Ermanno Nason. Guerriero del vetro


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A tribute to one of the great Murano masters, Ermanno Nason, through a selection of about a hundred works, partly photographed for the occasion and partly taken from archival documentation.

Ermanno Nason was born in Murano in 1928, member of a family of famous glass masters who have left their mark in every phase of Murano history from the 17th century to the present day. His professional life has known three important stages: from 1952 to 1964 he was “maestro di prima piazza” (which is to say “first violin”) at Mazzega, from 1964 to 1970, at Cenedese, and from 1970 to 1993 he set up his own business by founding “Arte Ermanno Nason”.

Ermanno Nason’s notoriety is inextricably linked to his collaboration with the Center for Painters Studies in the Art of Glass (founded in 1951 by Egidio Costantini and later called, at the suggestion of Cocteau, La Fucina degli Angeli) which involved the greatest artists of the time asking them for drawings and projects to be made in glass in Murano.

During his career Nason collaborated with Picasso, Cocteau, Chagall, Ernst, Arp, Kokoshka, Arnoldi, Le Witt, Fay, Krayer, Guttuso, Braque, Verde, Hundertwasser, Fontana, Pignon, Bellini, Minguzzi, Goldoni, Carraro, Bianconi. In these high-level collaborations, the master had to find his own way of translating every project, however new and unusual, into glass. This gave Ermanno a competence and a technical mastery that allowed him to achieve excellence, in particular in “solid” processing, that is, performed not by blowing the glass, but by modeling it in the incandescent mass. This gave rise to his predilection for large sculptures, for the boldly modern reinterpretation of the various Pietà by Michelangelo, for the soft shapes inspired by Henry Moore, for the astonished faces of Campigli, for all that repertoire of the fertile 60s. As a good Murano, who sees in every form and in every subject an unavoidable challenge, Ermanno threw himself into his work with enthusiasm and courage, proposing an absolutely incredible variety of works. Scrolling through the pages of the volume we find everything, from the virtuosity and perfect reproduction of Cellini’s salt cellar to a pop version of the head of the statue of liberty, from the splendid faces of a woman in crystal to the pulcinella of Tiepolesque memory, from the huge statue of Samson to the small bust of a woman worthy of an Aristide Maillol.
Some interviews that complete the catalog manage at least in part to convey to the reader the extraordinary charm, the serene modesty and intellectual honesty of this great master.




Aldo Bova


Italian / English