LA REALIZZAZIONE DI UN MAESTRO
LINO TAGLIAPIETRA S
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La Realizzazione Di Un Maestro (The Making of a Maestro) Little did Lino Tagliapietra know as a boy growing up in the working class world of Murano outside Venice that he would one day be an artist-let alone, an artist many consider to be the greatest glass blower in history. Nor could he have seen that his journey would take him across continents, cultures, oceans, decades. Like glass itself, Linoâ€™s life has taken shape in surprising and extraordinary ways. From an island in Italy to a mountain top in the Pacific Northwest, from chandeliers and goblets to scultupres, installations and one-of-a-kind vessels, The Making of a Maestro traces Linoâ€™s life, artistry, passion, and influence on a generation of glass artists worldwide.
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Photo courtesy of Schantz Galleries.
Works Featured in the Documentary
A stunningly delicate and intricate artwork, this Sahara from 2013 combines Linoâ€™s ingenuity with the best of Venetian tradition. Hours of preparation go into this artwork before the vessel begins to take shape. First, the Maestro must prepare the different colors of zanfirico cane - a particularly difficult bit of canework in which long rods of glass are stretched and twisted together to create a spiral pattern. These zanfirico canes are combined in a small sphere of blown glass. The Maestro then inserts this sphere into a round, textured mold. This mold punctures the glass and creates small bubbles, to which powdered color is applied and which melts into each bubble to achieve the spotted effect in the Sahara. Here Lino has also chosen to add a stripe of blue ribbon cane through the artwork to add even more dimension to the piece.
Sahara, 2013. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 14” W x 18 1/2” H x 8 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Pavone, 2017. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 11 1/4” W x 33” H x 6 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Standing at more than 2 feet tall, this vessel from 2017 glows in jewel tones of green and blue. This piece is composed of dozens of murrine, each containing a striped pattern which creates a feathered effect when blown into a vessel. The Maestro again looks to nature for inspiration for this vessel, and has named this artwork Pavone, or â€œpeacockâ€? in Italian.
Cayuga, 2017. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 12” W x 19 1/2” H x 8 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Positano, 2008. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 15 3/4” W x 20 1/2” H x 9 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Positano demonstrates the historic Venetian glassblowing technique filigrana. The technique itself dates back to the sixteenth century, and involves a master glassblower twisting together fine canes to create an overlapping pattern. As seen in a number of the Maestro’s series, the intricately woven canes create a netting texture across the glass. This particular artwork actually features two layers of filigree: Lino created one vessel with “half filigree” canes swirling in one direction, and then stuffed that vessel with another made of canes swirling in the opposite direction. This creates the criss-cross effect seen here. This Positano features exclusively white canes, giving the impression of lace.
Alabama is one of the Maestroâ€™s most recent panels, and one of the most striking in its composition. Composed of opaque glass, this large vertical panel features a monochromatic base layer of white and black frit, over which large squares of colorful glass have been superimposed. The colorful squares are actually blown vessels, which were placed atop the base layer in order to form the patchwork pattern. The design stems from the tradition of quilt-making in southern African-American households. On a visit to Alabama, Tagliapietra experienced the rich visual culture of the quilts in the collection of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and took with him memories of color, pattern, and texture that eventually formed the basis for this panel. The name Alabama pays homage to not only the museum at which he first experienced this art, but also the individual artists of the South whose creations inspired Linoâ€™s glasswork.
Alabama, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Fused Glass. 33 3/4” W x 65 3/4” H x 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Florencia, 2018. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 19” W x 12” H x 20” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Avventurine, 2017. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 9” W x 17 1/2” H x 6” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The Avventurine series is one of Lino Tagliapietraâ€™s great achievements. During the glassblowing, Lino adds copper to the molten glass which creates the metallic effect and warm rich color. The Aventurine process changes the composition of molten glass, and makes the material hyper sensitive to changes in temperature and therefore much more challenging to blow. But Lino has perfected his Aventurine recipe, and manages to create intricately detailed vessels like this one. Here heâ€™s used aventurine canes to create both horizontal and vertical patterns. The small morsels of glass that dot the surface were added at the very end of the blowing process and bring a greater sense of texture to the artwork.
