Subscribe to our newsletter

Highlights From the Previous Week, Partnered Events and Haikus. View our Newsletter archive

The Cirva Goes to Venice

In A Furnace in Marseille, the Fondazione Querini Stampalia and Le Stanze del Vetro are showcasing the work of 17 artists in residence at the French glassmaking institution

Scroll right to read more ›
Text by Rab Messina

Venice and Marseille have many things in common: both cities have an inextricable relationship with water and are known for reimagining the possibilities of glassmaking. This spring, with an exhibition titled A Furnace in Marseille.Cirva, the Italian city is celebrating the work of its French sister-in-glass.

Isabelle Reiher, director of the Centre international de recherche sur le verre et les arts plastiques (Cirva) and Chiara Bertola, curator of contemporary art at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, have chosen the work of 17 artists and designers who have been in residence at the Marseille institution in the last 30 years.

At the Querini Stampalia, the duo has chosen to display the work of eight artists who see glass as the translation of a thought: Dove Allouche, James Lee Byars, Giuseppe Caccavale, Hreinn Fridfinnsson, Philippe Parreno, Remo Salvadori, Jana Sterbak and Francisco Tropa.

For the second part of the exhibition, taking place at Le Stanze del Vetro, the curators decided to present, in detail, the role of the Bouches-du-Rhône workshop, known for its standing as a research laboratory, in the resulting pieces. This personalised setup features work by Larry Bell, Pierre Charpin, Lieven De Boeck, Erik Dietman, Tom Kovachevich, Giuseppe Penone, Jana Sterbak, Martin Szekely, Robert Wilson and Terry Winters.

“The exhibition stems from the awareness that glass is not a material but a condition: a visual device that helps to identify something other than its pure form,” said the curators. “It allows us to imagine the translation of an idea, to grasp the concretion of a vision’s inner energy, to touch the colour of a profound insight and to show the hardness of a solid that dissolves into brilliance.”

A Furnace in Marseille.Cirva is open until June 24 at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia and until July 29 at Le Stanze del Vetro.

cirva venice
The Cirva workshop in 2017.

Image by David Giancatarina

Cover image
Le Petit Ange rouge (detail), 1991-1993

Image by Cécile Capelle
cirva venice
Armenia (detail), 2018

Image by David Giancatarina
cirva venice
Lampe de bureau, 2017

Image by David Giancatarina
cirva venice
Concept 5, 1994-2004

Image by David Giancatarina
cirva venice
Marseille Template #15, 2004-2006

Image by J-L Maby
cirva venice
Gravità 0°, in process

Image by Cécile Capelle
cirva venice
Mikado LDB Modulor (detail), 2012-2013

Image courtesy of Galerie Meessen de Clercq

Articles you also might like

“The dream of water”, a new exhibition of glass sculptures and site-specific installations by French artist, Jean Michel Othoniel, is currently on view at the Postman Cheval’s Ideal Palace as part of the institution’s 110-year anniversary.

After its inaugural exhibitions in June, mudac, the Museum for Contemporary Design and Applied Arts, will present its first major exhibition, A chair and you, which will take over the entirety of the museum’s new exhibition halls in the heart of Lausanne’s new arts district, plateforme 10.

Le Stanze del Vetro presents FontanaArte: House of Glass, a retrospective exhibition curated by Christian Larsen, which examines the contributions of the famous Milanese company in the years between 1932-1996. The exhibition is on view through July 31, 2022.