Emblematic of their era, vases reflect the dialogue between designers and artisans and the know-how, techniques, materials and artistic experimentation of their time and place. Consider, for example:
• An outstanding example of Art Nouveau made by a glassworks whose collaboration with Viennese designers brought it considerable success around the beginning of the 20th century.
• A ceramic vase designed by Italian master and tastemaker Gio Ponti, whose decorative products for Florentine manufacturer Richard Ginori were highly influential across Europe in the 1920s and 30s.
• Glass vases by contemporary Portuguese designer Vitor Agostinho, whose rethinking of the way moulds are made results in creations that are both traditional and innovative.
• A plywood pot representative of the conceptual approach of Mischer’traxler Studio, whose work questions the relationship between man and machine, craftsmanship and mass production.
A selection of vases revealing the evolution of design and its relationship with craftsmanship and the decorative arts over more than one hundred years will be on display at Homo Faber in Venice this September in the exhibit Centuries of Shape.
The vase is a functional object that has been made and used in every European culture since ancient times. A such, it is emblematic of its era. Like an archaeological find, a vase tells us a story, allowing us to witness the culture, traditions, artistic expression and experimentation of the time and place in which it was made.
Centuries of Shape curator Triennale Design Museum has carefully selected iconic European vases from the early 20th century to the present day that reveal the interaction between design and craftsmanship and the evolution of both over this period. Her fascinating selection takes visitors on a diverse journey from the traditional to the contemporary, from glassmaking to 3D printing, from Art Nouveau through Cubism and Postmodernism to contemporary design. Together, these vases show how designers and artisans have always influenced each other to experiment with shape and form, approach materials in new ways and rethink techniques in order to innovate and evolve. Visitors will come away with an understanding of the importance of this dialogue between designers and artisans and the impact it has on European craftsmanship today.
The vases will be simply displayed on the original oak tables of the 17th century Biblioteca del Longhena at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. The perfect space for this exhibit, the library is a reflection of the rich history of Venice and San Giorgio Maggiore island, while its wooden statuettes and original Franz Pauc carved bookcases are further examples of what can be created by intelligent minds and hands.
Centuries of Shape is one of 16 exhibits that make up Homo Faber: Crafting a more human future, a major new exhibition celebrating European craftsmanship, organised by the Michelangelo Foundation.
Notes for editors
Crafting a more human future
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
Free entry upon registration at homofaberevent.com
Homo Faber is the first major cultural exhibition dedicated to the very best in European craftsmanship. Organised by the Michelangelo Foundation, it aims to put fine craftsmanship on the global map and increase recognition and visibility for master artisans. The exhibition will bring together a vast range of materials and disciplines, from jewellery to bespoke bicycles, from the rarest artisanal techniques to some of the most iconic examples of the finest European workmanship. Created by a hand-picked team of world-class designers, curators and architects, the exhibition stretches over a number of magnificent spaces throughout the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. homofaberevent.com
The Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship is an international, nonprofit institution based in Geneva, Switzerland, which celebrates and preserves master craftsmanship and strengthens its connection to the world of design. Rooted in a tradition of culture and excellence and in the realities and challenges of today’s global economy, the Foundation seeks to support men and women who dedicate themselves to the pursuit of master craftsmanship and to foster a new cultural movement built around the values that are essential for their work. The Foundation focuses on Europe as a starting point for its activities, in recognition that craftsmanship has been a vital part of the economic and cultural fabric of the region for centuries. michelangelofoundation.org