Fragile Murano
Musee Maillol, Paris
27 March – 28 July, 2013
59-61 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
+33 142225958

Murano: while the name of this charming Venetian island immediately evokes the art of glass-making, the glut of tourist produce filling the souvenir shops means that it is easy to forget the precious skills nurtured in the workshops here and the quality and splendour of the objects produced over the centuries.

For the first time in France, this exhibition chronicles the extraordinary adventure of glass in Murano, retracing seven centuries of intense creativity, from the mid-15th century to the present day. It features over two hundred pieces, many never or only rarely exhibited, obtained from public institutions or jealously guarded private collections.The exhibition follows the history of the great glassworks with a selection of the finest objects made for the great families and European courts of the Renaissance – the Estes, Gonzagas and Medici –, extravagant Baroque creations and pieces from the 18th century, through to the Art Deco of the 1920s and the modernism of the 1950s, all the way to contemporary works by the Studio Glass movement, which takes glass as its sole mode of expression.

A special section focuses on the international artists who have come to Murano since the 1950s to work with the master glassmakers and experiment with glass as a privileged creative material. After Arp, César and Fontana in decades past, this tradition is now even stronger than ever: witness the “Glasstress” exhibition when, in parallel to the last two Venice Biennales, new creations by Hatoum, Othoniel, Pérez, the Recycle Group, Schütte, Shen Yuan and Wilson were brought together at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti.