VENINI

Murano / Italy

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Venini is the renowned manufacturer of Murano glass objects, particularly vases and lamps. Founded in 1921 by Venetian antiquarian Giacomo Cappellin and Milanese lawyer Paolo Venini, the brand has worked with artists of the calibre of Carlo and Tobia Scarpa, Gio Ponti, Tommaso Buzzi, Tyra Lundgren, Tapio Wirkkala, Fulvio Bianconi and Massimo Vignelli, as well as Paolo Venini himself. More recently, these historical names have been joined by contemporary designers like Fabio Novembre, Luca Nichetto, Gaetano Pesce, Matteo Thun, Atelier Oï, Studio Job, Emmanuel Babled, Harri Koskinen, Diego Chilò, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec and Leonardo Ranucci. The Venini furnace is the only one capable of producing one hundred and twenty-five colours of glass. The brand's most famous object is undoubtedly the Fazzoletto hand-blown glass vase, designed in 1948 by Fulvio Bianconi and Paolo Venini and still produced by hand today in the Murano factory by the company's master glassmakers. For over fifty years, Venini's Fazzoletto has been exhibited in numerous museums. The brand's creations are included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum and MOMA in New York, the Cartier Foundation in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice. Since 2016, the company has been controlled by the Damiani family of the international high-end jewellery brand bearing its name.

The history of Venini and its designers

The company was founded in 1921 on the island of Murano with the name "Vetri Soffiati Cappellin Venini & C" with painter Vittorio Zecchin as artistic director. After the dissolution of his partnership with Giacomo Cappellin, Paolo Venini founded his own company, Venini & C., in 1925, personally managing it until his death in 1959; the sculptor Napoleone Martinuzzi was his partner and artistic director. During this period, the company renewed its identity, abandoning the revival of old designs in favour of new ones like the famous Diamante vase designed by Venini himself. In the late 1920s, Paolo Venini's brother Franco joined the company as a chemical researcher, creating unique colours unmatched by competitors. In the 1930s, such renowned artists, architects, and designers as Carlo Scarpa, Tommaso Buzzi, and Tyra Lundgren worked with Venini.
In 1932, Tommaso Buzzi and Carlo Scarpa took over from Martinuzzi as artistic directors of Venini & C. (Buzzi held the position for only one year, signing the Laguna and Alga series and some very unusual animals). Carlo Scarpa maintained a fruitful collaboration with Venini for ten years, designing some of the brand's most celebrated classics and introducing new wrought, ground, engraved, corroded, 'murrine' glass surfaces and colouring techniques. In parallel, Tyra Lundgren, Venini's first freelance artist, created several series incorporating birds, fish and leaves. In the 1940s, the production of new articles was interrupted by the war. The company recovered by collaborating with Gio Ponti, who, in 1946, designed several lines, including the colourful cane series (a fusion of thick glass canes) and his famous spiral bottles. In 1948, Fulvio Bianconi began working for Venini, giving great impetus to the company's post-war recovery; he remained with Venini until the 1990s. If Carlo Scarpa's designs embody classic elegance, Fulvio Bianconi's represent explosive creativity. In addition to the Fazzoletto vase, Bianconi designed the Pezzato, Scozzese, Forato and Fasce vases. Since 1980, many artists have designed for Venini including Laura and Alessandro Venini (Anna Venini's children), Tapio Wirkkala, Massimo Vignelli, Dale Chihuly, Richard Marquis, Timo Sarpaneva, Alessandro Mendini, Toots Zynski, Ettore Sottsass and Gae Aulenti.

Venini one hundred years later

Venini remains attentive to the contemporary design scene pursuing collaborations with internationally renowned architects, designers and artists. Among the brand's latest collections are Black Belt by American architect Peter Marino (2017), Where are my glasses? by Ron Arad (2018), Torcia by Mario Bellini (2018), Acqua and Contrasto by Michela Cattai (2019). To celebrate its centenary in 2021, the brand has proposed three new colours (powder pink, rio green and oxblood red, all available in transparent and opaline versions) for some of the products that have made Venini history - Fazzoletto, Balloton, Opalino, Labuan and Decò, the Odalische and Battuti. In addition, the company has produced a limited edition of one hundred pieces of the emblematic Veronese vase, which is 100 years old, just like the furnace. ... More ... less

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