Ca' Rezzonico

Ca' Rezzonico

LINO TAGLIAPIETRA. The Origin of the Journey


The Origin of the Journey

Ca’ Rezzonico, Museo del Settecento Veneziano
14 July- 25 September 2023

Curated by
Fondazione Lino Tagliapietra
Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia


“Probably no two words are more respected and honored in the history of modern glass sculpture than “Lino Tagliapietra”. He embodies the living bridge, the crucial conjunction between the august history of Venetian glass and the continuous wonders of what we call today the modern movement of Studio Glass”
— James Yood, The Hands of the Maestro

Curated by Fondazione Lino Tagliapietra together with Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Lino Tagliapietra. The Origins of a Journey wants to pay homage to an artist, traveler, experimenter, during his constant search for stimuli he can transfer to his works, including passionate research, technical perfection, and sublimation of the beauty of glass.

Today this journey of creativity, color and craftsmanship has found a new temporary home in the renovated rooms of the Ca’ Rezzonico Museum in Venice. Mounted in an itinerary designed by the architect Chiara Lamonarca on the first and second floors of the palazzo, the 21 works on display offer a cross section of the Maestro’s vast production over the last thirty years in an open dialogue with the eighteenth-century masterpieces around them. Alongside iconic works such as the long-necked Dinosaur, Fuji, Asola, Niomea, Oca, Africa, and Hopi offer a description of traditional Murano techniques such as blown glass with canes, filigree, murrines, incalmo, double blowing or other typical processes of the second processing such as beating and grinding. It is with these sculptural works that Lino Tagliapietra established himself as an independent artist, heralding new seasons and generations of glass artists.

Also on display is a careful selection of panels in fused glass created between 1999 and 2012, made by superimposing different techniques and colors. The initial evocations — already declared in the titles Finestra sul campiello, Ponticello, Rio Grande – not only represent doors leading to places close to the Maestro’s heart, but also express passions, such as Rothko’s painting. In this case the works are pictorial rather than sculptural, in contrast to the practice of an artist who has hardly ever made preparatory drawings.
Made of glass frit with solid glass inserts or with the use of canes and zanfirico murrine, the panels are undoubtedly among Lino Tagliapietra’s most experimental and demanding works, and it is in these that his relentless, exotic, experimental and creative drive emerges.
The panel Giuditta closes the exhibition on the second floor. Like a glass altarpiece installed between two altarpieces, the work stands out for its bright colors and the stylized profile that characterizes its subject. A prayer and thanksgiving for a life spent in the color and art of glass.

Born in Venice in 1934, Lino Tagliapietra has been working with glass since he became an apprentice when he was just eleven. From a young age his unique talent made him stand out in Murano, earning the title of maestro when he was only twenty-one years old for his expertise in the art of blown glass. His prolific talent on the island of glass in the Venetian lagoon, together with his insatiable curiosity, soon led him to travel extensively, so much so that in 1979 he made a trip to America and visited Seattle for the first time. It was here that he introduced the Pilchuck School students to the traditions of Venetian glassblowing, thus cementing his name in the history of the American glassblowing tradition. Through his teachings, Tagliapietra has irrevocably changed the use of glass in the United States, setting a new future for this medium, infused with the knowledge and skill of the Italian tradition interpreted through a new vibrant energy.