative possibilities of glass because each brings deep devotion to the art, a unique ability to work with the material, and a drive to explore new experiences in glass.
CHIHULY BASKETS: CELEBRATING FORTY YEARS
“Baskets was the first series that I did that really took advantage of the molten properties of the glassblowing process. Now, for the first time, I really felt I was breaking new ground with an ancient technique.”
For many celebrated artists, the path to creative achievement is gradual, studied, and often plagued by self-doubt. David Galenson, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and the author of Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity (2007) calls these people “experimental innovators.” On the opposite end of this spectrum are what Galenson terms “conceptual innovators”—those whose brilliance arrives in a relative blaze, at a fairly early age, disrupting convention. Dale Chihuly is a conceptual innovator whose Baskets were a flashpoint for his originality. Forty years later, he is still a leader of the avant-garde and prodigious creative force, and the Baskets remain vital in the fascinating arc of his career.
Dale Chihuly, The Boathouse hotshop Seattle, 1993
Dale Chihuly had a meaningful encounter with traditional Northwest Indian basketry in 1977, during a visit to the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma. He was a young vanguard in the field of glass (he had become the head of the glass program at Rhode Island School of Design and co-founded the Pilchuck School of Glass in Washington by age 30). Chihuly was enthralled by how time had transformed the woven baskets into bowed and slumping objects. This touchpoint precipitated a breakthrough not only in Chihuly’s forms but also in his techniques for achieving them. He harnessed the interconnected powers of heat, gravity, centrifugal force, breath, and glass to achieve impossible thinness and dynamic asymmetry. Chihuly has stated: “Baskets was the first series that I did that really took advantage of the molten properties of the glassblowing process. Now, for the first time, I really felt I was breaking new ground with an ancient technique.”
His earliest Baskets, such as his 1979 Tabac Basket Set with Oxblood Jimmies, are daring and seemingly effortless. Like an alchemist Chihuly uncouples form from function and instead forges undulant containers of hue and luminosity. The muted palette reminiscent of Native American baskets defines the early work but is also an enduring muse. The extraordinary forms of Tabac Basket with Drawing Shards and Oxblood Body Wraps (2008) are like feats of Art Nouveau architecture writ in glass. This series is done in natural fiber tones akin to the objects that informed them, but the native formline design of the baskets is abstracted in Chihuly’s hand.
Tabac Basket Set with Oxblood Jimmies, 1979, 6 x 14 x 14″
These forty years of Baskets are not a linear progression, wherein one builds upon the next until superiority is achieved; rather they are collection of transcendent moments through time.
While some works have maintained an aesthetic affiliation with the baskets Chihuly saw in the 1970s, others are merely kindred spirits. Jasper Black Basket Set with Red Lip Wraps (2000) revels in the drama of the color black; opaque obsidian is complemented by deep blues and shimmering violets, sheathed in a sanguine red. Six nested containers produce a panoply of shapes and crevices where light is absorbed and refracted by the lustrous surfaces. With the recent Golden Sapphire Basket Set with Midnight Blue Lip Wraps (2017), Chihuly continues to push the limits of the material. The outer vessel is turned on its side—its form part basket part sea creature, variegated blues dancing around the cresting and plunging contours. Nested inside this frame, six unique forms coalesce in a masterpiece of blown glass, the splendid blues enhanced by peeks of golden yellow.
Jasper Black Basket Set with Red Lip Wraps, 2000, 6 x 13 x 13″
Entwined with the narrative of the Baskets are Chihuly’s drawings, in which we see the artist’s instinctive and spontaneous creativity most viscerally. In a medium not bound by gravity, design elements can be liberated from their surfaces, nested forms emancipated, circles need not close. Not studies for specific works, the gestural drawings express Chihuly’s big ideas to both his glassblowing team and his viewers. Then, as if the works on paper could shatter like glass into “shards,” details from the drawings become design elements of the Baskets themselves, exemplifying the creative loop that characterizes Dale Chihuly.
