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.

Master of Beauty | Lino Tagliapietra

To behold Lino Tagliapietra’s glass art is to perceive pure beauty, inspired by the magnificence of the artist’s surroundings, travels, and experiences. In his 1753 volume Analysis of Beauty, English painter and writer William Hogarth (1697-1764) laid out the six principles that affect our perception of beauty: fitness (fitting parts of a whole elegantly together); variety (blending shapes and colors harmoniously); uniformity (balancing symmetry with shifting perspectives); simplicity (discarding superfluous elements); intricacy (leading the eye with thoughtful composition); and quantity (inspiring awe through grandness). Hogarth’s ground-breaking tome also described the serpentine “line of beauty,” an s-shaped curve used in art that awakens the viewer and is pleasing to behold. Flawlessly orchestrating all six of Hogarth’s tenets and deftly employing the “line of beauty,” each work by Tagliapietra beguiles the viewer, transporting them to a place of unadulterated grace.

The Fenice series epitomizes the lively allure of the curving line. Impossibly elongated pulls of glass twist dynamically through the air. Hot reds give way to fiery oranges, which cool to deep blues, manifesting the myriad colors of flame as the glass phoenix rises. The interplay of curves in the installation of three Fenice works reveals myriad expressions as the viewer moves around the piece. Equally in the Dinosaur works, a sense of infinity defies their physical boundaries. The magnificence of the extinct beasts are expressed, softened through graceful bends in their necks and modernized through the graphic patterns of the glass. A repetition of circles plays delightfully against the kaleidoscopic swathes of color that surround the surfaces.

The graceful arcing forms of the Forcola works are also enhanced by undulating layers of design. Concentric circles—in some cases from a single color family, in others from complimentary hues—stretch like taffy to reveal the exquisite patterns inlaid in the glass. So named because their shape artfully recalls the rowlocks of Venetian gondolas, the Forcola works—like so many by Tagliapietra—expressively celebrate a place of affection for the artist.

Geography has had a considerable influence on the artist, who has traveled the world extensively to work and teach; each location leaves its mark on his soul and in his work. Recalling woven African baskets in form and pattern, the globular Africa vase sits nimbly on a narrow foot and revels in a vibrant, jewel-like palette. Rippled “lines of beauty” wind their way up the vase in both directions, culminating in a vivid blue lip of gently waving canes. The rolling swells of a sand dune are captured in the intricate Sahara, its amber coloring punctuated by an azure oasis. Like the blue sea that gives way to the volcano for which they are named, the Stromboli works erupt with cascading cerulean lava, punctuated by frenetic green swirls and daubs of crimson.

Just as Tagliapietra brings a unique perspective to the places he visits by rendering them abstractly in glass, so he brings his forward-looking ideology to artistic traditions. A long-lost glass making technique using avventurine glass is reborn in Tagliapietra’s hands. In a triumph of alchemy, suspended metal in the glass infuses the material with shimmering luster. Hogarth wrote that “simplicity gives beauty even to variety.” In the Avventurine works, minimal and classical shapes are brilliantly juxtaposed with a mosaic of swirling, sparkling designs.

Whether by the 18th century standards of a thinker like Hogarth, or by modern codes, Lino Tagliapietria is a master of beauty. To combine centuries-old traditions with contemporary explorations of the medium, to pay homage to the intimate places he knows and the faraway worlds he has visited, and to do so with such an inherent understanding of what makes things beautiful—this is a true gift. Tagliapietra’s sumptuously articulated forms and dazzling designs are masterfully balanced yet playful. A “line of beauty” unfurls in front of our eyes in each work and in the body of work as a whole. 


Current Exhibition


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.

Lino Tagliapietra, schantz galleries

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.

Lino Tagliapietra

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

SOFA Chicago, 2015 with Lino Tagliapietra

Admiring the Coral Reef fused glass by Lino Tagliapietra.

Admiring the Coral Reef fused glass by Lino Tagliapietra.

We are just finishing all the details from our recent exhibition at SOFA Chicago on the Navy Pier. This is our 17th year exhibiting on the pier and we are happy to report it was a successful and beautiful exhibition. Many visitors came by to say hello to Maestro Lino Tagliapietra. Here is a short video by John Forsen which gives you a glimpse into the exhibition and Lino working on the next new piece!

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Schantz Galleries presented both classic and contemporary works by Lino Tagliapietra, some series which have never before presented as a feature exhibition. Blown or fused glass in the hands of Maestro Tagliapietra, convey his remarkable technical ability and communicate the expressive aesthetic of the artist; a light, intelligent and sublime presence.

Jim Schantz chose the work with the assistance of Lino and Lino’s grandson and manager, Jacopo Vecchiato months ahead of time in Seattle, and the focus was on classic combined with the newest creations.

