Saturday, September 15, 2007

Greenjeans Review: "Viva Vetro!" at Carnegie Museum of Art

While visiting Pittsburgh over Labor Day weekend, Jae and I saw an exceptional glass exhibition titled "Viva Vetro!" at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The show presents 125 works by 60 American and Italian glass artists along with some captivating videos of glass artists at work. It is accompanied by an outstanding catalogue.

In 1962, a type of glass that melts at a lower temperature was discovered, opening up the possibility for glass to be worked as sculpture in a studio setting, and not just in a large factory. This, in tandem with the cross-fertilization of ideas and techniques between scores of American and Italian glass artists after World War II, helped launch the Studio Glass Movement. The exhibition traces this creative evolution.

Not only are many of the works of glass astonishing and beautiful to see up close, but the show includes an excellent educational element with several samples of glass rendered in different techniques that you can read about and touch. No glass expert I (in fact, I find some art glass to be kinda, dare I say it, tacky), these samples and descriptions really brought the exhibition to life for me. (I only wish they were online so I could link them here!)

I realized that the more I learned about the processes and techniques, the more I appreciated the work. And that, as far as I'm concerned, is exactly what a good museum exhibition should accomplish.

Here are some of my favorite works from the show:

Benjamin Moore, Palla Set, 1994, blown glass.

Federica Marangoni, Ciobella Nikes, 1984.

Dante Marioni, Yellow Mosaic Vase, blown glass with murrine, 1998.

Laura de Santillana, Bodhi (Yellow), 2006.

Dan Dailey, Pistachio Lamp, 1972.

This fabulous huge platter was used to show three different variations of the amazing reticello technique. By Salviati & Co. from the 1890s.

Richard Marquis, Teapot Goblet, 1989, blown glass with zanfirico and murrine.

This artist, Emilio Santini, taught Greenjeans artisan Matthew Eskuche at the Penland School of Crafts. This is his Lampadario from 2005.
(Remember to come see Matt's new work in our fall exhibition "Garbage Collection," and meet him at the opening on Sept. 26!)

Josiah McElheny, detail of From an Historical Anecdote about Fashion, 2000, blown glass objects, display case, digital prints. (Photo sourced here.)

The CMA is definitely worth a visit if you're in Pittsburgh. They have an especially strong modern art collection presented with the smartest, most interesting exhibition design I've seen in a long time. "Viva Vetro" is on view only until Sept. 19th, but you can visit them this fall to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their very special Hall of Architecture!

Shown at top: Lino Tagliapietra, Dinosaur, 2005.
Unless otherwise noted, all images courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art (from press materials or scanned from catalog).
Posted by Amy Shaw.

1 comment:

Mad said...

Very nice review!