Pablo Picasso once said that “to search means nothing in painting. To find is the thing.” Such a prophetic statement could only usher from a true conceptual innovator, one who inspired a paradigmatic shift in art-making without seeming like it was any effort at all. Dale Chihuly has done the same for modern studio art glass, and the Baskets are the bellwether of this movement. Chihuly’s magic is intangible and unmistakable—a mix of technical genius, limitless imagination, fearlessness, experimentation, and an unfailing eye for the beautiful.
Jeanne Koles is an independent museum professional with a focus on cultural communications.
Golden Sapphire Basket Set with Midnight Blue Lip Wraps, 2017 (detail), 19 x 22 x 22″
Made in N.E.
Stockbridge, MA: Often when one hears the term Art Glass, a work of art created in a hot furnace with a blowpipe is what first comes to mind. This exhibit gives visitors a glimpse into the diverse techniques that creative hands and minds can employ in this medium. Made in N.E. is a curated exhibition of blown, cast, cut, fused, laminated, and sculpted works in glass created by fourteen artists in New England including; William Carlson, Daniel Clayman, Dan Dailey, Bernie D’Onofrio, Robin Grebe, Dorothy Hafner, Eric Hilton, Sidney Hutter, K. William LeQuier, Martin Rosol, Thomas Scoon, Harue Shimomoto, Jen Violette, and Steven Weinberg.Made in N.E. celebrates the intersection of global and local technique and tradition. Some of the artists, like Eric Hilton, Martin Rosol, and Harue Shimomoto, bring international perspectives to the show, as emigrants or immigrants to the U.S. who chose to settle in New England. Martin Rosol of MA, for example, became a naturalized American citizen in 1994. His exhibited works present the viewer with Rosol’s innovations on the Czech glass tradition. Other featured artists, such as Jen Violette, are dyed-in-the-wool New Englanders. Violette herself found initial artistic inspiration in the artworks and lifestyle of her grandparents who earned their living as studio artists in Maine. She currently resides in Vermont on a small farm, drawing inspiration for her hot sculpted glass pieces from the gardens on her land.
The artists’ processes are as diverse and nuanced as their origin stories. Many of these artists use multiple techniques, several incorporate varied materials such as metal, mahogany, or stone into their glass sculptures. Whether viewing the installations of Bill Carlson, Daniel Clayman, and Dan Dailey or the smaller-scale work of Robin Grebe, Dorothy Hafner, and Sidney Hutter, one cannot help but marvel at the diverse and incredibly unique art united by the medium of glass and the community behind it.
Dorothy Hafner at work on her designs.
A fair number of newer glass artists and many who started working during the earlier days of the American Studio Glass Movement, which began about 55 years ago, progressed through ceramics as a stepping stone to the alluring medium of glass. Dorothy Hafner, trained as a painter, sculptor, and ceramicist, first designed for Tiffany & Co. and the Rosenthal Company before venturing into the world of glass. Hafner collaborated with the famous Lino Tagliapietra and has since shifted her focus to flat glass, fusing her layer upon layer of intricately cut designs to create her trademark bright translucent panels.
Given the translucent nature of glass, it is no surprise that a number of glass artists begin as lighting designers or emphasize lighting in their work. Daniel Clayman, who recently created the vast Rainfield installation at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s new Design and Media Center, started as a theater lighting designer before embarking on a very successful career in glass. Clayman’s continued interest in light’s behavior and feats of engineering are apparent in his cast and cut glass works, which in some instances expand to fill a vast room, and in others fit on a pedestal.
Dan Dailey, known for his range of technique and the versatility of his work, has been creating sculptures and functional art with an emphasis on lighting since 1970. His series of chandeliers and sconces captivate viewers with their whimsy and technical prowess evident in their execution. Every piece of Dailey’s work begins with a drawing, and many incorporate multiple medias and glass-working processes. He is a master of the most seductive of all techniques, blown and hot-sculpted glass. The immediacy, the fire, and the viscous honey-like consistency of molten glass lure many artists and craftspeople into its web. Watching is irresistible, doing is difficult. Dailey, a veteran of the glass-blowing arena, has certainly proven his commitment to his art over the course of more than forty-five years as a working artist. Often narrative, his sculptures and architectural installations explore extraordinary concepts with a wide range of themes and styles articulated through blown, cast, and pâte de verre glass expertly woven with elements of bronze, steel, aluminum, and light.
