Venice, 9 – 16 September 2018

The international festival dedicated to the art of glass returns with more than 180 different events including exhibitions, guided tours, conferences, workshops, performances and educational activities.

Comune di Venezia, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Fondazione Cini/LE STANZE DEL VETRO, Istituto Veneto and Consorzio Promovetro Murano present the second edition of the festival that from 9th to 16th September will involve all the main institutions in the city, with several new additions.

From 9 to 16 September 2018, more than 150 participants, with a total of over 180 events across Venice, Mestre and Murano, will take part in the second edition of The Venice Glass Week, the major international festival dedicated to the art of glass, conceived to celebrate the artistic and economic resource for which Venice is famous around the world.

The event is promoted by the Town Council of Venice and conceived by three of Venice’s principal cultural institutions with considerable experience and expertise in the field of glass – Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti – along with the most important trade association, the Consorzio Promovetro Murano, which also manages the Vetro Artistico® Murano trademark of the Veneto Region.  This year’s edition has again attracted a large number of participants, with a 20% increase over the first year’s festival.

Hundreds of applications were originally submitted for review and selection by the curatorial committee that was introduced this year, chaired by the Venetian glass historian Rosa Barovier Mentasti, and including critics and curators Chiara Bertola and Jean Blanchaert, journalist and editor of the German magazine Neues Glas Uta Klotz, and chemist, university teacher and expert in the composition of glass materials Marco Verità. The high volume of applications, from foundations, art galleries, museums – among which we note the participation for the first time of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Fortuny and Museo di Storia Naturale -, cultural institutions, universities and advanced education institutes, as well as glass furnaces, companies, artists and private Italian and foreign collectors, confirms the dynamism and vitality of Venice’s cultural scene, and provides a strong indication of the local and international interest in the field of glass.

The rich and expansive programme for The Venice Glass Week festival will involve varied and widespread events across the district, which this year also extends to the mainland, with Mestre now one of its main centres, along with Venice and Murano. The events, most with free entrance, will all have artistic glass as their main theme and be aimed at audiences of all ages: exhibitions, guided tours, conferences, seminars, prize-giving ceremonies, film screenings, educational activities, parties, drinks receptions, open studios and a non-competitive night-time race around the candle-lit streets, canals and glass-furnaces of Murano.


All events in The Venice Glass Week programme will be distinguished by a unique logo conceived in 2016 by Anna Scaini, a second year student in the graphic design course at IED Venice. The logo has been creatively enhanced for the 2018 edition by Cristina Morandin, who has adapted it to evoke the filigree working of Murano glass and digital modelling.




Exhibition: Mario Bellini at Murano, curated by Gabriella Belli and Chiara Squarcina.
From 9 September 2018 to 3 March 2019.

In addition to the presence of its exceptional permanent exhibition, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia is presenting an exploration of innovative forms of artistic expression in glass through the work of the famous architect and designer Mario Bellini. 

Born in Milan in 1935, Mario Bellini has influenced the history of architecture and international design through his extensive work in the field of industrial design, which has led him to create some of the most innovative products in the automobile industry (Renault), electronics (as former chief design consultant for Olivetti), and the communication field (La Rinascente). Recently the architect of Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt (2011) and of the new wing of the Louvre dedicated to Islamic art (2012), Bellini has also complemented his professional activity with experimentations in many materials and widely varied techniques, among them glass, which he has designed on the island of Murano for the furnaces of Seguso and Venini.


Guided tours: Venezia Arte Cultura & Turismo – Murano, back to the future
Museo del Vetro, Fondamenta Giustinian 8, Murano.
Opening days and times: 11 and 14 September in Italian, 13 September in English, from 2.30pm until 4.15pm.

We will retrace the history of glass, going through the most precious artefacts on display at the Glass Museum to then analyze the realities of the present day. Special emphasis will be placed on the art of making glass beads. In the past, the production of beads was carried out in Venice rather than in Murano, and it was a woman’s occupation rather than a man’s. It relied on a widespread network of bead-makers, who worked at home using the glass canes produced in the Murano kilns. The revival of Murano glass at the end of the 19th c. was also boosted by an extraordinary production of beads, highly valued items traded in and out of the Mediterranean since time immemorial. Today the art of bead-making still engages and challenges a considerable number of creative and innovative artisans and artists.


Exhibition: Autonoma ACSTVM Associazione culturale per la salvaguardia delle tecniche vetrarie muranesi e.t.s. Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda – LIGHT ON
From 9 to 16 September 2018, 10am-6pm, last entrance 5pm.

Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia hosts AUTONOMA & ACSTVM, a project by Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda. The project involves a programme of cultural exchange with The Pilchuck Glass School, which aims to create an international hub for artists and designers from around the world, and to preserve and spread the tradition of glass-making.
The goal of the second edition of AUTONOMA & ACSTVM is to lay the foundations for a lasting scholarship programme. Building on the success of this year’s pilot programme – where three students visited and worked in glass factories for several weeks – the structure of the programme will be modified in an effort to promote an experience that benfits all participants.
The program will continue to showcase the rich glassmaking tradition of Murano, but will also have a much wider practical component: instead of simply visiting the factories, participants had the opportunity to work in a glass factory under the expert guidance of Andy Paiko. The programme hosted six students and was themed, both in practice and in theory, around the reinterpretation of the classic Rezzonico chandeliers. This exhibition presents three new glass chandeliers designed and produced by the students, assisted by some of the most prestigious Masters of Murano. 



Installation: Giorgio Vigna – Acque
From 9 to 16 September 2018, 10am-6pm, closed on Tuesdays

The installation Acque, exhibited on the piano nobile of Palazzo Fortuny, was created by Giorgio Vigna from works produced between 2013 and 2015. Acque is part of a research project with which the artist explores the possibilities of glass in the relation between fire and water.
With this work he transforms simple copper containers into signs with a mystical value. The first works in this research were exhibited at the Palazzo Fortuny in 2010 on the occasion of his solo exhibition Altre Nature.



Installation: Chiara Antonietti – Babette’s Feast
From 9 to 16 September 2018, 10am-5pm, closed on Mondays.

Chiara Antonietti will present in the dining room of Palazzo Mocenigo a site-specific work with objects blown in the furnace and others created using the glass-fusion technique using the “filigree” murrine.
The murrine will be embroidered on the fabric in order to create an uninterrupted “thread” between each object, thereby creating a dialogue between the traditional local handicrafts that are being lost: the embroidery of Burano, the blown glass of Murano and the fabrics of Venice. For years the artist has learned and used the artisan techniques that are at risk of disappearing, such as the ancient techniques of glassmaking and of Burano lace.
Chiara Antonietti was born in Turin and has been working with glass in Murano since 2007.


Installation: Michael Zyw – Noah’s Dream
From 9 to 16 September 2018, 10am-5pm, closed on Mondays.

Noah’s Dream – il Sogno di Noé – is a glasswork inspired by a dream of love for the protection of the earth, people, the environment, of nature and also of the vine. This work is in part abstract and was made in the glassworks of Murano in 2014, it has a very slight similarity to the famous Giovanni Bellini painting Ebbrezza di Noé of which the artist was not aware at the time of creating the glasswork. It is accompanied at the Palazzo Mocenigo by Vineyard, and by Calice 5, necessary for the production and tasting of the wine in this dream! Nascita, 2015, watercolour of dimensions 130 x 200 cms is an homage to Giovanni Bellini and the wonderful creativity of Venetian art over the centuries.
Contributor: Fondazione Bertarelli


Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo
13th September 2018, 11am

Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda will be presenting to the public the project of “Autonoma Murano”, which has the mission to preserve and disseminate this incredible tradition of Muranese glass, and at the same time, enrich it further with a diversity of new techniques and ideas.
The program has been developed in collaboration with the Pilchuck Glass School in order to create a place where everyone has an opportunity to discover what Murano is and what the glass tradition is still capable of offering, thereby creating a new link between “tradition and modernity”, between Murano and the rest of the glass world. In this conference Marcantonio will be explaining how the two pilot years have been so far, and what will be the future of this venture.



Conference: The Corning Museum
Museo Correr
11th September 2018, 11am

The Director of the Corning Museum, Karol Wight, has been invited by the Director of Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Gabriella Belli, to present an important organisation, which is active overseas in the documentation and preservation of the ancient art of glassmaking by hosting renowned Murano Glass Masters, who create artworks using the traditional techniques in a dedicated area.
The event aims in particular to illustrate the several decades of experience of this United States Museum and the effectiveness of its communication approach, aimed at telling the story of glass from its origins until today. Karol Wight will illustrate in detail the activities and the exhibition programme of the Corning Museum, with the aim of stressing the important role of this glass museum in the preservation and diffusion of such an ancient and precious form of art.
The conference will explore alternative possibilities for exhibiting glass, which are different compared with those implemented by the Museo del Vetro di Murano but likewise are based on a correct dissemination of an art which keeps a tight connection with the present and with contemporary creativity, without forgetting the past.



Installation: Giberto Arrivabene – Sleeping Putto, a glass sculpture
From 9 to 16 September 2018, 10am-6pm, closed on Mondays.