Avventurine Batman, 2017. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 9 1/2” W x 11” H x 3 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Avventurine Fenice. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 10 1/2” W x 10 1/4” H x 3 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Juno, 2017. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 11 1/4” W x 14” H x 7” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The Pago-Pago is an intricately engraved artwork from 2009. It features a horizontal oval shape, w series was named for the capital of American Samoa, and its rounded shape is meant to portray th colors of hot sand and sun and sticks to a warm palette of red and yellow. Pago-Pago, 2009. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 24” W x 11 1/2” H x 6 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
with a sunburst of cane in its center and bands of color radiating around its form. This particular he geography of the islands that make up the Samoan region. Here the Maestro replicates the
A singular vessel from 1998, this Altino boasts a combination of tightly packed murrine and painstakingly executed cold-working. For this artwork, Lino laid out one type of orange and black murrine in a somewhat scattered array. Unlike other vessels of the Maestro’s this artwork possesses a haphazard quality: the pieces of murrine overlap and weave together, leaving small gaps of glass throughout the body of the piece. This handling of the murrine is juxtaposed by the simple and exquisite shape of the vessel. Lino’s skill is evident in the perfect symmetry of the artwork’s form: the vessel curves evenly and perfectly. The textured surface of the artwork was executed after the artwork had cooled. Hand-carved cuts cover the exterior of the glass, adding even more dimension to this highly stimulating work.
Altino, 1998. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 9 1/2” W x 11 1/4” H x 9 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Fenice, 2016. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 18” W x 41 1/2” H x 4 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Blue Sky is another venture into the two-dimensional realm. In panels of this type, Lino combines individually blown vessels that are then flattened and fused together in a kiln over a number of days. This creates the interplay of organic shapes that spread across the rectangular plane. For this panel the Maestro chose a monochromatic scheme, focusing his attention on electric blue canes that twist and swirl throughout the panel. Simply named, this panel evokes the hint of blue that peeks through cloudy skies - perhaps inspired by Linoâ€™s love for Seattle and its notoriously variable weather.
Blue Sky Panel, 2015. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 29” W x 65” H x 1 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Florencia, 2018. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 25 1/4” W x 8 1/4” H x 25 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Asola, 2007. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 11 3/4” W x 20 3/4” H x 6 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The cane work in this Asola is similar to the technique used in the Sahara. It requires multiple layers of twisted canes to create the bands of striping that loop through this artwork. In quintessential Lino technique, this artwork grows more intricate the more one looks at it. The layers of colorful cane change with even the smallest adjustments of positioning and lighting. The name in fact refers to a type of knot used in tying fishing reels, which Lino tried to emulate in the twisting canes.
Trullo, is a classic work from 2000. The shape of this vessel is fairly simple, and recalls similarly shaped series by the Maestro like Hopi or Piccadilly. For the pattern on this artwork Lino placed cut pieces of cane in precise rows which, when blown and stretched, form the horizontal bands of small stripes. Lino explains that the title Trullo “is the name for a very particular kind of house in the Puglia region of Italy.” The houses are whitewashed and cone shaped with stone roofs. This glass vessel’s color scheme evokes the houses, and the stone roofs were the inspiration behind Lino’s use of cut cane.
Trullo, 2000. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 14” W x 16 1/4” H x 14” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Batman, Year. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 26” W x 10” H x 3 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Estremadura, 2004. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 11” W x 24 1/4” H x 6 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Lino created this vessel in 2004 and named it for the central-western region of Spain. It’s warm colors evoke the arid Spanish landscape, and the vessel’s surface is textured with engraved cuts using the inciso technique. Like many of Lino’s works the Estremadura is meant to be viewed from all sides. Lino explains that “the round shape allows me to play with light, design, colors, and transparency.”
Africa, 2013. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 10” H x 11 1/2” W x 11 3/4 D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Batman, 2000. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 11” W x 10 3/4” H x 4 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The Batman is a playful series that often features bright colors and heavy engraving. Here, Lino has layered a colored core of glass with various canes. Once cooled, the piece is engraved with long and deep vertical cuts in a process called inciso. These cuts reveal the layers of colors built up in the glass. Because each cane was made with a white center, small dots of white are uncovered by the grooves of the engraved glass. Similarly, the yellow border along the outside edge of the Batman has been cut through, allowing the red base color to glow between the bands of yellow. As far as the shape of this series is concerned, Lino happily acknowledges that â€œI was inspired by the famous superhero.â€?