A number of artists who work in cast glass, such as William Carlson, Robin Grebe, and Thomas Scoon, also incorporate alternate media into their glass sculptures. After making a mold from sand, plaster, or another material that can hold its shape while filled with molten glass, the artist pours the hot glass into the void, sometimes adding elements to the piece while it is still warm, sometimes waiting for it to cool before juxtaposing the fragility against the strength of metal or stone.
Eric Hilton at work.
Some glass artists follow their casting process with “cold working,” or the manipulation of glass at room temperature. “Cold working” almost always involves cutting or carving the glass, by hand with a tool or by means of a machine. Eric Hilton employs varied methods, using a waterjet or a copper wheel. Sidney Hutter pioneered a laminating process that includes ultraviolet adhesive and specialty pigments to create and color his precisely cut plate glass into the suggestions of vessels. Martin Rosol, too, plays with color in his laminate as well as the finishes of his sculptures. He sandblasts to achieve a softer opacity, or grinds and polishes to create surfaces that shine like ice. After carefully planning each piece, the internationally exhibited Steven Weinberg casts and carves optical crystal in his Rhode Island studio.
Glassblowing and particularly hot sculpting also offer many opportunities for the rendering of an artistic vision, for innovation and experimentation. The potential and allure of this medium plus fire and breath is reflected in Bernie D’Onofrio’s stunning rivulets of glass that seem suspended within an exterior transparent vessel, or in the wild, almost alive glass strands tamed by K. William LeQuier’s talent. Jen Violette’s irresistible garden vegetables and rabbits charm viewers, her sculpted hands embody grace.
Experimentation in this art form continues to produce amazing works, such as the delicately woven threads of glass by Harue Shimomoto. The presentation is as exacting as the process, as Shimomoto suspends layers of glass tendrils from above to create depth and subtle movement as the viewer shifts and perspective changes, creating an ethereal suggestion of a textile landscape.
K WIlliam LeQuier
Visit Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, MA, to see how New England artists exemplify the diversity of technique, perspective, and origin that the world of contemporary art glass has to offer.
IF YOU GO: Made in N.E.
Exhibition May 8 – June 24, 2017
Gallery Hours: Open daily 10:30-5:30
Schantz Galleries Contemporary Glass, 3 Elm Street, Stockbridge, Massachusetts 01262
Tel: 413-298-3044 www.schantzgalleries.com
Artist Reception: Friday June 23, 4-6pm
Curating an Exhibition at the Morris Museum
“Although Lino embodies centuries of Venetian traditions in glass-making techniques, he also continually quests to bring new ideas and approaches to the medium” –Jim Schantz, director of Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
“The boldness of his vision is why he’s so widely celebrated, married with that technical virtuosity. It’s this combination of tradition and innovation that really sets Lino apart from pretty much anybody else working in glass.” Andrew Page, managing editor of GLASS Quarterly.
It began over a year ago with a conversation between a gallerist and a collector; Jim Schantz and Alan Levitan. Alan asked after learning that Jim had curated the show at the Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass, “How about a show of Lino’s work at the Morris Museum?”
“Of course!” Jim said, “… and we can help with it!”
After hundreds of hours and many phone calls, meetings, committees, detailed lists of arrangements, The Morris Museum currently showcases a selection of the maestro’s works in the exhibition, Lino Tagliapietra: Maestro of a Glass Renaissance through June 18th. The show features 30 pieces hand-picked by Morris Museum curator Alexandra Willis and Jim Schantz, director of Schantz Galleries.
For the first few months, it was a back and forth between Jim, Alex, and Alan in the beginning, choosing the work from our inventory, deciding which pieces to exhibit, and how to best utilize the space, pedestals, vitrines, and lighting. After the work was chosen and finalized, Kim Saul, Director of Publications at Schantz Galleries, worked on the catalog.
View online catalog.
The exhibition chronicles the past 17 years of Lino Tagliapietra’s career. It includes a survey of his classical Venetian forms and canework, plus a range of examples of his experimental works. Pieces like those in his Dinosaur series meld sculpture with painting, as color and form accentuate and heighten the aesthetic response.
