Venice ~ Cini Foundation.. a New Glass Exhibition Space

August 2012 the new permanent Rooms for Glass (Le Stanze del Vetro) exhibition space was inaugurated with the show Carlo Scarpa. Venini 1932 – 1947

On 29th August 2012 the exhibition Carlo Scarpa. Venini 1932 – 1947, curated by Marino Barovier, will open on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice. The exhibition of over 300 works will reconstruct Carlo Scarpa’s creative development as artistic director of the Venini Glassworks from 1932 to 1947. The Scarpa exhibition is the first public event of the Rooms for Glass (Le Stanze del Vetro), a long-term cultural project launched by the Giorgio Cini Foundation in collaboration with Pentagram Stiftung for the purpose of studying and showcasing the art of Venetian glassmaking in the 20th century.

The opening of the exhibition Carlo Scarpa. Venini 1932 – 1947 marked the inauguration of a new permanent exhibition space designed to host a series of solo and group shows featuring international artists, both contemporary and historical, who have used glass during their careers as an orginal means of expression and medium for researching their own personal aesthetics. The aim is to illustrate the numerous potential uses of the medium and put glass back at the centre of attention and discussion on the international art scene.

The building chosen for the Rooms for Glass exhibition is the left wing of the ex-Convitto (a former boarding school) on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore. With 650 square metres of exhibition space, the exhibition centre will not only host exhibitions but also conferences, workshops and other events dedicated to glass.

The renovation of this long-unutilised building was designed by Selldorf Architects, a New York firm led by Annabelle Selldorf, that specialises in the design of museums, galleries and other art-related spaces. Previous projects by Selldorf Architects include: the Neue Galerie, New York; the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea, New York; the Hauser & Wirth Gallery, London, New York and Zurich; and exhibition designs for the London and New York venues of the Gagosian Gallery and the Gladstone Gallery. This fall the firm is designing the new Frieze Masters Art Fair in London. For the Venice project the New York firm collaborated with architects Fabrizio Cattaruzza and Francesco Millosevich, who in 2008 had refurbished the other exhibition spaces of the ex-Convitto in the Cini Foundation. The design includes a series of galleries, with custom designed vitrines, pedestals and other forms of display, to create a logical visual continuity within the space and the various exhibition levels.