Glass has always impressed artists and poets with its peculiar features. As it was a synonym for purity and fragility, over time it gained a special place in the heart of those who desired to be surrounded by “fragments” of delicate beauty. From its origins, Venice has been a vibrant centre of maritime trade flows. Thanks to the Venetian typical taste and an extraordinary intuition towards this investment, Venice created Murano in the late 1200s – which became the focus of glassmaking worldwide. VITRUM 2019 is proud to celebrate the work, creativity and skills of the Murano glass masters presenting an exhibition of artworks which recall the story of a hypotethical “Cabinet of Curiosities” from the traditional production to interior design. Artists, designers, perlere and impiraresse (glass bead creators and bead stringers) - who are currently inspired by the ancient Murano art- are about to show the evolution and nobility of this material: one of the most versatile and fascinating element to be discovered and interpreted by the international public.
To represent the wisdom of the art of glass from the early 1900s will be Freak Andò, which is a world-renowned brand of antiques and modern antiques. Founded in 1987 by the antiquarian and collector Maurizio Marzadori, today it is an important point of reference for museums, art galleries, auction houses, artists, directors, set designers, stylists and photographers.
Chronologically advancing in time we will find the creations of The Glass Cathedral - Santa Chiara a spectacular place in Murano. Recently restored, it is a stunning events space with a glass working furnace in Venice. Steeped in history, the Ex Santa Chiara Church is one of the oldest building on the island of Murano whose halls, among the various religious settlements, have previously hosted the Franciscan nuns of Santa Chiara, hence the name.
The ideal combination of past and present has been investigated by the glass designer Silvia Finiels. Born in Paris, she arrived in Venice in 1987 where she met the artist Giorgio Mion and by which she fell in love with the ancient Venetian pearls. In those years the collaborations with John Picard and Fratelli Moretti for the manufacture of chevron (canes and rosettes) started. In love with Murano glass, in 2007 she opened her atelier/gallery dedicated to pearls and necklaces, to finding collectors' Murano glasses and to the creation of fine lamps. These lamps, their flagships, born from the selection of ancient elements of the Murano glass masters (1950-1980) that she re-uses and re-interprets to compose its precious and exclusive lamps-sculpture.
“When art meets design” is the leitmotif of the artist Antonia Trevisan.
Born in Vicenza, she lives and works in Vicenza and Venice. From 1970 she took part in a series of evening meetings with architects such as Carlo Scarpa, Arrigo Rudi, Giorgio Bellavitis, Federico Motterle, Umberto Tubini and Domenico Sandri, the ceramist Pompeo Pianezzola, the glass sculptor Luciano Vistosi and the weaver and designer Renata Bonfanti.
In that period Antonia Trevisan began to design and produce her first windows of coloured blown glass sheets that she assembled with transparent glue and inserted into shatterproof glass panels. In 1988 she created her brand “Antonia Trevisan idee colore”. Now her prestigious artistic glass windows are distributed in Veneto and Lombardia.
Fulvia Notari lives near Venice, just down the road from the atelier where she makes her Murano glass jewellery. She graduated in Design in Milan in 1989. She discovered her passion for designing when she was studying at Milan’s faculty of architecture. She was fortunate enough to study with the masters of international designing, such as Achille Castiglioni, Tomàs Maldonado and Arturo Dell’Acqua Bellavitis. By working with Alessandro Lenarda, an architect who designs decorative glass objects, she was able to access Murano’s furnaces. The second she saw all the glass it was love at first sight. She immediately set to work to master glassworking; she went to see collections and museums and all the exhibitions on the art of glassworking. In the meantime, in Padua, she fed off the massive inspiration she could draw from the old goldsmithing school – a school so rich of cosmopolitan influences and a touchstone for artists skilled at working with all kinds of materials. Then, in 1995, she founded Antares Venezia. She was attracted by the thought of creating Murano glass ornaments – it’s such an extraordinary material, so full of personality and colour. She also liked the idea of helping to keep alive the ancient art of the island’s glassblowers – it’s an art on the verge of extinction.
Lucia Santini was born in Murano to a family that has been making glass for 600 years. She learned to paint on glass from her mother and grandmother, and began her career as a glassmaker in the workshops of Murano. She now lives in Venice, and enjoys collaborating with flameworker Lucio Bubacco and with her brother, Emilio Santini. Santini’s works are exhibited at the Litvak Gallery in Tel Aviv, Habatat Gallery in Florida and the CFM Gallery in New York. She says of herself: “Mine is a perennial research project, which fights between the technical possibilities of realizing creative purposes. Looking for new paths, returning, sometimes backwards, to the old, through the colors, transparencies and possibilities that glass can convey to me as a matter. I use the traditional technique of painting on glass, exploring other opportunities”.
Alessia Fuga is a lampworker and beadmaker based in Murano, Italy. She opened her glass studio in 2007, only one year after her first lampwork class when she discovered a great passion and an unexpected talent. She is specialized in the production of high quality beads with captivating and original designs. Thanks also to her passion and attention to every little detail, her work is well recognizible and appreciated from collectors and beads enthusiastic from all over the world. Today in her studio she creates her unique beads and limited series but she also theaches this antique, precious and beautiful art.
"Impiraressa” as a glass bead stringer was a very common female activity between the 19th and 20th century in Venice. Marisa Convento has given new life to these ancient techniques of threading to create art embellishments and jewerly. Her “Venetian Dreams” are made for women and dedicated to Venice, the city where she lives, works and dreams.
The “glass silk” is a project conceived by three sisters - Giovanna, Carlotta and Orsola Moretti - whose passion for glass represents a family tradition. In fact it was their father - Vincenzo Moretti (1835-1901) - who used to produce murrine glass. His activity inspired the creation of artworks which are present in several museums and private collections worldwide. The entire production of murrine can be admired in 102 tiles of Vincenzo Moretti’s sample collection. The idea of “transposing” the typical colours of the murrine, their trasparency and their precious imperfections to be printed on the silk comes exactly from their father’s sample collection. Since glass is versatile, fragile and magical, it keeps on inspiring artworks, lighting and design objects, furniture and manufactured items. The three sisters, moved by their fatherly joy of living, have chosen to donate a dream to their parent who is still strongly alive in their hearts and works.