VENINI , the absolute leader in the craft of Venetian glass making, is celebrating the ninetieth anniversary of their company with a traveling exhibition around the world. Lucky for me their stop in New York City was at my favorite source for contemporary furniture, DDC, and even luckier for me, DDC is located right across the street from my office!
Given my love for Venetian glass, I jumped at the opportunity to attend the opening night party of the exhibit, which included one representative piece of work from each decade starting in 1921 when VENINI opened and going through to 2011. The crowd was appropriately dressed in black…the color of choice at a NYC after-work cocktail party…and the mood was quite festive…lots of Italian blood in the room! I grabbed a glass of the Italian white wine being served and began the tour. Here are three of my favorites from the exhibition:
I was immediately attracted to the piece by FERNANDO AND HUBERTO CAMPANA , Esperanca, representing 2001 – 2010. Originally designed for Moss Gallery in NYC, the figures of dolls made of glass and attached to vases and chandeliers are a playful interpretation of similar dolls made of cloth in the Brazilian countryside. I love anything the Campana brothers do so I think these pieces are super terrific….and wish I could afford to own one!
These exquisite glass bottles were designed by the Finnish designer TAPIO WIRKKALA in collaboration with VENINI and the series is called Bolle. The technique used to create them is called Incalmo and it requires making the bottom part and the upper part separately and then welding them together…can you imagine the precision needed to execute them so seamlessly? They were produced in the 1960’s by VENINI and are completely handmade and quite elegant to look at.
The world renowned architect, TADAO ANDO collaborated with VENINI in 2011 to create these sapphire blue shapes. The color of the glass is amazing and the mixture of triangular shapes with curved surfaces is astounding. Ando designed these pieces to commemorate the 90th Anniversary celebration.
Not part of the regular exhibition, but a definite show stopper was the Arnolfini chandelier by STUDIO JOB in 2010. The inspiration was from a classic 1434 painting by Jan van Eyck, called ‘The Arnolfini Marriage’. I checked out the painting and could not see any resemblance between the fixtures, but who can argue with inspiration? Simply adore this chandelier!
I want to close with three whimsical floor lamps that are so typical of VENINI glass. Unfortunately I didn’t get any info on the designer, but they are fabu. If you get a chance to go to DDC and see the exhibition, which is running now, will you let me know who the artist is?
CIAO, CIAO ‘TIL NEXT TIME!