the Art of
Lino Tagliapietra 1
Great art holds sublime beauty and it is universal.
lown or fused glass in the hands of Maestro Tagliapietra not only conveys his remarkable technical ability, but communicates the expressive aesthetic of the artist; a light, intelligent and sensuous presence. As you witness the works in this exhibition, you will see that Lino has taken his medium to yet another level. With the newest series, the Colors of Burano, we are transcended into a “sensory utopia”, a term that art critic Robert Hughes used to describe the work of Matisse. Iconic, joyful and contemplative, the entire series is fit to inspire the creation of a “Utopian Tagliapietra Chapel”, on par with the Chapelle du Rosaire by Matisse, in Vence, France. Drawing inspiration from his homeland for the Colors of Burano, one can experience the colorful houses that the tiny island of Burano is now famous for. In some of the panels, there are references to windows and doors, opened or closed, symbolic of the transition from one experience to another and the opportunity to enter new places. A fitting representation for the artistic life that Lino continues to lead, entering confidently into the world of art and inviting us along on his journey, opening doors for so many. Invisible within the panels are the months of preparation and experimentation necessary for creation of the artwork; before that are decades of mastery. The same is true with the Fuji and Osaka series where further experimentation with cane and murrini takes us to a deeper appreciation for the graphic quality of the surface of the vessel. The works of art offer a sublime beauty to the viewer. We are so fortunate to be transported into the sensory utopia created by Lino Tagliapietra and truly honored to be representing this body of unique and important work. Thank you Lino for sharing your creativity, friendship and passion for life. Jim Schantz and Kim Saul October, 2012
Lino is being honored this year with his second major exhibition of work at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, Maestro. This exhibition is an extension of the retrospective, Lino Tagliapietra, da Murano allo Studio Glass Opere 1954-2011, which took place at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti in the Grand Canal in Venice. The curator for the first exhibition, Rosa Barovier Mentasti in her catalog essay uses a term from Renaissance origin, “sprezzatura” (nonchalance) to express the ease at which the Maestro, who has attained the highest technical level, can create whatever he imagines, while making it appear effortless. Throughout his sixty years of dedication to his medium and to his art, this level of mastery and creative freedom which Lino has achieved is second to none.
Schantz Galleries c o n t e m p o r a r y
a r t
3 Elm St. Stockbridge Massachusetts 01262 413-298-3044 s c h a n t z ga l l e r i e s . c o m
34 x 21 x .75"
The intricate murrini technique ... is taken to dramatic heights in Irene, a jewel-like panel reminiscent of Gustav Klimt. Despite the sumptuousness of the glass, sadness permeates the figure and we clearly feel that the artist is tellingâ€”and honoringâ€”a deeply personal, slightly melancholic tale.
59.75 x 23 x .75"
Glass artist Lino Tagliapietra is defined by superlatives: skillful, finessed, erudite, creative, sophisticated, yet open and humble. What continues to drive this consummate maestro is not the accumulation of more laurels but the journey to continued discovery and moments of “wonder,” that which philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel identified as the “root of all knowledge.” From an especially early age, Tagliapietra sought to open his world to other traditions and understand art historical precedence, always with an intrinsic loyalty to his own patrimony. Within an aesthetic that is unmistakably Lino is receptiveness to the visual tropes of varied artistic styles and inspiration from the natural and cultural wonders of the larger world. The balletic facility with which he works belies his years of study and practice, of laboring in glass studios and staying late to hone his skills. Watching his easy way of working and beholding his fully realized artworks, we see that glass is what Tagliapietra was meant to do. He has a gift for coaxing the sensuous and stunning from the medium, executing and re-inventing classic techniques and experimenting with new ones. Despite the sublime results, he is not driven by the desire to perfect glassmaking. Conversely, he is energized by the fact that glass cannot be fully mastered; rather it is a fickle medium prone to failure. Tagliapietra has commented that one can practice technique (and surely he has done so) but one must practice imagination and invention equally. Technical expertness alone does not give spirit and fullness to hollow vessels, so the artist must take risks, dream of new expressions, and endeavor to say something with his work. Tagliapietra’s knowledge of glass masters and styles combines with a kinship for more pictorial painterly traditions in which color, composition, shape, form, and narrative often supersede production in importance. During his younger years in Murano, where the tradition of Italian glassmaking dates back centuries, he attended the Venice Biennales of the 1950s and 1960s and there encountered a Modernist aesthetic that reverberates in his work to this day. He has written “I was…influenced by the “big art” [fine art] that was brought to Venice: Rothko, Mondrian, Burri, Fontana and Spacal. Spacal was a big influence of me, and I think you can see that in my work. I liked Mondrian’s painting but I loved it even more when someone explained him to me.” The Colors of Burano fused glass panel series exemplifies Tagliapietra’s fluid amalgamation of personal history with global and historical influences. Lino’s family originated in Burano, a small island in the Venetian Lagoon known for its small, tightly-packed, colorfully painted houses. Barene (Sand Dunes) simultaneously pays homage to the island’s sensibility and its graphic appearance with intense striations of deep colored glass punctuated by a minimalist collection of vertical and horizontal elements. Tagliapietra’s technique divides the space into bold, flat areas suggestive of the painted landscapes of Piet Mondrian. Explaining his style in an essay for the DeStijl Journal, Mondrian said, “…it should find expression in the abstraction of form and colour, that is to say, in the straight line and the clearly defined primary colour.”
