Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Artistic Glass

Project location: ITALY, Sansepolcro, Arezzo
Project start date: July 2012 - Project end date: July 2013
Project number: 2012-017
Beneficiary: Associazione Culturale “diVetro” – Esperienze nell’Arte


From 2012 onwards, the Farsetti Factory has become the driving force behind the Biennial, organizing exhibitions and conferences on glass.

The first edition of the Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Glass "diVetro" opened recently. The curator is the art historian Emidio De Albeniis from the Accademia di Belle Arti, Perugia.

Thanks to the workshops and the students, the whole town of Sansepolcro is involved in the show. There are two important locations: Palazzo Inghirami and Palazzo Pretorio. Other pieces from the workshops are on display in the shop windows of the town centre and the local goldsmiths have used small items of fused glass to create original jewellery which can be admired by the public.

Some of the finished work by the students of the Farsetti workshops is on show in the 14th century hall in Palazzo Pretorio. Their enthusiasm for this difficult craft is clearly evident in the variety of the pieces on display. Marina Benedetti, Alfiero Coleschi, Teresa Ferrini, Michele Foni, Lucia Giulianini, Alessia Piomboni, Joy Stafford and Annamaria Veccia have joined forces in a powerful exhibition and visitors can begin to imagine the vast potential of glass and it's poetic luminosity while admiring the different styles and techniques.

Antonella Farsetti, Dominique Landucci, Tommaso Cascella and Bruno Ceccobelli have each used the spacious rooms in Palazzo Inghirami to stage an individual show.

This first edition of the "diVetro" Biennial Exhibition has been "baptized" by Antonella Farsetti, the inventor and "master glazier".

She has exhibited her latest sculptures. They transmit great solemnity: idols and fetishes, small totems and sceptres from an imaginary kingdom. A psichedelic, halucinatory world is revealed.

The French-Italian artist Dominique Landucci has "written" transparent pages, as if they were pages of an ancient diary that has been rediscovered.The images are formed by light,or rather by the shadows produced by the light. They are images that will dissolve as soon as the sun swallows the shadow. Glass pages enlivened by marks and small touches of colour, incomparable portraits.

Bruno Ceccobelli has handled the glass as if it were a hidden treasure that has just been dug up.The head of an aged ruler is embossed on a series of plates, discs, planets and coins. Gold is everywhere The mask is reminiscent of Agamemnon. Alongside every coin portrait is another coin containing a handprint.The sovreign wins both with heads or tails and the portrait is recognizable in all the alternative versions of the head and the hands. On one side there is an angelic face and the hands are a heavenly blue, while rapacious hands are linked to an infernal face. A study of facial features modelled in glass.

Tommaso Cascella has used the glass as if it were a type of painting, or rather non-painting. His work is a no-man's land that lies between colour, transparency and shadows, lack of colour, surfaces and sculptural quality.Pictures become translucent screens, small aquariums or bubbles with snowflakes, monochromatic, coal-black sheets or mercurial metals in an alchemic game where sculpture, painting, light and matter combine in a viscous unity like glass heated to 850°.

In the Palazzo Inghirami exhibition the work of two photographers can also be seen. By" creeping in on tiptoes",as they put it, they have been able to record some of the highlights of the work of the past year.

One of the unusual aspects of the Biennial is the presence of artists who knew nothing about working with glass. They have been able to share ideas and compare notes with the students from Antonella's workshops.

So artists and students compete in the same race. The dividing line between fine art and craftsmanship no longer exists, but there is an urgency in the research for quality, beauty and poetry.

The professional artists learn and teach at the same time.There is a continual exchange of technical know-how, advice and suggestions.

The first edition of the Biennial has been a great success and the town council and local politicians have all reacted favourably. As often happens when a new project is launched, there have been misunderstandings but these have all been overcome. The value of every single piece has been emphasised by the elegance of the sobre displays. The beautiful catalogue represents all the artists and students who have taken part in the show and the internet site has a full description of the project from the beginning.

Up till now, it has been possible to publicize the event with a catalogue, an internet site ,a magazine that illustrates the workshops as they developed, posters, flyers and invitations.

The plan is to extend the workshops and involve primary and secondary schools, technical colleges, rehabilitation centres and the social services that work with pensioners and handicapped people.


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