Dinosaur, 2015, 21.5 x 13 x 4.5″
Dinosaur is a seminal work of Lino’s that has become an icon in his repertoire; it’s become a signature form which he goes back to from time to time, while exploring new approaches of essentially ‘drawing’ or ‘painting’ with the glass cane material.
Lina Tagliapietra, Alan Levitan, Lino Tagliapietra, Melanie Levitan and Jacopo Vecchiato, Managing Director for Lino… as well as grandson!
Despite his worldwide acclaim and extensive exhibition record, the Morristown display represents the first solo museum show of Tagliapietra’s work in the New York, New Jersey metropolitan area. This has been a great opportunity for both Lino and the Morris Museum to present this work to both seasoned aficionados and those art enthusiasts new to the medium of glass. In both his life and work, Tagliapietra represents a living bridge between hundreds of years of Venetian glassmaking traditions and the experimental improvisations characteristic of the contemporary glass art movement.
Clodia, 2016, 28 x 12 x 6″
Although Lino embodies centuries of Venetian traditions in glassmaking techniques, he also continually quests to bring new ideas and approaches to the medium. He’s been greatly responsible for the incredible growth in the field of contemporary glass as an art form throughout the past 40 years.
Stelle di Neve, 2015, fused glass panel, 18.75 x 18.75 x 1.5″ Previously exhibited at Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass.
The exhibit spotlights Tagliapietra’s work from the 21st century. Since reaching “retirement age,” Tagliapietra has embarked upon a particularly productive period in his career, consolidating and advancing innovations and breakthroughs from earlier times. When curating this exhibition, it was important to focus on works that Lino has created since age 65. During this period he has not only created some of the greatest classical works, but some of the most innovative of his vast career.
Barene, 2012, 48.25 x 27.75 x .75″
The Morris Museum will host a number of special events in conjunction with “Maestro of a Glass Renaissance,” including “The Magic of Glass Through Time,” a historical perspective by Patricia Elaine of the Morris County School of Glass on Wednesday, April 19; a lecture titled “From Murano to Seattle: Lino Tagliapietra’s Journey” by GLASS Magazine Editor, Andrew Page on Sunday, April 23; a “Ladies Night Out” on Wednesday, April 26; and a tour through the exhibition conducted by Jim Schantz on Wednesday, May 17. Details and ticketing for these and other events are available at the museum’s website.
Tagliapietra and Schantz led a preview tour at the exhibition.
For more information on these or any works in the exhibition, please contact Jim at Schantz Galleries. firstname.lastname@example.org
Chiocciola, 2008, 16.25 x 18.75 x 7.5″
Chihuly Gifts Artwork at Tacoma’s Union Station
Chandelier and the Monarch Window at Union Station
Now more than ever, we feel compelled to find and celebrate the good in order to stay hopeful. We are very excited to share the news with you that in late January 2017, Dale and Leslie Chihuly gifted artwork at Union Station (Tacoma, Washington) to the United States. Mayor Strickland and the representatives from the GSA and the Tacoma Art Council recognized Dale and Leslie with a certificate of appreciation, and thanked them for making this amazing body of work accessible to everyone. Dale dedicated the work in memory of his father George, his mother Viola, and his brother George.
Click play for a preview and/or click the link to watch the full video Chihuly at Union Station.
It’s so great that Leslie and I could donate these installations to the GSA so people will forever go into that beautiful restoration and see my artwork there and the beautiful views of Mount Rainier… – Dale Chihuly
Thank you, Dale and Leslie, for your generosity and inspiration.
Click here to watch the full video on Chihuly’s Vimeo page.
To see more of Chihuly’s work, click here.
STANKARD RELEASES OUTSTANDING NEW BOOK—STUDIO CRAFT as CAREER
We are honored to represent and know Paul Stankard, and looking forward to three new pieces by him this arriving at the gallery this week! Until then, we are announcing his newest book, sure to be collected by artists and art collectors alike.
