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Glass exhibitions open at Flint Institute of Arts

Two major glass exhibitions have started at The Flint Institute of Arts.
“Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Italian Glass” features 160 works by the Italian glassblower. Lino T…

Two major glass exhibitions have started at The Flint Institute of Arts. “Lino Tagliapietra in Retrospect: A Modern Renaissance in Italian Glass” features 160 works by the Italian glassblower. Lino Tagliapietra is widely revered as the maestro of glassblowing, an inspiring teacher and the elder statesman linking the glass centres of Venice, Italy and the Pacific Northwest. Tagliapietra“s artistic imagery and vision continue to influence Studio Glass artists around the world. Among the well-known artists that he has had a great influence on is Dale Chihuly. In 1979, Tagliapietra came to Pilchuck Glass School, the school that Chihuly began. Tagliapietra unhesitatingly shared his expertise with Dale Chihuly as well as other artists worldwide, universally elevating the art and craft of glassmaking and changing the course of contemporary glass. This exhibition is the first comprehensive retrospective of Tagliapietra“s art and career. It represents not only the pivotal and renowned series of artistic work, but also designs made for industry and private objects that have never been exhibited. It includes 165 objects acquired from the artist“s own collection and collections around the world. Tiffany Lamps: Articles of Utility, Objects of Art celebrates Louis Comfort Tiffany“s revolutionary contributions to modern decorative lighting. Organized by the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in New York City, this exhibition presents the first in-depth look at the Tiffany Studios“ deliberate efforts to produce lamps that balance artistry with utility and profitability. Over 40 objects in an array of colours, sizes and decorative styles are featured in five sections exploring the themes of fabrication, design inspiration, and changing lighting technologies. The show also includes tools, materials and period photographs to enhance the viewer“s appreciation of the objects by demonstrating how they were made and what influenced the designs. Tiffany“s lamps are an innovative and successful combination of usefulness and beauty. As articles of utility, reading lamps, floor lamps, and hanging shades come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes to regulate and direct light. As objects of art, the lamps, with their interplay of coloured glass and richly sculpted bronze, bring beauty into the home. Whether understated minimal accents of colour, or showy, elaborate design statements, Tiffany lamps compliment a diversity of decorative schemes. This exhibition goes beyond the general appreciation of the beauty of Tiffany lamps by examining the artistry and social context of these iconic objects. By creating lamps as objects of both utility and art, Louis Comfort Tiffany realized his goal of making beautiful objects accessible to the public. Both exhibitions run through 15 August 2010.

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