×

Subscribe to our newsletter

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

Venini: Light 1921-1985

Sep 27, 2022

Le Stanze del Vetro presents Venini: Light 1921-1985, an exhibition curated by Marino Barovier that explores the field of lighting, from small scale domestic use to large scale installations, produced by this iconic glass company.

Scroll right to read more ›
Text by
Photography by Enrico Fiorese

Le Stanze del Vetro presents Venini: Light 1921-1985, an exhibition curated by Marino Barovier that explores the field of lighting, from small scale domestic use to large scale installations, produced by this iconic glass company.

Since its founding 100 years ago, in 1921, on the island of Murano, Venini has been a pivotal force in the innovation and production of glass for domestic use as well as for public spaces, from ministerial buildings to theatres and hotels. On view at Le Stanze del Vetro are 81 objects conceived by the various artists and designers who collaborated with the firm either through designs or hands-on making. Spanning the course of sixty-four years, the range of objects illustrate the many ways that lighting was used and the variety of styles and themes that were considered during these various decades. Curator of Le Stanze del Vetro’s exhibition, Marino Barovier, credits Venini’s success to its consistent embrace of modernism and keeping up with the times. “In a period of time like that being reviewed, extending from 1921 to 1985, i.e. from the foundation of V.S.M. Cappellin Venini e C. up to the last year of presence of the Venini family in the glassworks, the firm was able to offer lighting models and solutions of a highly modern kind, always capable of keeping up with the times and reconfirming its leadership in the panorama of Murano glass [and] also in the ‘light’ sector. Starting with the elegant reinterpretation of the traditional chandelier with arms produced in monochrome transparent glass, solutions were found through research leading to the definition of new types of glass (pulegoso, with canes, opaline, patterned etc.) on the one hand and, on the other, the new types of fixtures, such as those with modular elements, a theme developed particularly in the 1930s and from the end of the 1950s…”

Venini collaborated with some of the 20th century’s most ambitious creatives including Napoleone Martinuzzi, Tomaso Buzzi, Carlo Scarpa, Gio Ponti, and of course, Paolo Venini, founder of the company who was also a talented designer. With a focus on tradition as well as the avant-garde, and above all, a mastery of glassmaking techniques thanks to the contribution of the best master glassmakers on the island, Venini managed to hold onto its original identify over the years.

Venini: Light 1921–1985 also features two large-scale installations in the Sala Carnelutti and Piccolo Teatro of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini: as a tribute to Carlo Scarpa the monumental polychrome chandelier made of polyhedrons, made of approximately 4,000 elements, designed by the architect for the Veneto pavilion at the ‘Italia 61’ exhibition in Turin in 1961, has been especially recreated, along with the prominent Velario made in 1951 for the roof of Palazzo Grassi with a series of “festoons” with steel cables and balloon crystal glass spheres. The Velario was dismantled in 1985 and is now visible for the first time in almost forty years.

The accompanying catalogue goes deep into the Venini archives, tracing the history of the furnace through photographs, drawings, and other ephemera, and presenting some never before seen historical material.

Venini: Light 1921–1985 was a part of The Italian Glass Weeks in Milan (10-18 September) and Venice (17-25 September), Italy’s most important event dedicated to artistic and industrial glass, and is part of the “UN International Year of Glass” 2022.  The exhibition is on view through January 8, 2023.

lestanzedelvetro.org

@lestanzedelvetro

veniniglass.com

Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Venini: Light 1921-1985, installation view
Back

Articles you also might like

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.