Lino Tagliapietra: The Origin of a Journey
Curated by Fondazione Lino Tagliapietra together with Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Lino Tagliapietra: The Origins of a Journey is a comprehensive exhibition of work by the Italian glass artist, now on view at the Ca’ Rezzonico, Museo del Settecento Veneziano in Venice.
Fondazione Lino Tagliapietra together with Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia have curated a special exhibition that “wants to pay homage to an artist, traveller, experimenter” and passionate master of glassmaking. Born in Venice in 1934, Tagliapietra became an apprentice in glass in Murano when he was eleven. He was instantly connected to this material and very early on established a reputation as a unique talent, earning the title of maestro at just 21.
Known to have an insatiable curiosity, Tagliapietra loved to travel. In 1979 he went to Seattle, visiting Pilchuck, the well-known American glass workshop, co-founded by glass artist Dale Chihuly. While there, he introduced the students to Venetian glass blowing traditions, which became an enormous influence into the American studio tradition. But it was a mutual learning experience, as the freedom and newness of America influenced Tagliapietra’s work as well, imbuing it with a new vibrant energy, seen in his beautiful colour palette and creative design. The artist continues to spend time in Seattle throughout the year and keeps a studio there where he can work.
The exhibition, designed by Chiara Lamonarca, is installed on the first two floors of the Ca’ Rezzonico as an itinerary of his work in dialogue with the 18th century artworks on display in this historic museum. With twenty-one works on view, it offers a cross section of his extensive sculptural production during the past thirty years while also reflecting his skill with Murano techniques such as blown glass with canes, filigree, murrines, incalmo or double blowing. “Lino Tagliapietra is the living representation of the Venetian soul and the outstanding craftsmanship of Murano blown glass”, says Mayor Luigi Brugnaro. “To pay homage to him with this exhibition is not only to honor a great glassmaker maestro, but to recognize him as one of the main figures in the intercultural collaboration between Italy and America”.
Also on display is a selection of panels in fused glass made between 1999-2012. This more pictorial work, made by superimposing different techniques and colours, represent his connection with abstract art. Bright colours, bold geometric forms, floating spaces, all reflect his innovative and experimental approach to making. Tagliapietra writes, “The grandeur of the decorations of the palace inspired a selection of apparently unusual works: large panels reminiscent of paintings and other works all made with typically Venetian techniques, but of international inspiration, between tradition and modern art. I very much hope that this exhibition of mine will be favorably received by visitors, showing them once again the wonderful versatility of the material that has accompanied me throughout my life, glass”.
Now 88, Tagliapietra has been working with glass for nearly 70 years, and continues to do so today. This exhibition is a reminder of true artistic passion and dedication, of the artist’s insatiable curiosity and love of experimenting and the beauty glassmaking. As he states, “Working with glass is like life – it’s emotional. You must love the material. You must respect the material. It takes a lifetime to get to know glass, and I am still learning”.
Lino Tagliapietra: The Origins of a Journey is on view through September 25th, 2023