Monday, February 17, 2014

Craft and Modernism

Thanks to my friend Robert Meckfessel FAIA, I was alerted to an absolutely stunning exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on The Venetian Glass of Carlo Scarpa. I was able to see the show last week during a trip to New York. Scarpa was a widely-admired Italian architect responsible for contemporary buildings infused with spirituality. But I was unaware of his innovations in glass-making at Murano, where he "created over two dozen styles, in the process pioneering techniques, silhouettes, and colors that thoroughly modernized the ancient tradition of glassblowing" (quote from the Met's catalogue). It is a reminder of the role of arts and crafts in early Modernism (notably at the Bauhaus), much of which seemed to fall by the wayside during later eras. The exhibit is simply stunning. If you find yourself in NYC before it closes on March 2nd I recommend that you see it for yourself.