In its role as a decorative centrepiece, a tenderly posed marble putto with a particularly sweet expression has always kept watch over the Arrivabene family table. Inherited from the Papadopoli family, who were famous collectors, it is probably from the circle of Bartolomeo Ferrari (1780-1844). The little figure has now been replicated in Murano glass thanks to a complex lost-wax casting process previously tried and tested by Giberto Arrivabene with other sculptural masterpieces. The new version will be exhibited during The Venice Glass Week 2018 at Ca’ Pesaro in an intriguing dialogue with the museum’s collection.


Lecture: Giberto Arrivabene – Classic Timeless sculpture, the eternity of glass
Ca’ Pesaro – Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna
13th September 2018, 5pm

Gabriella Belli, overall Director of the Venice Municipal Museums network, will talk in conversation with Adam Lowe, founder of FACTUM ARTE, a sector leader in the sphere of digital reproduction and facsimile creation, along with Giberto Arrivabene, glass designer, who has adapted the age-old techniques of lost-wax casting to create glass replicas of the masterpieces of the past. The question of historic and modern copying was also explored in a special project – A World of Fragile Parts – curated by the Victoria & Albert Museum, at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.



Exhibition: Simone Crestani, Mariagrazia Rosin, Zanellato&Bortotto, AUT / Veniceartfactory + Ongaro & Fuga The Theatre in the Mirror
From 9 to 16 September 2018, 10am-5pm, closed on Wednesdays.

THE THEATRE IN THE MIRROR is a collaborative project exploring the void that separates our image from our being, articulated through a selection of works by designers that have created contemporary mirrors using the time-honoured traditional methods of glass production from Murano. The reflection that we see in the mirror, both of ourselves and of others, is inherently unique and particular, which is precisely what renders the reflected image without a doubt the most complex to read and interpret. 
In both the mirror and the theatre recognition and illusion merge, inciting an internal state of disorder linked to our constant desire to read our identity in the image we are presented with in the reflection in the mirror or by the actor on stage.



Exhibition: Kim Kototamalune – Memories of Eden
From 9 to 16 September, 10am-6pm, closed on Mondays.

Born in 1976 in Ho-chi-Minh Ville (Vietnam), Kim Kototamalune lives and works in France, where she has long accumulated the learning of different traditional crafts, before taking an interest in glasswork. A material that she spins «out of blanks» without a mould, weld after weld building a grid until a form appears. «Glass – a solid that has forgotten its liquid molecular nature, proves to be an accurate medium to express this both frail and strong dimension of life» she explains «Matter that borders on the immaterial in a troubling way, thus bringing the invisible out within the visible».



Conference: Napoleone Martinuzzi sculptor in the works of the Padoan donation
Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Palazzo Franchetti, San Marco 2842
15th September 2018, 11am

Deborah Onisto, Vice-presidente Commissione Cultura
Gherardo Ortalli, Presidente Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti
Cristina Romieri, Soprintendenza di Venezia
Rosa Barovier Mentasti

Renato Padoan was for many years Soprintendente in Venice and in this capacity he was able to frequent many architects and artists. Among these the figure of Napoleone Martinuzzi distinguishes by originality and eclecticism. Napoleone Martinuzzi was renowned as a sculptor since the years before the First World War, when he participated in the Ca ‘Pesaro group and exhibited at the Roman Secession. He was an artist and designer loved by Gabriele D’Annunzio and director of the Murano Glass Museum from 1922 to 1931. Alberto Seguso’s Arte Vetro glassware owes the female heads and nude donated by the architect Padoan shortly before his death to the Civic Museums Foundation, testifying to the love for the historical and artistic heritage of the City of Venice that even after the cessation from the service.



Exhibition:Glass. The current relevance of an Art
Piazzale Donatori di Sangue 10 – 30171 Mestre, Venezia
From 8 to 16 September, daily 9am-7pm, Monday 2.30pm-7pm
Free entrance

The exhibition aims to display a selection of the present glass artistic production in hand-blown glass and also in lampworking glass. Two rooms on the first floor of Villa Erizzo will be dedicated to the artworks of important artists from Murano that, every day, express their vision and creativity facing an art performed for centuries, and that even today is synonymous of quality and beauty. Exhibiting artists include: Mauro Bonaventura, Lucio Bubacco, Michele Burato, Simone Crestani, Massimo Micheluzzi, Massimo Nordio and Salviati e Seguso Vetri d’Arte companies. Their presence provides evidence that the Muranese artistic scene is still alive – an economic area that could still offer opportunities to the entire City of Venice. This exhibition in fact is an opportunity to increase some new interesting outlook of present times of glass, but also for the future of our local artistic glass.

The inauguration of this exhibition will take place on Friday 7th September, at the same venue.



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