Vittorio Zecchin: Transparent Glass for Cappellin and Venini
Curated by Marino Barovier
The autumn exhibition at LE STANZE DEL VETRO will be dedicated to the artist Vittorio Zecchin who, in the 1920s, revisited the classical trends of the time to relaunch and revive the art of glassmaking in Murano.
The exhibition will feature 250 fine hand-blown mostly monochrome works designed by Vittorio Zecchin when he was the Artistic Director of V.S.M. Cappellin Venini & C. (1921-25) and then of M.V.M. Cappellin & C. (1925-26)
Vittorio Zecchin (1878 – 1947) was an artist and painter from Murano, whose father worked as a chemical technician in a glassworks. Zecchin is an important figure of twentieth-century glass, which he contributed to revive during the 1920s with the support of two enlightened entrepreneurs - Giacomo Cappellin and Paolo Venini - producing elegant hand-blown mostly monochrome glass works which reinterpreted the classical trend of the time, often drawing inspiration from glass or paintings by XVI-century Venetian artists. Vittorio Zecchin: Transparent Glass for Cappellin and Venini, curated by Marino Barovier, is the autumn exhibition at LE STANZE DEL VETRO, which will open to the public on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore from 11th September 2017 to 7th January 2018.
The exhibition, featuring approximately 250 ethereal hand-blown glass works, will focus on Zecchin’s extremely refined glass production. It was a turning point in twentieth-century Murano and contributed to breathe new life into glass making which, with rare exceptions, had been lingering in the sterile repetition of dated models. In particular, the exhibition Vittorio Zecchin: Transparent Glass for Cappellin and Venini features Zecchin’s glass production starting in 1921, when he was appointed Artistic Director at the V.S.M. Cappellin Venini & Co. glassware company, which the Venetian antiquarian Giacomo Cappelin had founded that year together with the young Milanese lawyer Paolo Venini with the aim of offering new products to an upper-middle class clientele.
The exhibition will feature Zecchin’s rigorous bowls and vases, some with a flat base, others with folds or pinches in the body or the neck. Among the classical-shaped ones is the well-known Veronese vase that was inspired by the one depicted in the sixteenth-century Annunciation painting at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice. The reference to fifteen-century paintings and objects is also apparent in the small selection of Tintoretto-like tableware, representing the company’s vast production in this sector. Similarly, the more utilitarian production is represented by a small series of compote bowls, most of which bearing lids decorated with delicate eighteen-century-style flowers.
The Cappellin Venini glass production was immediately distinguishable from the Murano craftsmanship of the time, both for its classical proportions and rigorous shapes, as well as for its remarkable colours, mostly delicate but at times intense and bright shades of yellow, green, blue and amethyst.
Zecchin’s work, in collaboration with the two business partners Cappellin and Venini, was a response to the new fashion that was growing at the time, as shown by the considerable success of the company from its opening, both in Italy and abroad, thanks in part to their participation in important decorative arts exhibitions such as the first Monza Biennale in 1923 and the renowned Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs, which took place in Paris in 1925. This was the last time Cappellin and Venini collaborated before they parted, and Cappellin went on to found M.V.M. Cappellin & C. and Venini opened V.S.M. Venini & C., with Napoleone Martinuzzi taking over the role of Zecchin.
Vittorio Zecchin continued his collaboration with Giacomo Cappellin as Artistic Director of his new company until October 1926, designing new models with restrained classical traits and a refined simplicity.
Both companies kept producing models of the former Cappellin Venini, which from then on bore the acid stamp of the company.
To coincide with the exhibition Vittorio Zecchin: Transparent Glass for Cappellin and Venini, a catalogue, edited by Marino Barovier and Carla Sonego, will be published by Skira for LE STANZE DEL VETRO.
The exhibition Vittorio Zecchin: Transparent Glass for Cappellin and Venini will be the opening event of The Venice Glass Week, the first international festival devoted to the art of glass making, notably from the Island of Murano, which will take place from 10th to 17th September 2017, in Venice. The festival is promoted by the City of Venice and was conceived by three important local institutions that already have experience in this field: Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti and Consorzio Promovetro Murano, the authority in charge of managing the Vetro Artistico® Murano trademark.
The Venice Glass Week (www.theveniceglassweek.com) will feature more than 100 participants, with a total of 140 events, exhibitions, conferences, lectures, educational activities and open days at furnaces.
Production: Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Pentagram Stiftung
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