Massimo Micheluzzi: Master of Venetian Glass
"Glass is hard, inflexible and incorruptible by nature, mysterious in its essence
- a hard material to work.
If one mishandles glass or works with it without due care and attention, it will reveal its fragile nature. But if one truly loves glass and tries to understand its needs, it will reveal its infinite creative possibilities a bit at a time allowing for an extraordinary depth of colour and for the ‘mystery’ of lucid surfaces, which can be transformed into mesmerizing opacities.
My mission is to constantly discover glass hoping that it will slowly reveal more of its secrets to me." -Massimo Micheluzzi
As I gaze at the glass mosaic of Massimo Micheluzzi, which has just arrived from Venice, I am overcome with a strange feeling of nostalgia. Among Micheluzzi's latest works, some are evocative of a tortoiseshell design, the stone paving in a Japanese garden, or the dyed patterns of a kimono design. At the same time, they also conjure up happy memories of the old buildings lining the canals of Venice, their walls, roofs, and windows. For this exhibition, we are very honored to collaborate with our dear friend and respected gallerist, Barry Friedman, for the first time. The older works that highlight this exhibition date back several years and comprise the Barry collection; the dull gleam and texture of the jet black glass or the semi-transparent glass that seems to undulate in the breeze like a feathered robe possess an ever-changing beauty. I would also like to express my gratitude to Mr. Micheluzzi for the beautiful new pieces. I believe his works will fit in with the Japanese art crafts that the Ippodo Gallery has specialized in up until now. The harmony of these Italian pieces in our Japanese setting fills me with excitement. I cannot wait for the exhibition to open.
NEW YORK, NY — Ippodo Gallery and Barry Friedman Ltd. are pleased to present their first collaborative exhibition: Massimo Micheluzzi: Master of Venetian Glass. This exhibition is unique due to the fact that Ippodo Gallery normally represents living Japanese artists who continue traditional crafts. The merger with Barry Friedman’s history as a top art dealer in painting and decorative arts creates this exciting exhibition. The imaginative displays of vases will fill the serene space of Ippodo Gallery. We invite you to see the juxtaposition of a Venetian artist in what may seem to be an unusual space. Witness the transcendence of forms and colors. The variety of shapes and patterns create a lovely amalgamation of ultramodern landscapes. This extensive collection contains about 40 pieces from Barry Friedman Ltd.’s collection and new works which have just arrived from Venice. Massimo Micheluzzi (b.1957) uses traditional techniques to achieve a uniquely modern aesthetic.
During the beginning of his career, Micheluzzi created mostly mono or dichromatic forms as a backdrop for fluid vessels, which are similar to the gently curving canals and waterways of Venice. His approach allows him to create infinite possibilities of vessels shifting between fluid and organic shapes, transparency and opacity, color combinations, mosaic patterns, and sculptural forms.
Many of Micheluzzi’s glass vessels employ classic murrine and battuto techniques. Murrine are cross-sections of multi-patterned glass canes which are then laid out on a plate, fused into a sheet in a furnace, and blown into a vessel. While infinite designs can be created, the process is painstaking and difficult to execute. Battuto, meaning struck or beaten, is a meticulously tedious cold working carving technique which produces the rhythmic channels and grooves apparent in many of Micheluzzi’s works. While many glass artists employ artisans for the latter, Micheluzzi performs the battuto carving himself.
Throughout the exhibition, one can see Micheluzzi’s transformation while keeping with the time-honored Muranese glassmaking methods. Walk through the gallery to witness the evolution from his earlier monochromatic vessels to pieces that mimic terrazzo, marble, and intarsio inlay.
This exhibiton is open to the public from October 12 - November 21, 2021.