Lino Tagliapietra Journey at Heller Gallery

Past Events

Oct 8 - Nov 6, 2021

Lino Tagliapietra Journey at Heller Gallery

Legendary Italian glassblower, artist & teacher Lino Tagliapietra, who just celebrated his 87th birthday, started his career at the age of twelve, as an apprentice in a glass factory on his native island of Murano.  He earned the title of maestro vetraio (master glassmaker) at twenty-one, and in the late 1970s set off to pursue the path of a studio artist.  In July 2021, after more than 75 years in the hotshop, he announced his retirement from the furnace to afford himself the freedom to pursue projects beyond glassblowing.

Tagliapietra’s glass forms are firmly based in the 20th century Italian design idiom. Each of his pieces is a de-facto encyclopedia of classical Muranese glassmaking techniques characterized by bold colors and exuberant patterning. His work radiates vibrant optimism and effortless virtuosity.

Art historian and curator Tina Oldknow summarized his influence: “Today, artists from around the world use a Venetian glass vocabulary to make work that would never, ever be produced in Venice, and the dissemination of this remarkably creative and vibrant craft language may be Lino’s most important legacy. Lino came to America to discover what there might be here for him and to teach others to work glass. In the process, he helped to pioneer an industry – not for commerce, but for art.”

Tagliapietra’s work is represented in more than fifty international museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.