Paul Stankard, internationally renowned glass artist, recently published his third book, Studio Craft as Career, A Guide To Achieving Excellence In Art Making. Stankard crafted this verbal artistry with two distinct purposes in mind. The first half of this superb resource offers readers a special insight into Stankard’s career, his personal journey that led him to find his niche and allowed him to grow and reach his full potential as an artist. In the second half, Stankard presents biographical career information and advice from a broad cross section of well-respected artists, who, along with Stankard, are important to the contemporary American craft landscape. The outstanding photography selected by the author, serves to enhance and enrich the words of experience and wisdom offered by the author.
Stankard wrote this book to be a provocative text filled with harsh realities and dreams that fill the life and work of an artist. The book was conceived to share personal experiences and offer direction for career growth. Stankard thoroughly enjoys teaching and sharing his craft in his role as the Artist in Residence and Lecturer at Salem Community College. He inspires students to search for their individual creative spirits and reach their full potential in life. This book reflects Stankard’s passion for teaching.
Stankard is also the author of No Green Berries of Leaves: The Creative Journey of an Artist in Glass; and, Spark the Creative Flame: Making the Journey from Craft to Art, both highly acclaimed by the academic and literary communities.
Paul Stankard, Meditation in Herman Melville’s Garden, 2016 Lampwork encased in 4″ orb
About Paul Stankard
Paul Stankard’s work is represented in more than 60 museums worldwide. A pioneer in the studio-glass movement, Stankard is known for interpreting native flowers in small scale glass sculptures. His work explores and interprets color, texture and delicacy while continuing to examine and celebrate the fecundity of the plant kingdom. He is a Fellow of the Corning Museum of Glass, Fellow of the American Craft Council, and received the coveted Urban Glass Award – Innovation In Glassworking Technique. Stankard has been recognized with Masters of the Medium honor by the James Renwick Alliance affiliated with the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. and was also awarded the Glass Art Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Stankard and his wife Pat live in Mantua, New Jersey.
Lino Tagliapietra | “Painting in Glass” at the Philadelphia Museum
Lino Tagliapietra‘s Painting in Glass, on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, now through July 16, 2017.
Giuditta, (detail) Fused glass panel, 2013. photo: Russell Johnson
Lino Tagliapietra is best known as one of the world’s preeminent glassblowers. He imbues each of his vessels with a rare elegance and intelligence. The contours of his Dinosaurs turn gracefully, his avventurine works dazzle, and each new series of Tagliapietra’s demands not only renewed contemplation of great beauty, but also renewed reflection on the locus of Lino’s work in terms of history, tradition, and inspiration.
Lino composing Giuditta in 2013 at Bullseye Glass in Portland Oregon. photo Jen Elek
A Maestro of Glass since age twenty-one, Lino Tagliapietra has kept us admiring and thinking with every twist of the blowpipe for over sixty years. Recently, however, the artist surprised us in a new way, diverging from blown glass to explore a new method within his dedicated medium. As always, Tagliapietra reveals both his mastery of and ability to seamlessly reinvent traditional techniques, employing murrini and cane in the creation of works that read as glass paintings, or more properly, constitute kiln-fused glass panels.
Porta con Finestra, (Door with a Window), inspired by the colorful houses on the island of Burano. photo: Russell Johnson
Lino Tagliapietra’s panels have garnered many comparisons to paintings by artists like Rothko, Klimt, and Van Gogh, placing Tagliapietra’s work in conversation with that of Western Civilization’s greatest painters. Though a Modernist aesthetic presents itself throughout the body of Lino’s work, perhaps his Modernism is most easily sensed in what could be considered one of the glass artist’s most experimental, or unconventional, series.
Lino at work on the Chicago panel in Portland Oregon. photo: Jen Elek
His panels represent risk, a new way of seeing, unyielding exploration, and an unquenchable vitality that pushes past fear and apprehension. As Lino said of his panels, “it’s a big effort with myself to go and explore in this direction. It feels a bit scary to go to the gallery with work like this. But it’s a huge opportunity…”
Chicago, 2015, 31.5 x 39.5 x .75″
We are grateful and humbled to be able to watch as the Maestro transcends conventions and limitations. Lino Tagliapietra inspires with his work, but also with his immense talent, unparalleled dedication, and relentless search to experience and share that next new sense of wonder.
