Italian Siblings Collaborate in Latest Exhibit at Museum of Glass

  • Vibrant. Italian siblings Alessandro Diaz de Santillano and Laura de Santillano came together in the creation of "Scapes," on view at the Museum of Glass through January 2013. (Photo by Kate Burrows)

For the first time in their careers, Venetian artists and siblings Laura de Santillana and Alessandro Diaz de Santillana are collaborating in the Museum of Glass’ latest exhibit, “Scapes” – featuring pieces created right here in the Hot Shop during two visiting artist residencies in 2010.

“Scapes” is comprised of four installations, each based on the Hindu belief that the world is a series of disks, made up of wind, water and earth upon which float four continents on a circular ocean. The artists interpreted elements of this idea in glass, creating spaces, forms and colors corresponding to each disk.

Each room includes a combination of both artists’ work created in similar but exciting color palettes. Alessandro’s 22 glass paintings were created from large cylinders into vibrant framed pieces, and Laura’s sculptures are formed to each uniquely represent mountains, celestial eggs and stars.

The exhibit opens in the “Earth” room, where several impressive pieces line dark walls with elegant lighting showcasing these vibrant compositions. The “Space” room highlights Laura’s choice of the egg as inspiration, in pieces ranging from the simple and elegant to complex pieces resembling the human brain. The “Sun” room is alive with silver, burnt gold, copper, indigo, white and black. These paintings are inspired by actual photographs of the sun taken from space.

The “Moon and Constellations” room is consumed with pieces featuring white, black and silver.

“We are so excited to see this exhibition come to fruition,” Museum of Glass Interim Director Susan Warner said in a statement. “The practice of extending the visiting artist residencies to create work specifically for new exhibitions is a hallmark of the Museum of Glass. These residencies have proven to be popular and enriching experiences for visitors and artists alike, and it is especially rewarding to come and see all the hard work and talent from the Hot Shop realized in the gallery.”

As the grandchildren of Paolo Venini, founder of Venini, an innovative glassworks organization in Murano, Italy, it is no wonder these artists have developed such an impressive portfolio. Father Ludovico Diaz de Santillana also served as the director of Venini. Although the two grew up around talented glass artists, they each have found their own success in a variety of mediums. Laura’s work has been collected internationally and can be found in Seattle Art Museum, Corning Museum of Glass and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, among other museums. Alessandro, as a former professor of sculpture at University of California at San Diego, is also a noted photographer, painter and sculptor. His work was included in the Venetian Pavilion in 2009’s Biennale di Venezia.

“Scapes” will be on view at the Museum of Glass until January 2013. For more information, visit


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