Celebrating 70 years of working with glass, he continues to be inspired to work on new concepts and designs. Some of the recent works included classic forms using the avventurine glass which is very challenging to work with at the scale it was done in. Tagliapietra has written that he is “…totally open. I think that what I like to do the most is research. I don’t want to represent Venetian technique only—even though I was born with it and it is possible to recognize it in my work. Your style is what you are.” He moves fluidly around the globe, incorporating nuance and inspiration from each place visited into a style that is uniquely his, never compromised but always enhanced. His generous spirit and gentle nature make him a true visionary, for whom a single color, a simple landscape, or a chance encounter inspires a masterpiece in glass.

(photo: k.saul)

John Kiley and his long time friend and mentor…

(photo: k.saul)

Celebrating the Fuel their Fire program in our booth!  David Huchthausen, Nancy Callan, Jim Schantz, Sarah Traver, Susan Warner and Steve Linn

During the exhibition, we hosted two receptions.  one was for the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, and their Fuel their Fire residency program.  Many artists, collectors and gallerists attended the reception, to hear Susan Warner, Director of Education and the new director of the museum, Deborah Lenk speak of the importance of the program.  Artist John Kiley commented as well, saying how he has made some great work in the museum program, where he has the freedom to try things that he may not be able to afford to try on his own due to the exorbitant cost of running a studio.

The second reception was to acknowledge Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, in honor of their recent award from the AACG and to acknowledge Lino’s current exhibition there as well as his Seventy Years of Working with Glass!

(photo: k.saul)

Celebration of 70 years with old and new friends. Pictured: Amber Cowan, Tommie Rush, Lino Tagliapietra, Richard Jolley, and Zak Timan.

(photo: k.saul)

Lino has a lot of friends!!!



(photo: k.saul)

Lino toasts the upcoming GAS Conference with Director Pamela Koss and Steven Powell.

Not limiting himself to blown glass forms, the artist’s passion for his art has driven him to create large scale fused glass panels, using various forms of his own hand pulled canes, murrini, rondelle and glass pellets. Varying in size, some of the one to two inch thick panels’ measure up to eight feet tall when in the steel stand used to display the work. Chicago, 2015 is a 40 inch wide fused glass panel composed with multi-colored, twisted glass rods and a beautiful blue glass frit. Closer inspection reveals thousands of tiny bubbles within the thick layers of blue glass adding a watery impression. With its bold graphic design, the artist’s use of color and spatial relationships combine, this work evokes the hustle-bustle, of the city on the lake. Subtle and strong, the fused glass panels are uncompromising paintings with glass and light.

(photo: k.saul)

This one is named Chicago for the city on the Lake…

(photo: k.saul)

Admiring the technique of the Nuvola, fused glass panel by Lino.

(photo: k.saul)

Meeting friends is one of the benefits of these expositions.

(photo: k.saul)

We just don’t get these fashions in Stockbridge… there are some very stylish people in Chicago!

(photo: k.saul)

Anish Kapoor sculpture in Millenium Park, Chicago

(photo: k.saul)

Some art just does this to people!

Additional: Lino Tagliapietra has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions and is represented in a global assortment of museums and art institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France; Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Shanghai Museum of Glass, Shanghai, China, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.

Jim Schantz, Lino Tagliaietra and Kim Saul at SOFA Chicago, 2015

Jim Schantz, Lino Tagliaietra and Kim Saul at SOFA Chicago, 2015

view the catalog

view the catalog

SOFA Chicago ~ the Poetry of Glass in the Art of Lino Tagliapietra

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Lino Tagliapietra at SOFA Chicago 2013 Schantz Galleries Cheri Eisenberg

2013 SOFA Chicago exhibit… the BEST EVER!

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Lino Tagliapietra’s Plume Volanti, 2013 fused and blown glass panel, with blown vessels in the background.  photo: Cheri Eisenberg DSC_9582

We were had the opportunity to chose some of Lino‘s recent works when in Seattle, and Jim curated an amazing exhibit with the over all theme being the Kookaburra and Fuji… many of which incorporated the “fireworks murrini”… and the suspended Ala at the entrance of the exhibit were a big attraction, some of which are under consideration for various installations.


Andrew and Lino discussed the technical and philosophical aspects of the art and the artist.


Lino looks at Vladena Klumpar’s new monograph….(we have copies!)

The Curator and the Maestro …………  Tina Oldknow and Lino Tagliapietra


…. Susan Maribito, Preston Singletary and Lino


… Lots of Lino Fans!

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…one of my favorite photos! ~k

AACG Honorees, Bruce Bachman and Lino Tagliapietra with Harlan Fischer.

AACG Honorees, Bruce Bachman and Lino Tagliapietra with AACG President Harlan Fischer.


Cecilia, Jim, Lino and Kim after the AACG ceremony.

POETRY OF GLASS the Art of Lino Tagliapietra  SCHANTZ GALLERIESpdfcover
Click on this image to view an online version of the hard cover publication of  POETRY OF GLASS the Art of Lino Tagliapietra