48.25 x 27.75 x .75"
St. Ariano, 2012
28 x 22.75 x .75"
The more hard-edged delineations of Barene give way to softer transitions in Tramonto (Sunset), reminiscent of work by American abstract painter Mark Rothko. Like Tagliapietra, Rothko averred that simply being great at painting did not make for great painting. He was a learned philosopher whose paintings were infused with mythological, religious, and social references, ideas, and commentaries. In the dramatic Tramonto, Tagliapietra declares his love for the sunset, relishing the opulent Venetian light and how dramatically the sky changes during the fleeting moments of sunset. In this panel, the mulberry smudge of moon casts its warm glow on the objects below and the sky darkens to an inky stain. The organic flora and marine creatures of Luna di Agosto (August Moon) have a more object-based narrative, though the representative elements are still culled down to their essential forms. Expressive autumnal colors and a punctuating blue, floral moon pop against the glittering transparency of the glass canvas. Instead of being experienced in the round, the more two-dimensional panels highlight Tagliapietra’s various techniques and showcase the depth and shimmer of glass. The intricate murrini technique of Luna di Agosto is taken to dramatic heights in Irene, a jewel-like panel reminiscent of Gustav Klimt. Despite the sumptuousness of the glass, sadness permeates the figure and we clearly feel that the artist is telling—and honoring—a deeply personal, slightly melancholic tale. The Fuji series demonstrates the breadth of Tagliapietra’s skill, as well as his ability to conjure moods and dance between intensity and lightness. These works are also painterly, but not in the abstracted way of the Burano panels; rather they channel the expressionistic brushstrokes and fervent colors of Vincent van Gogh. Whirling tempests of rich color are composed of innumerable spiraling filigrana canes dancing in motion together yet hovering, magically, suspended in time. They are inspired by Tagliapietra’s experiences of Mt. Fuji, which he calls the most beautiful mountain he has ever beheld.
La Mano, 2012
17.5 x 11 x .75"
Other Fuji works, as well as the perfectly balanced vessels of the Osaka series, vibrate with intricately layered colors and lines. An extraordinary magnetic field seems to be seducing millions of infinitesimal elements in other-worldly synchronization. The works are graphically captivating and technically masterful, but also reflective of the landscape, the reverence for the beautiful, and the artistic styles of Japan. Once again demonstrating his effortless internationalism, Tagliapietra combines classic Venetian techniques such as millefiore, caneworking, murrine, and filigrana to name a few, with the mosaic-like patterning of one of his artistic influences, Slovenian graphic artist Lojze Spacalâ€”all the while infusing each object with the essence of the place it represents. Tagliapietra took inspiration from the forms and techniques of Japanese ceramics to build up on the vessel shapes that have formed the formal basis of his work over the years. Works are at times rotund and closed, at other times cylindrical and open, and still at other times sinewy and attenuated. The ovoid Grado works have blue and sand wave-like patterning that recall the sparkling Adriatric Sea and dazzling beaches of the north-eastern Italian coastal town for which they are named, while the flatter Hamburg piece is an artistic rendering of the German flag. Several of the Fuji works, and the emotive Angel Tear, use an extenuated teardrop shape reminiscent of both Japanese ceramics and the architectural clean lines of glass artist Paolo Venini.
Consiglio dei Capi, 2012
10.25 x 16.5 x .5"
Commanding a broad artistic, cultural, and technical lexicon, Lino Tagliapietra nonetheless embodies the Zen Buddhist philosophy of shoshin, the heralding of the beginner’s mind. Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki has written that “in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” It encourages experienced practitioners to approach their craft each day with the same optimism, purity, and openness with which they encountered it for the first time. Tagliapietra has written that he is “totally open. I think that what I like to do the most is research. I don’t want to represent Venetian technique only—even though I was born with it and it is possible to recognize it in my work. Your style is what you are.” He moves fluidly around the globe, incorporating nuance and inspiration from each place visited into a style that is uniquely his, never compromised but always enhanced. His generous spirit and gentle nature make him a true visionary, for whom a single color, a simple landscape, or a chance encounter inspires a masterpiece in glass. Jeanne Koles is an art historian who writes for museums and the cultural sector in New England
Luna di Agosto 2011
48 x 24 x 1.25â€?
75 x 28 x 1.25â€?
Like Tagliapietra, Rothko averred that simply being great at painting did not make for great painting. He was a learned philosopher whose paintings were infused with mythological, religious, and social references, ideas, and commentaries. In the dramatic Tramonto, Tagliapietra declares his love for the sunset, relishing the opulent Venetian light and how dramatically the sky changes during the fleeting moments of sunset. 17
Fiori e Canneto, 2012
16.25 x 14.75 x 1"
33 x 16.75 x 9”
Whirling tempests of rich color are composed of innumerable spiraling filigrana canes and murrini dancing in motion together yet hovering, magically, suspended in time... inspired by Tagliapietraâ€™s experiences of Mt. Fuji, which he calls the most beautiful mountain he has ever beheld.
