Heller Gallery presents Odyssey, an exhibition of works by the indefatigable octogenarian Italian maestro, Lino Tagliapietra. The exhibition will showcase a selection of panels and blown forms from the acclaimed One of a Kind exhibition at the Liuli China Art Museum in Shanghai. A group of pieces curated from the artist’s extensive archive will also be included. Odyssey celebrates the unprecedented seven decades Tagliapietra has spent practicing his art.
Tagliapietra’s glass forms are firmly based in the 20th century Italian design idiom. Bold color and exuberant patterning reminiscent of a miniature fireworks displays characterize the pieces. They are a literal embodiment of the artist’s extraordinary and ongoing creative vitality and experimental nature. Each piece is a de-facto encyclopedia of classical Muranese glassmaking techniques, from which Tagliapietra chooses with ease. His vessels radiate vibrant optimism and effortless virtuosity.
Lino Tagliapietra started at the age of twelve as an apprentice in a glass factory on his native island of Murano. He earned the title of maestro vetraio - master glassmaker - at 21 and in the late 1970s set off to pursue the path of a studio artist. After a lifetime of work, and 70 years in the hotshop, the material remains magical to him.
Arguably the greatest ambassador of Italian glassmaking in the service of art, Tagliapietra has been a most sought-after teacher, collaborator and consultant to artists, architects and designers working with glass worldwide. Lino broke open the treasure trove of Italian glassblowing techniques and taught them with courage and generosity to generations, changing the world of blown glass forever. Recounting his first experience of teaching in the United States: ‘The boldness was so new to me … on the one hand, it was a shock—the lack of a cultural base, the absence of traditions. But on the other hand, it was exhilarating—the lack of restraint in the process, the exciting results.’
The recipient of numerous awards, his work is represented in the collections of more than 50 museums internationally including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France and numerous other public and private collections worldwide.
Heller Gallery plays a seminal role in promoting glass as a medium for contemporary sculpture and design. It has been a valuable resource for artists, museums, and collectors worldwide since 1973. The gallery represents a prestigious roster of international artists and designers, whose practice incorporates glass as a creative medium.
Numerous artworks have entered preeminent public collections as a direct result of Heller Gallery's exhibitions and advocacy. New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art have acquired works from the gallery as has The Corning Museum of Glass, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and numerous museums worldwide, including Victoria & Albert Museum, Musee des Arts Decoratifs de Louvre, and Hokkaido Museum, among others.