Arts & Entertainment: Exhibit shows a glass master still going strong

At age 11, Lino Tagliapietra began perfecting his glassblowing skills through observation, repetition and production. The Italian artist was trained by masters in Murano, a major center for glass blowing in his native land. He became internationally recognized as a glass art master. Now 77, the master is still going strong, as evident from viewing “Maestro: Recent Works by Lino Tagliapietra” at Museum of Glass. Organized by Tagliapietra Studios, the exhibit showcases 65 works made within the past 10 years.

The exhibit is spread among five rooms. In the first room is “Masai,” a group of glass pieces in the shapes of spears. The title refers to a tribal group in Kenya and Tanzania. Nine are blue, two are light green and one is red.

“Masai d’Oro” is a group of 16 pieces, all in gold-colored glass. The markings on all the spears are meant to express embedded cultural information.

“Gabbiana (Ala)” is 10 items suspended from the ceiling. In various solid colors, these pieces are meant to represent bird wings and examine the metaphor of glass as both heavy yet light.

In the second room is “Medusa,” a clear, round piece. It has three circular designs made of black lines.

“Chiocciola” is similar. It is a clear ball with many more small, circular designs.

Demanding attention in the third room is “Fenice,” which resembles a snake pointing its tail in the air. It has elongated blue and orange patterns.

“Borboleta” takes up much of the space in the fourth room. It consists of 12 objects arranged on the floor. While made just last year, the colors and bright patterns suggest an inspiration from late 1960s fashion. The pieces represent butterflies.

“Avventura” is a display case mounted on a wall with many shelves. They contain small objects that look like vases made of bronze.

“Endeavor” consists of about 15 items suspended from the ceiling in the fifth room. They represent small boats and are in a variety of colors. The title refers to a famous British racing yacht in the 1930s.

“Saturno” is a circular object mounted on a pole. It contains rings, meant to evoke the planet Saturn.

Among the more fascinating pieces in the exhibit is “Niomea.” It resembles a vase in a teardrop design. The hues of black, brown and blue seem more like a transparent fabric than glass.

Two pieces titled “Piccadilly” are here, one made in the 2008, the other in 2011. Both resemble a top that a child would spin.

This exhibit shows the evolution of Tagliapietra’s art to larger works and bolder colors over the years. “Maestro” makes a compelling case to declare him the greatest glass artist in the world.

Tagliapietra will display his skills in the Hot Shop at Museum of Glass from Oct. 10-14. “Maestro” runs through Jan. 6.


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