Lino named his Contarini series for one of Venice’s most famous and historical families. There are a number of palazzos throughout Venice that once belonged to the Contarini family, and each features eye-catching architectural details that have inspired the Maestro to recreate in glass over nearly two decades. First begun as long cylindrical artworks, the Maestro has since developed the Contarini into the spherical shape seen here. Like its namesake, the Palazzo Contarini, Lino’s Contarini features “windows” which here offer us a glimpse of the opposite side of the vessel.
Photo courtesy of Google Images.
Contarini, 2017. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 14 1/2” W x 15 1/2” H x 9 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Cayuga, 2016. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 14 1/2” W x 21 1/2” H x 7 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Florencia, 2018. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 24 1/4” W x 6 1/2” H x 24 3/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Florencia, 2018. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 8” W x 24” H x 8” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The Maestro’s Newest Works
Florencia murrine swirl gracefully across the surface of this artwork in hues of icy blue and wintry burgundy. Commenting on the form of this artwork Lino explains that “the round shape allows me to play with light and color. This piece is made to be looked at from all sides - this is why I chose such a simple but effective shape”. The inspiration for this particular work blew in, quite literally, from the North, with the title Bora referring to the winds that come across Italy’s Adriatic Coast from Northeastern Europe. According to Lino, “when this strong wing blows in, the waves in the [Venetian] lagoon become grey and blue, just like the colors on this piece.”
Bora, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 15 1/2” D x 17 1/5” H x 7 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Niomea, 2008. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 15” W x 20 1/2” H x 10 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
The Niomea series is one of Linoâ€™s most technically-challenging and intricate set of artworks. The loops of color are created with filigrana cane; here, the Maestro uses the reticello-filigree technique of cane which creates a net-like effect. Each cane is prepared individually, with many hours spent combining and overlapping long rods of glass to create the desired effect. Lino then combines these and begins the blowing process. This particular Niomea has a spiral of black cane that wraps the entire outside surface of the vessel and swirls down into the clear base of the artwork, an unusual and playful detail that adds even more dimension.
The Giudecca Installation, made up of five separate vessels, combines clear glass, vertical canes an shape, a classic and delicate form Lino refers to as foemina, or “feminine” in Latin. The varying heig near Venice. By grouping similar vessels, Lino creates a dynamic installation while still maintaining of its type was called Metamuco and was unveiled at the Aperto Vetro exhibition in Venice in 1996 number of elements, the colors, and the carvings for each iteration. Giudecca, 2013. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 49” W x 21 3/4” H x 6 1/2” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
nd intricate cold-working to create a cohesive and monochromatic set. Each vessel is alike in ghts of the individual vessels pay homage to the skyline of the island Giudecca, another land mass a sense of unity. The Giudecca series has long been a part of Linoâ€™s oeuvre. The first installation 6. Since then, Lino has continued to play with collections of vessels of this type, adjusting the
The Masai Series is another of Linoâ€™s enduring inspirations. Named for the Masai Tribe of Kenya and Tanzania, Lino pays homage to the tribeâ€™s long decorative spears in these wall installations. This particular set is from 2020, and unlike previous Masai Installations these elements are not engraved. Instead, these Masai feature vibrant Aquilone murrine in contrasting hues of red, turquoise, and deep indigo. The transparency and absence of engraving allow the Masai to cast incredibly colorful shadows. Here Linoâ€™s artistry extends beyond the glass itself and penetrates the surface on which this artwork is mounted.
Masai Installation, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 50” W x 60” H x 7 1/4” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
Aquilone, 2020. Lino Tagliapietra. Blown Glass. 15 1/4” W x 15 1/4” H x 7” D. Photographs by Russell Johnson.
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The Lino Tagliapietra Seattle Showroom Winter 2020 catalog features a variety of the Maestro's works included in his new documentary, La Rea...
Published on Dec 21, 2020
The Lino Tagliapietra Seattle Showroom Winter 2020 catalog features a variety of the Maestro's works included in his new documentary, La Rea...