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VETRO an Exhibition of Contemporary Italian Glass



VETRO an Exhibition of Contemporary Italian Glass

The Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto, in collaboration with Sandra Ainsley Gallery presents:

Vetro: An Exhibition of Contemporary Italian Glass.

Opening Friday November 8, 2019, 6.30pm

496 Huron Street | free event

The Exhibit will be available to the public from November 11 to December 19, 2019.

It is one of the most refined and renowned type of crafts worldwide, it is an artisan tradition and a manufacture that combines industrial, manual and technological techniques that for centuries, have characterized and exalted the Italian art of glassmaking.
The Venetian isle of Murano is considered the epicenter of artistic glass design since, at least, the 8th Century – it being, of course, the most famous Italian glass imported throughout the world.

The Exhibit will showcase some outstanding work by the following ARTISTS:

Pietro e Riccardo Ferro

Pietro and Riccardo Ferro, born respectively in 1975 and 1980, followed in the footsteps of their father, Paolo Ferro, and under his leadership, they learned the art of grinding. In 2000, they opened Moleria, where all artists who work in grinding can be followed. The Ferro brothers see glass as a valuable canvas for creating and expressing their ideas. They specialize in developing new vessels and special artistic structures. The brothers have collaborated with world-renowned artists such as Lino Tagliapietra, Davide Salvadore, Pino Signoretto, and many others. Working on Murano, they have also collaborated with many companies located there, such as Venini, Barovier & Toso, and Seguso.

Simone Crestani

Born in 1984 in Marostica, in the region of Venice, he started working glass at the age of 15 at the Massimo's Lunardon glass factory. After an apprenticeship that lasted ten years, he opened his own studio, where he continues to work, dedicated to research and innovation. An introspective and self-taught artist, over the years he put together all the lessons learned and the experience gained, and finally broke away from the traditional glass of Murano. In fact he works borosilicate glass with a special technique of flame working that he called Hollow Sculpture, technique for which Crestani is appreciated worldwide. This particular way to work allowed him to create large-scale objects in glass where also the details are curated. Inspired by the never-ending variety of the natural world, the shapes of animals and plants magically come to life, even in their tiniest details, in an celebration of lightness and transparency. His creativity combines the quality of the design and craftsmanship to the uniqueness of plastic and artistic production, giving birth to exclusive sculptural pieces. Simone Crestani’s technique, together with his personal style and sophisticated poetics, allow him to create an interaction, where glass overcomes its purely material dimension and becomes a fine and studied artistic language, a pure, silent and crystalline conceptual element. In both the plastic arts and in the world of Italian design, Crestani is regarded as a young luminary with a compelling and diverse body of work. Other than exhibiting in some of the most important initiative related to the glass and art-world, he is also regularly invited as visiting artist and instructor by prestigious art academies and glass schools all over the world.

Davide Salvadore

Dating back to the 1700's, Murano glassworker, Davide Salvadore is the 11th generation on his mother's side, credited with creating glass pieces. The first of this lineage were the Rosetto brothers whose works dated to 1721 for a Piedmontese princess. According to the family history, each generation of the Rossettos have been nicknamed "Trippa”, the Italian word for tripe, which was and is the favorite breakfast for this family of glassblowers.

At a young age, Salvadore began following his grandfather, Antonio Mantoan, into the furnaces of Murano, first learning how to build the kilns and later working in the studios of Alfredo Barbini, who is often recognized as the ultimate glassmaker of Murano. Later, he worked as a glassblower in multiple well-known glass studios, learning from each and improving his abilities. In 1978 he began producing lamp-worked beads in his mother Anna Mantoan's jewelry studio, which she sold to Yves St. Laurent and other couture houses as well as to African merchants.

With his mother's encouragement, Salvadore developed his own personal style of making lamp-worked beads, and these beads are still featured as part of his sculptural pieces today; a tribute to his mother's talent and support. In 1987, he opened his own studio, Campagnol & Salvadore, where he continued doing lampwork and further developed his glassblowing expertise and talent.

In 1997, Salvadore became one of the founding members of "Centro Studio Vetro" in Murano, a non-profit cultural association whose purpose is to cultivate and promote the culture of glass art in Italy and abroad. Centro Studio Vetro published the international “Vetro” four times annually with distribution reaching 10,000 subscribers but in 2003 this organization disbanded.

In 1998, Salvadore made a conscious decision to turn away from traditional functional glass work. At approximately the same time, he began demonstrating his unique murrine technique at Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, Pratt Fine Art Center, and others in the United States. It was then that he was introduced to the American Studio Glass movement, of which Salvadore embraced and became an active part.

