Thomas Stearns at Venini

Curated by Marino Barovier9 September 2019 – 5 January 2020

The aim of the autumn exhibition of LE STANZE DEL VETRO is to emphasize the importance of the association of Thomas Stearns with the Venini glassworks in the early 1960s

‘Thomas Stearns at Venini’, curated by Marino Barovier, is the next LE STANZE DEL VETRO autumn exhibition open to the public on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, from 9 September 2019 to 5 January 2020.

The American artist worked at the Venini glassworks in the early 1960s and, following an initial period during which he became familiar with Murano techniques, he started to create some very original and unusual works in the context of local production.

So came into existence a small series of glass pieces designed as a sculpturesque artistic expression, recognisable because of their asymmetric and organic shapes and unusual glass techniques, rooted in the material of glass itself and with singular colour combinations.

For the 31st Biennale in 1962 the Venini company exhibited, together with the glass pieces of Tobia Scarpa, also six pieces by the American artist, and these were rewarded with the accolades of the adjudication panel. His pieces, Il cappello del Doge, Facciate di Venezia, are well-known. The gold medal was in fact proposed for them; this, however, could only be awarded to an Italian artist.

The exhibition will also underline the interest that Stearns took in cold-finishing techniques and in lighting, enhancing both artistic expression and technical research.

  • Cylindrical vase and Cappello del doge [‘Doge’s Hat’] in glass with double incalmo, 1961-62, Rob Beyer Collection
  • Vase in glass with vertical double incalmo and Cappello del Doge [‘Doge’s Hat’], 1961-62, Martin Kline Collection - Olnick Spanu Collection, New York