A fascinating blend of traditional Murano glass and imaginative design.

Curated by multidisciplinary designer Luca Nichetto, Empathic. Discovering a Glass Legacy is an art exhibition produced by InGalleria Art Gallery under the direction of Alessandro Vecchiato. The gallery is located on Venice’s island of Murano, a place with a long history in traditional glass working. For this exhibition, Luca Nichetto invited seven other designers to make one of a kind objects and limited-edition series using Murano glass. The brief gave them complete freedom, but guided them to empathetically create and experiment with glass. Each designer collaborated with local master artisans to produce their work. As a result, the exhibition showcases both the craftsmanship that has made Murano glassware renowned across the world, and the creativity of the designers.

A celebration of Venice and Murano glass.

While strikingly different, each work uses Murano glass, albeit in varied and even experimental ways. Luca Nichetto designed Mecha, a series of three colorful, armored glass robots inspired by childhood stories. Elena Salmistraro also looked to fictional characters for inspiration. Her Medusa is an imaginative take on the serpent-haired Gorgon: a mirror decorated with sinuous and vibrantly colored forms that seem to slither around the reflective surface, daring visitors to look. American designer Ini Archibong referenced traditional African wooden masks in his captivating work titled Africa. Marc Thorpe looked to the Venetian lagoons for inspiration to create The Family. The series of glass vessels have elongated or robust silhouettes but share similar pedestals that act as bases.

Likewise, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance used the waterscape of Venice to create his Madonna Del Monte series of sculptural tables with tops that boast rippling waves. Featuring experimental glass working techniques, Benjamin Hubert’s Granule series of objects boast granular, smooth and satin textures in a rainbow of colors. Designer Richard Hutten also used color as central element of his work; Layered is a totem-like monolith made of thin layers of vibrantly colored glass. Finally, Enrico Fratesi of Copenhagen-based GamFratesi created Palafit as a celebration of Venice’s foundations; his series combines organic glass bowls with wooden supports made of “bricole”, the poles that mark the waterways in the lagoon. A love letter to Venice and the art of Murano glassmaking, the Empathic. Discovering a Glass Legacy exhibition opened on September 11, 2021 and runs until April 10, 2022. Photographs© InGalleria / Punta Conterie Art Gallery.

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