Skip to main content

Chicago, 2015, by Lino Tagliapietra (Italian, born 1934). On loan from Schantz Galleries, Stockbridge, Massachusetts


Lino Tagliapietra: Painting in Glass

October 29, 2016–July 16, 2017

5 works by the artist who Dale Chihuly has called "perhaps the world's greatest living glassblower"

Best known for his glass vessels, Lino Tagliapietra has also devoted himself to realizing two-dimensional glass works that match the scale and complexity of paintings. While these large-scale abstract panels may initially be read as paintings on canvas, closer inspection reveals they have been made of kiln-fused glass that captures and transmits light. This exhibition highlights five vibrant works from his panel series, the culmination of a lifetime spent learning how the union of glass and heat unleashes a rare, transformative power.

Born in 1934 on the Venetian island of Murano, Tagliapietra earned the title of maestro (master) at the age of 21. He has become famous for his expertise in blowing glass into expressive forms that take the stretching and twisting of molten glass to new heights. From mixing his own colors to reimagining traditional methods to create new effects in blown glass, Tagliapietra has never been content to stay in one place, in his art or in his life.

In 1979 Tagliapietra traveled to the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, where he shared closely guarded glassblowing techniques with eager American students. He was welcomed into the American glass community, where, unlike in the glasshouses of Murano, individuality was celebrated. His first experiences in the US inspired him to pursue his unique vision, which marries complex colors with elaborate, abstract patterning that celebrates the cultures and places to which his extensive travels have taken him. Though he now demonstrates his techniques around the world, he divides his time between Seattle and Murano, which can be seen as the twin poles of his career.

Main Building


Support for this exhibition is provided by The Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation Endowed Fund for Modern and Contemporary Craft, the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other generous donors.

Assistance with fine art transportation is provided by the Lino Tagliapietra Murano Studio.


Elisabeth Agro, The Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts; and guest curator Andrew Page

Check out other exhibitions

View full calendar