Curating an Exhibition at the Morris Museum

“Although Lino embodies centuries of Venetian traditions in glass-making techniques, he also continually quests to bring new ideas and approaches to the medium”  –Jim Schantz, director of Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

“The boldness of his vision is why he’s so widely celebrated, married with that technical virtuosity. It’s this combination of tradition and innovation that really sets Lino apart from pretty much anybody else working in glass.”   Andrew Page, managing editor of GLASS Quarterly

It began over a year ago with a conversation between a gallerist and a collector; Jim Schantz and Alan Levitan.   Alan asked after learning that Jim had curated the show at the Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass, “How about a show of Lino’s work at the Morris Museum?”

“Of course!” Jim said, “… and we can help with it!”

After hundreds of hours and many phone calls, meetings, committees, detailed lists of arrangements,  The Morris Museum currently showcases a selection of the maestro’s works in the exhibition, Lino Tagliapietra: Maestro of a Glass Renaissance through June 18th. The show features 30 pieces hand-picked by Morris Museum curator Alexandra Willis and Jim Schantz, director of Schantz Galleries.

For the first few months, it was a back and forth between Jim, Alex, and Alan in the beginning, choosing the work from our inventory, deciding which pieces to exhibit, and how to best utilize the space, pedestals, vitrines, and lighting.  After the work was chosen and finalized, Kim Saul, Director of Publications at Schantz Galleries, worked on the catalog.

View Catalog onlineView online catalog.

The exhibition chronicles the past 17 years of Lino Tagliapietra’s career. It includes a survey of his classical Venetian forms and canework, plus a range of examples of his experimental works. Pieces like those in his Dinosaur series meld sculpture with painting, as color and form accentuate and heighten the aesthetic response.

Dinosaur, 2015, 21.5 x 13 x 4.5″

Dinosaur is a seminal work of Lino’s that has become an icon in his repertoire; it’s become a signature form which he goes back to from time to time, while exploring new approaches of essentially ‘drawing’ or ‘painting’ with the glass cane material.

Lina Tagliapietra, Alan Levitan, Lino Tagliapietra, Melanie Levitan and Jacopo Vecchiato, Managing Director for Lino… as well as grandson!

Despite his worldwide acclaim and extensive exhibition record, the Morristown display represents the first solo museum show of Tagliapietra’s work in the New York, New Jersey metropolitan area. This has been a great opportunity for both Lino and the Morris Museum to present this work to both seasoned aficionados and those art enthusiasts new to the medium of glass. In both his life and work, Tagliapietra represents a living bridge between hundreds of years of Venetian glassmaking traditions and the experimental improvisations characteristic of the contemporary glass art movement.

Lino at Schantz GalleriesClodia, 2016, 28 x 12 x 6″

Although Lino embodies centuries of Venetian traditions in glassmaking techniques, he also continually quests to bring new ideas and approaches to the medium. He’s been greatly responsible for the incredible growth in the field of contemporary glass as an art form throughout the past 40 years.

Stelle di Neve, 2015, fused glass panel, 18.75 x 18.75 x 1.5″ Previously exhibited at Bergstrom Mahler Museum of Glass.

The exhibit spotlights Tagliapietra’s work from the 21st century. Since reaching “retirement age,” Tagliapietra has embarked upon a particularly productive period in his career, consolidating and advancing innovations and breakthroughs from earlier times. When curating this exhibition, it was important to focus on works that Lino has created since age 65. During this period he has not only created some of the greatest classical works, but some of the most innovative of his vast career.

Barene, 2012, 48.25 x 27.75 x .75″

The Morris Museum will host a number of special events in conjunction with “Maestro of a Glass Renaissance,” including “The Magic of Glass Through Time,” a historical perspective by Patricia Elaine of the Morris County School of Glass on Wednesday, April 19; a lecture titled “From Murano to Seattle: Lino Tagliapietra’s Journey” by GLASS Magazine Editor, Andrew Page on Sunday, April 23; a “Ladies Night Out” on Wednesday, April 26; and a tour through the exhibition conducted by Jim Schantz on Wednesday, May 17.  Details and ticketing for these and other events are available at the museum’s website.

Tagliapietra and Schantz led a preview tour at the exhibition.

For more information on these or any works in the exhibition, please contact Jim at Schantz Galleries. jim@schantzgalleries.com

Chiocciola, 2008, 16.25 x 18.75 x 7.5″

About schantzgalleries

Owners of Schantz Galleries
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