Dedicated to the late artist and friend Laura de Santillana, In Her Eyes: In Memory of Laura de Santillana is an exhibition that remembers her legacy, fine craft, and most importantly, her person. We draw upon memories of her love, kindness, and care to illustrate and share the depth of her warmth, her gentle presence, and her passionate, radiant soul. We remember her life and we continue her story. Her soul lives within us and her glass work, absorbing time, space, and light, forever delivers her touch, her voice, and her legacy to new generations.
On a small island in the Venetian Lagoon, Laura stands in her studio, a brick building, and breathes in the air of a new day. The light of sunrise shines through the windows and travels slowly, bringing its warmth to her space and eventually gently caresses her face. As she closes her eyes to absorb this warmth, her body starts to move in a dance. Her movements are as soft as the hues of blue, orange, and pink in her glass tablets and the sunlight, as if spotlighting her, follows her as she glides through her studio. Her glass artworks, scattered strategically around her, seem to live harmoniously with the books. Her bookshelves, like wallpaper, extend to the second floor and illustrate a history of her study, passion, and life.
It was in this studio in which Ippodo Gallery director Shoko Aono visited her in 2013. The memory has been imprinted on her throughout the years and for years to come, she grew closer to Laura, collaborating on projects, discussing film and music, and sharing meals together.Laura remembers her visit to Japan in 1997, “Stepping down from the taxi in Kyoto, entering the little house…recognizing things I already knew… the frame of my soul fit very well in that context.” Laura’s Tablet series was largely influenced by traditional Japanese architecture: tatami mats, folding screens, and paper doors. The Japanese concept of Kekkai (the spiritual barrier) is illustrated with the soft blurring of colors in the tablet series, as if these colors are the separation of reality and fantasy, a doorway into another existence. We believe that her pieces represent her own Kekkai, her travels into the spiritual realm by virtue of her own artworks.
In this exhibition, Through Her Eyes: In Memory of Laura de Santillana, we will be showcasing seven works, highlighting her iconic Tablet series alongside her latest Transparent Triplet Series. Laura de Santillana’s material literacy and technique comes from her family heritage of Venini family glass-makers, alongside her personal exploration of art around the world. Laura studied at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and has held exhibitions throughout Japan, Europe, The United States, and Israel. Her work can be found in the collections of museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris). This exhibition is open for public viewing by appointment only from October 21st – November 18th.