Many thanks to the curators, Andrew Page and Elisabeth Agro. Andrew Page is the editor-in-chief of GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly, who works with art critics, museum curators, and practicing artists to put the most important work being done in glass into a critical context. Elisabeth Agro has served as Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since June 2006. Thank you also to sponsors of the show, including The Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation Endowed Fund for Modern and Contemporary Craft, the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Be sure to visit Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge to see an exceptional variety of fused glass panels by Lino Tagliapietra.
Elizabeth Agro, Lino Tagliapietra and Norma Klorfine at the opening event at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Lina Tagliapietra and Anna Ferro with “Field of Flowers.”
Visitors with Lino Tagliapietra, at the opening reception viewing “Genesis, Evolution.”
LINO TAGLIAPIETRA | INSPIRATIONS
Lino Tagliapietra continues to share his experience as a technically masterful glass blower, teacher and artist who travels the world in search of inspiration for his work. This thirst for discovery mirrors one of his favorite explorers, Corto Maltese, a character from an early graphic novel by Italian comic book artist Hugo Pratt (1927-1995), who was venerated for fantastical stories and graphic dexterity. An interesting sidebar is that Lino’s wife, (Lina Ongaro), of over 56 years had and uncle who also was an artist who worked alongside Pratt when he was in Venice. Through the artwork and stories, Lino found a simpatico spirit and fellow adventurer in the tales of Corto’s travels as told through Pratt’s art.
Fórcole, 2016 38¾ x 11 x 8″; 38½ x 14 x 8″; 37 x 11 x 8″ photo: Kim Saul
This year at SOFA Chicago, Lino Tagliapietra will debut several new series—Cayuga, Contarini and Fórcole—all reminiscent of places or experiences visited or imagined by the artist; he also continues to explore both panel glass and the sumptuous and challenging avventurine with a five Dinosaur Installation. Lino is forever striving to find new inspirations, forms, and techniques as well as opportunities to make his work.
Gondolier in Venice, see the fórcole, on which the oar is resting. Adobe stock photo
Fórcole, which Tagliapietra designed specifically for this show, are named after the rowlocks found on the gondolas in the beautiful lagoons of his native Venice. In this body of work, he re-imagines the centuries-old tradition of making fórcole, metamorphosing a functional object into sculpture. With remarkable technical ability, he communicates his expressive aesthetic and his light, intelligent, and inspiring presence. The strength and beauty of the glass parallels the natural vitality of the young wood that becomes fórcole. As with traditional Venetian oarlocks, each of Tagliapietra’s Fórcole requires an impressive amount of time and labor. Much as the wood must first be carefully chosen, hewn, seasoned, carved, and then finished with sandpaper and a sealant, so the glass and colors must first be made, blown into a shape, cut from the vessel, carved with battuto, shaped through slumping in a kiln, and polished. The Maestro has stated that it will be some time before he creates additional Fórcole because the amount of work that goes into each piece is so staggering.
Cayuga, 2016 21½ x 14½ x 7½” photo: Russell Johnson
Cayuga experiments with shape as the compressed sides diverge from Lino’s more trademark symmetry. Lino worked with this form in May of this year at the MIT hot shop in Cambridge, MA and was very excited about the shape of the vessel. The sensual piece in this exhibition was made a few months later, at the GAS conference in at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY, and named after the nearby Finger Lakes. When he travels to work in different hot shops around the world, Lino prefers to bring his own color which he has special recipes for, and one of his favorites is his own red.
Contarini, 2016 20 x 9¼ x 6″ photo: Russell Johnson
Another new series is the Contarini, first blown May 2016 at the MIT hot shop in Cambridge, MA. Lino’s Contarini— colorful, multilayered vessels with clear murrini and swirling, vertical composition—are defined by wildly mod graphics. They are so named because they reminded Lino of the windows the Palazzo Contarini, in Venice.