In 2012, Salvadore founded his own studio, Salvadore SRL, where he continues to work today with his two sons, Marco and Mattia (shown below).

Lucio Bubacco

Lucio Bubacco was born on the island of Murano in 1957. As a small boy, he played with glass, making small animals, beads, and other typical lampwork objects. At fifteen, he received his artisan's license and began marketing Venetian lampwork collectibles.

In 1980, he began studying anatomical drawing with the Venetian artist Alessandro Rossi. His work took a new direction; figures in movement would become the central theme of his work. This early fascination with anatomy, both human and equine, gradually compelled him to test the limits of his craft. He came to challenge any preconceptions that pigeonhole lampworking to the production of small, whimsical, decorative objects that emphasize form and plasticity alone and suppress the sculptural potential of careful elaboration, narrative content, composition and thematic grouping.

Unique in lampworking, his large freestanding sculptures - worked hot and annealed during the production process - employ flexible Murano soft glass rods instead of the more resilient Pyrex or tempered glass. Murano glass – also called soft glass because of its high soda content – is known for its characteristic brightness and appropriateness to lampworking. His technical experience and knowledge of glass colour compatibility further underpin his creation of unique pieces; figures entirely shaped by hand are then incorporated into hand blown vases or castings.

In his never-ending quest to create a living force in glass, Lucio has begun exploring two-dimensional drawing embedded within the glass surface, the line highlighted by coldworking the image or pulling it outside its matrix until it seems to explode into three-dimensional form.

Lucio’s work transcends any traditional application of lampworking. In a hybrid between the anatomic perfection of Greek sculpture and the stylistic refinements of Venetian Gothic architecture, the tension and plasticity of his motifs are placed in a context of narrative surrealism that reflects his original sensibility. Themes of seduction, metamorphosis and transformation, forms emerging out of a void … all echo themes from our mythological past when sexuality was not political but spiritual.

Mauro Bonaventura

He was born in Venice in 1965. At 18 he graduated with a diploma in electronics. In his search for a job, fate and providence gave him an opportunity to become an apprentice in the age old tradition of Venetian glassblowing.
Right from the start, he fell in love and was mesmerised with the incandescent quality of glass.
His career began with learning the techniques of glassblowing and glass decoration and to date he still remains in the glassmaker's trade.
It was a turning point for Mauro in 1992 when he was fortunate to be invited by a glass maestro to observe him in lampworking. A new passion struck Mauro when he realised this technique enabled him to explore a new and exciting way of working with glass on a closer and more intimate level.
After months of evening observation Mauro decided it was time to leave the glass factory and concentrate and channel all his energies on the technique of lampworking.

Marco e Mattia Salvatore

Studio Salvadore is a collaborative glass production team headed by Muranese artists Mattia and Marco Salvadore.

The two brothers began working as young boys alongside their father, the renowned maestro Davide Salvadore, in the studio Campanol e Salvadore. Both Mattia and Marco inherited their father's passion for glass blowing, and thus began to work with him full time after attending college. Later, Mattia perfected his skills with various Muranese masters and at the Pilchuck glass school near Seattle, while Marco traveled around the world to teach glass blowing techniques.

The Salvadores’ work is fresh, colorful and captivating. The artists concentrate on a few forms; simple, graceful elliptical shapes that frame the layered colors emerging from the glass matter. A signature of the Salvadore family is the use of swatches of color encased in transparent or opaque glass with large custom made murrine applied on the surface.

In a family business, there is always the chance that younger generations won’t want to follow in their elders’ footsteps. Davide Salvadore, whose family has blown glass on the Venetian island of Murano for almost four centuries, considered this a possibility with his sons Mattia and Marco. He even encouraged them to explore other professions. The elder Salvadore explains that he tried to show his sons the “ugly” side of the job; the blazing heat and hours of physical labor required to create something beautiful. But it’s in their blood and so they create.

Working with their father in the same studio, the brothers, in their early 30s, are constantly exposed to traditional Venetian techniques and enthusiastically use them in their collaborative pieces. To those skills, however, Mattia and Marco add an element of bold, youthful improvisation. The resulting works are at once classically exquisite and uniquely experimental.

Several intricate, exacting works by the elder Salvadore are also offered by Bender Gallery and illustrate the dramatic difference that one generation can make.


Date: Da Friday, November 08, 2019 a Thursday, December 19, 2019

Time: From 6:30 pm To 8:00 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura e Ga

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura | 496 Huron Street, Toronto


Vetro: An Exhibition of Contemporary Italian Glass.