Glassmaker Lino Tagliapietra Celebrates 80 Years: A Legend Attends SOFA Chicago Art Fair

  • CHICAGO, Illinois
  • /
  • September 05, 2014

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Lino Tagliapietra, Fenice Installation, 2014.
Photo by Russell Johnson.

Celebrating his 80th birthday this August, Lino Tagliapietra is perhaps the foremost artist in the world presently working with glass, exhibiting in the most prestigious museums internationally, receiving countless honors, openly sharing his extensive knowledge of the medium and his skill as one of its finest practitioners, helping to create a new renaissance in studio glassmaking. 

Schantz Galleries will present present major new glass sculpture by the world-renowned Venetian Maestro at SOFA CHICAGO 2014 (Nov. 7-9, 2014) from his new Borboletta (the Portuguese word for butterfly) series. Revisiting a monochromatic palette, Lino has created a large-scale black and white wall installation entitled Metamorphosis for their booth, which Jim Schantz describes as “a manifestation of flight, grace and elegance. It is another example of Lino taking the medium of glass to a higher state of consciousness.” 

Lino Tagliapietra.
Photo by Robert Peterson

Of his new work, Tagliapietra said, “In the past I’ve used a more subtle palette and recently have been using a lot of color. So, I think it’s wonderful to have less color again as grays and whites really emphasize the forms [in Metamorphosis]. Monochromatic work makes a very strong statement.” 

Tagliapietra has written that he is “totally open…I don’t want to represent Venetian technique only—even though I was born with it and it is possible to recognize it in my work. Your style is what you are.” The artist moves fluidly around the globe, incorporating nuance and inspiration from each place visited into a style that is uniquely his, never compromised but always enhanced. His generous spirit and gentle nature make him a true visionary, for whom a single color, a simple landscape, or a chance encounter inspires a masterpiece in glass. 

Tagliapietra has commented that one can practice technique (and surely he has done so), but one must also practice imagination and invention equally. Technical expertise alone does not give spirit and fullness to hollow vessels, so the artist must take risks, dream of new expressions, and endeavor to say something with his work. 

“I know sometimes my work looks like a different person created it.  Because I myself, when I feel things, I like to try and explore another territory, to be different, to see all of who I am, and not do the same thing all the time.  At one point, I thought that my formula was changing, but when I look at the work, I see the root.  Then I feel, 'Wow! That is my work, and apparently, I am not really too far away.'" 


Saturday, November 8th, 2014 at 5pm
Schantz Galleries SOFA Chicago Booth #607 at Navy Pier

Venetian Glass Maestro Lino Tagliapietra is traveling from Italy to attend the SOFA Chicago art fair, and will be available in Schantz Galleries booth #607 to talk about the inspiration behind his newest installations.  Come share a glass of Prosecco, some delicious Italian cookies, and wish Lino a happy 80th birthday! 

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