“VERO. Murrine Contemporanee” by ANTONIO DEI ROSSI
On the occasion of The Venice Glass Week 2018, from September 9th till October 9th, Caffè Florian hosts the exhibition “VERO. Murrine Contemporanee” by Antonio Dei Rossi, the last master of the art of figurative murrina
Antonio Dei Rossi, the sole heir of the figurative murrina in the Murano glass art
The art of figurative murrina (colored patterns or images made in a glass cane) is a traditional technique of the refined art of Murano glassmaking. It is a meticulous micromosaic formed by strands of glass of innumerable shades that make up the subject to be represented.
Started in the mid-nineteenth century by Giacomo Franchini, it derives from the more widespread and ancient art of millefiori murrina. Since the beginning, exponents of the most important Venetian families of glassmakers dedicated themselves to it: after Franchini, the Morettis, the Baroviers in the second half of the 19th century and in the first decades of the 1900s and again Ulderico Moretti in the 1920s.
Towards the end of the 1980s it was Mario Dei Rossi (1926) who rediscovered and perfected the technique and thus marked another chapter, perhaps the most important in terms of number of subjects and executive quality, in the creation of figurative murrina.
Antonio Dei Rossi (born in 1964), following his father Mario’s footsteps, soon fell in love with this lofty and complex art and in 1999 he decided to start its own new creative path.
Custodian of this quasi-alchemic craft, Dei Rossi, together with his father, was able to preserve and innovate in techniques and themes this tradition, 100% made in Murano. A constant experimentation and a detailed research on techniques and materials, yielding incredible results.
Antonio dei Rossi is also a designer and an artist and gives continuity to his glass works by setting them in his jewelry or vases, to objects for furniture and fashion as well as for art installations.
Womb 2006 – vase
Antonio Dei Rossi’s works are tangible proof of how contemporary art is in perfect harmony with the materiality of the glass. In his view, the murrina is more than the object itself, but it is a means of conceptual and artistic development: set through a complex technical process and supported by amazing creativity and commitment to innovation, Antonio Dei Rossi’s murrinas are also inspired by other forms of art and encompass a world of shapes and colors.
In the art of figurative murrina, he is the greatest exponent and sole heir: his father Mario, now ninety-two, created his latest art piece murrina in 2015.
His murrinas, about 110 different subjects, show an incomparable quality, including murrine with a three-dimension effect (titmice perching on a branch, for example) that was unheard of in this very particular art.
Titmice 2017 – tridimensional effect murrina
Antonio Dei Rossi and the technique of figurative murrina
Only a few are the masters of the art of figurative murrina and they adopted and developed different techniques for the creation of their art pieces.
Each Master Glassmaker had his personal interpretation of the operating process and adapted his knowledge and experience to the same end: to produce miniature images, conceptually similar in representation, miniaturization, and reproducibility.
Giacomo Franchini experimented with the hot technique, Luigi Moretti instead adopted the cold technique. The Baroviers used the hot technique to compose the design, but it is in the furnace that the shape is fused and pulled. Ulderico Moretti realized his compositions as a sort of puzzle.
Mario and Antonio Dei Rossi use the same technique experimented by Luigi Moretti. Using exclusively Murano glass, the composition obtained is generally cylindrical with a diameter of 11 cm and 7/8 cm high. The shape is then fused and pulled in the furnace; thinned in diameter it transforms a rod that will later be cut in section into thin discs thus obtaining a miniature of the original design.
Discover the amazing figurative murrinas of Antonio Dei Rossi at Caffè Florian’s captivating exhibition
Series of glass discs, similar yet different, where craft and chance duplicate an original design.
The exhibition Vero. Murrine Contemporanee, curated by Caffè Florian Art Director Stefano Stipitivich will show the artist’s creations from 2011 including a collection of vases with murrinas and gold and silver frames: the art pieces are on display in the Halls of Caffè Florian.
The Masters of the art murrina are very few. One of these Masters is Antonio Dei Rossi’s father and, while he didn’t dedicate all his life to the work in the glass shop, he was allowed to tap into his father’s immense endowment of knowledge and ability and learn the secrets of the trade. He added to it his artistic and professional education, which broadened his horizon to more than glass. In his view, the murrina is more than the object itself, and more than an ornament. It is a vehicle, a means of conceptual and artistic development. The murrina is an illustrative technique of representational strategy, it may be forged in multiple levels to give a sense of volume, it can be the focus of design processes and of art concepts that develop on the inherent peculiarities of this operational synthesis.
Antonio Dei Rossi is an artist and a designer and possesses knowledge and techniques that should be treasured and passed on to the future generations.
Venetian, born in 1964, Antonio Dei Rossi lives in Treviso and maintains his workshop in the island of Burano. He studied at the Art School and at the Fine Arts Academy in Venice.
Since the mid-1980s, Dei Rossi has been working as an artist and participated to exhibitions in Italy and abroad, all the while exploring different techniques and languages of art.
The son of a glassmaker, glass has always been an essential part of his work. Father and son worked together since 1999, when the younger Dei Rossi began making his first murrinas.
Since 2003, his art experienced growing popularity in the USA – most of his exhibitions taking place in New York or Chicago.
In 2007, Dei Rossi held his first exhibition in Japan, in Nagoya and Tokyo. In Italy, Dei Rossi is known especially in Turin and Florence, though it is his native Venice that he most often comes back to, where the artist has been working extensively with Caffè Florian and the Murano Glass Museum.
The Venice Glass Weeks Festival, the Celebration of Glassmaking Art in Venice
The Venice Glass Week is an international festival founded in 2017 to celebrate, support and promote the art of glass. The Venice Glass Week 2018 will take place from 9th to 16th September.
The festival is promoted and organised by Comune di Venezia, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, Fondazione Giorgio Cini – LE STANZE DEL VETRO, Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti and Consorzio Promovetro Murano.
Caffè Florian has been promoting contemporary artistic languages for many years, devoting its Halls to masters whose creative outcomes are the result of a profound exploration and comparison with the ancestral material represented by glass blowing, the alchemical fusion of sand and fire. Many different glass artists and their glass works were hosted inside the Florian: Cristiano Bianchin, Yoichi Ohira, Toots Zinsky, Richard Marquis, Massimo Nordio, Michele Burato, Maria Grazia Rosin, Mario and Antonio Dei Rossi, Silvano Rubino, Fabio Fornasier, Lucio Bubacco, Davide Salvadore.