23.5 x 17 x 11.25"
35.25 x 15.25 x 9.25”
Fuji, 2012 Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki has written that “in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” It encourages experienced practitioners to approach their craft each day with the same optimism, purity, and openness with which they encountered it for the first time. Tagliapietra has written that he is “totally open. I think that what I like to do the most is research.
12.25 x 11 x 6”
17.5 x 17.25 x 10.25"
25.75 x 14.75 x 9.5"
Once again demonstrating his effortless internationalism, Tagliapietra combines classic Venetian techniques such as millefiore, caneworking, murrine, incalmo, and filigrana to name a few, with the mosaic-like patterning of one of his early artistic influences, Slovenian graphic artist Lojze Spacalâ€”all the while infusing each object with the essence of the place it represents.
20 x 12 x 12.25
18.25 x 16.25 x 8”
Tagliapietra took inspiration from the forms and techniques of Japanese ceramics to build up on the vessel shapes that have formed the formal basis of his work over the years....The ovoid Grado works have blue and sand wave-like patterning that recall the sparkling Adriatric Sea and dazzling beaches of the northeastern Italian coastal town for which they are named
Angel Tear, 2012
38.25 x 16.5 x 8.5"
13.75 x 8.75 x 8.75"
Technical expertness alone does not give spirit and fullness to hollow vessels, so the artist must take risks, dream of new expressions, and endeavor to say something with his work. 38
13 x 14 x 7.5â€?
Born: Murano, Italy
Awards 1956 Achieves status of Maestro 1968 Borsella dâ€™Oro Award, Murano, Italy 1972 Grand Prix in lighting, Barcelona Trade Fair, Barcelona, Spain 1996 Rakow Commission for Excellence in Glass Award, The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY, USA 1996 UrbanGlass Award for Preservation of Glassblowing Techniques, New York, NY, USA 1997 Glass Art Society Lifetime Achievement Award, USA 1997 Urkunde Goldmedaille, Germany 1998 Libensky Award, Chateau Ste Michelle Vineyards and Winery and Pilchuck Glass School, WA, USA 2000 Humana Distinguished Professor, Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, USA 2001 Metal for Excellence in Craft Award, The Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA, USA 2004 Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Centre College, KY, USA 2004 The Presidentâ€™s Distinguished Artist Award, University of The Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA 2004 Artist as Hero Award, National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia, PA, USA 2004 Artist Visionaries! Lifetime Achievement Award, Museum of Arts & Design, NY, USA 2006 Distinguished Educator Award, James Renwick Alliance, associated with the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C., USA 2007 Cristal Award, Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey, Mexico 2007 Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA, USA 2009 The IIC Lifetime Achievement Award, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Los Angeles, CA, USA 2010 Master Teacher/Master Artist, Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville, KY, USA 2011 Master of Medium Award, James Renwick Alliance, associated with the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C., USA 2011 Honorary Degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 2012 Phoenix Award, USA
10.5 x 12 x 11.75"
Selected Museum Exhibitions and Collections
uNITED KINGDOM Victoria and Albert Museum, London United States Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
photo: Kim Saul
Columbia Museum, Columbia, OH Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI Fuller Museum of Art, Brockton, MA Hunter Art Museum, Chattanooga, TN China Shanghai Museum of Glass, Shanghai
The Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA
Denmark Danish Royal Museum, Copenhagen Glasmuseum, Ebeltoft
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art New York, NY
France Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris GERMANY Kestner Museum, Hannover Italy Aperto Vetro, Venice Biennale di Venezia Palazzo Franchetti, Venice Palazzo Grassi, Venice JAPAN Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo Kitazawa Museum of Arts, Takane-cho Tokyo National Modern Art Museum, Tokyo Toyama City Institute of Glass, Toyama Mexico Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey The Netherlands Museum Boymans, Rotterdam Museum Het Paleis, The Haag Switzerland Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Lausanne
M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Chicago, OH The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Charlotte, NC Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL Museum of Art, Washington State University, Pullman, WA Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA National Museum of Ceramic Art and Glass, Baltimore, MD Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL Orlando Museum, Orlando, FL Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
photo of Burano by Jim Schantz
Acknowledgements Thank you to Cecilia Chung for your friendship, as well as your guidance and expertise in curating this exhibition. To Russell Johnson for the superb photography of Linoâ€™s artwork. To Jeanne Koles for the insightful essay for this catalog. We are also grateful for the efforts of those we work with at the gallery; Stanley Wooley, Kristen Johnson, Ron Bill and James Bill.
Grazie Lina Ongaro Taglipietra per il vostro sostegno e amicizia.
Sublime Beauty the Art of Lino Tagliapietra ÂŠ 2012 Silver City Design a Schantz Galleries Publication
Schantz Galleries Elm Street, Stockbridge, Massachusetts USA www.schantzgalleries.com
3 Elm St. Stockbridge Massachusetts 01262 413-298-3044 s c h a n t z ga l l e r i e s . c o m