Gallery focus exhibition of intricate Venetian glass sculpture by famed international glass blower Lino Tagliapietra.
Lino Tagliapietra is an influential Italian glass artist and master glassmaker who is recognized for his skills and talents throughout the world. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s premier artists working in glass. Dale Chihuly has referred to him as “perhaps the world’s greatest living glassblower” and many connoisseurs of contemporary glass art would agree. Tagliapietra was born on the island of Murano, neighboring Venice in the Venetian Lagoon in 1934. The artist started his career at the age of twelve as an apprentice in a glass factory on his native island of Murano. He earned the title of maestro vetraio - master glassmaker - at 21 and in the late 1970s set off to pursue the path of a studio artist.
In 1979, the Italian glass maestro came to the United States to teach at Pilchuck School in Seattle at the invitation of Dale Chihuly, thus beginning a long history of sharing his centuries old technical knowledge with American glass artists. The glass artists of the then burgeoning American studio glass movement were hungry for Lino’s technical knowledge and Lino, in turn, was greatly affected by the artistic freedom and experimentalism he observed in his American counterparts.
Former Corning Museum of Glass curator Tina Oldknow summarizes his influence: “Today, artists from around the world use a Venetian glass vocabulary to make work that would never, ever be produced in Venice, and the dissemination of this remarkably creative and vibrant craft language may be Lino’s most important legacy. Lino came to America to discover what there might be here for him and to teach others to work glass. In the process, he helped to pioneer an industry – not for commerce, but for art.”
As James Yood, adjunct professor of art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and regular contributor to GLASS magazine wrote, “there are probably no two words more respected and honored in the history of modern sculpture in glass than ‘Lino Tagliapietra’; he is the living bridge, the crucial link between the august history of Venetian glass and the ceaseless wonders of what today we call the modern Studio Glass Movement”.
Through his continued creative experimentation and mastered skills, Tagliapietra has developed a very personal style that is unmistakable and easily recognized, thus his exemplary practice is followed by many as a great source of inspiration. Both creator and executor of his works, his creativity is upheld by production skills that come from a life of experience; and it is through that wealth that he continually explores the possibilities of a perfect execution. This is further enhanced by his personal experiences, encounters and exchanges, as well as a wide variety of different interests, where the glass however always takes first place of priority.
Lino Tagliapietra has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions and is represented in a global assortment of museums and art institutions, including: Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA; Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, Neenah, WI: Venice Biennale, Italy; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Chrysler Museum; Norfolk, VA; Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, ME; Corning Museum of Glass, NY; The Danish Royal Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark; Glasmuseum, Ebeltoft, Denmark; Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan; M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY: Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Charlotte, NC; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Losanna, Switzerland; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France; Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey, Mexico; Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; Museum Boymans, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA; Museum Het Paleis, The Hague, Netherlands; National Museum of Ceramic Art and Glass, Baltimore, MD; Orlando Museum, FL; Palazzo Franchetti, Venice, Italy; Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy; Palm Springs Art Museum, CA; Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Seattle Art Museum, WA; Shanghai Museum of Glass, China; Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; Tokyo National Modern Art Museum, Japan; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
Tagliapietra is the recipient of countless awards and recognitions, including: Borsella d’Oro (1968; Murano); Rakow Commission for Excellence in Glass award (1996; Corning Museum); Glass Art Society Lifetime Achievement Award (1997); Urkunde Gold Medal (1997; Germany); Libensky Award (1998; Chateau Ste. Michelle Vineyards and Winery and Pilchuck Glass School); Honorary Doctorate (2004; Centre College, KY); The President’s Distinguished Artist Award (2004; University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA); Distinguished Educator Award (2006; James Renwick Alliance); Cristal Award (2007; Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey, Mexico); Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007; Cambridge, MA); IIC Lifetime Achievement Award (2009; Istituto Italiano di Cultural, Los Angeles, CA); Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts (2011; Ohio State University, Columbus.