Palazzo Contarini in Venice. Adobe stock photo
The Contarini family is a noted Venetian family, from which eight Doges led the Venetian Republic forward through ever changing ages between 1043 and 1797. The famous architect, Andrea Palladio, who was employed by the Contarini and their relatives, designed several of the most outstanding neo-classical structures in the Veneto’s environs.
Dinosaur Installation, 2016, 29½ x 45¾ x 5″ photo: Russell Johnson
A true adventurer with the material, another series in Tagliapietra’s recent body of work revitalizes a centuries-old glass-making technique called avventurine (from the Italian for adventure), which began in 17th-century Murano when a member of the Miotti family accidentally dropped some copper filings into a glass batch. The delicate process of incorporating metal into liquid glass then cooling it in low oxygen, reducing atmosphere as the mineral deposits clump gingerly together is capricious and often results in failure. Just to prepare the material is a feat of alchemy. When it works, shimmering striations of crystallized metal suspend wondrously in the glass. As Tagliapietra has described it “…sometimes I feel that it is not glass … but I feel the absolute magic and the preciousness of a material that came from the past.” The serpentine Fenice and the elegant Oca reveal how colors can vary from silver to gold, copper red to blue, purple to green depending on the filtering effects of the colored glass comprising the body of the material, and how the suspended metal deposits can be pulled into assorted shapes.
In Greek and Roman mythology, the Muses were a source of knowledge and the inspirational goddesses of the arts—music, sculpture, poetry and dance. Glass artist Lino Tagliapietra finds his muses all around him. Whether traveling to upstate New York or an island in the South Pacific, glimpsing a water bird stretching her neck to the sky or the reflection of colors in his lagoon, Lino discovers new ideas wherever he finds himself. He is completely open to the experiences of life and perpetually looking forward to the next inspiration.
It is rare that the maestro is without his camera, ready to capture the next encounter along his travels and to remind himself later of the colors and spirit of a person, place or time. photo: Jim Schantz
PETER BREMERS | Earth Dialogue – a collaborative exhibit
Marcel Proust wrote that “the real voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” As a way of seeing through new eyes, Schantz Galleries and Sohn Fine Art present a premier collaboration between the two Berkshire art galleries, as well as with two highly regarded artists working in different mediums. Earth Dialogue features over twenty sculptures in glass by Peter Bremers created between 2007 to 2016 and never before seen photographs by Seth Resnick.
Peter Bremers, The Last Iceberg, 2015, 34.5 x 32 x 6″
In his recent series, Inward Journey, Bremers’ embodies Proust’s assertion that through new experiences we receive “new eyes.” Instead of reflecting an earthly trip, the Inward Journey pieces travel to a mystical, inner space. These objects “pay tribute to mankind and our never ending journey to a deeper understanding of oneself and each other, seeking a harmonious and purposeful life on our planet.” While Bremers’ sculptures often achieve an impressive feeling of place—whether icy-blue glaciers or russet-red rocks—his goal is not to merely show us how something looks. His recent metaphorical works prove him to be more than a landscape artist. Instead, he evokes awe, both literal and spiritual. Through his insightful representation of Earth’s most majestic and precarious spaces, Bremers instills an elevated sense of responsibility for its preservation.
Seth Resnick, Blue Iceberg, in the Scotia Sea in Antarctica
With his camera, Resnick has an in depth conversation with the Earth that surrounds him. Resnick wants his viewers to see his photographs as an opportunity to consider the larger, unseen realities that contribute to the energy and uniqueness of his subjects. “For me it is all about the patterns of waves from water, ice and sand and I find them mesmerizing. My images are a journey into the personal space of my subject.”
Peter Bremers, Waves, 2015 24 x 9.6 x 5.2″
On exhibit in both locations, the works are expected to create a dialogue about the natural world that transcends medium. The artists share a similar aesthetic and vision, as both are masters of light; and both have experienced and endeavored to depict the sublimity encountered in nature, from the Antarctic icebergs to desert canyons. Capturing these moments in time, and continuing the dialogue for the earth, has probably never been more important than now.
Sohn Fine Art is located nearby at 69 Church Street, Lenox MA. www.sohnfineart.com
To view a catalog of works by Peter Bremers, click the link below, or view available works here.