Ippodo Gallery opens Laura de Santillana's second posthumous solo exhibition in New York

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Ippodo Gallery opens Laura de Santillana's second posthumous solo exhibition in New York
Laura de Santillana Untitled (Lametta), 2019 Hand-blown and slumped glass, 36 x 25 x 8 cm. Photo courtesy of Fabio Zonta.

NEW YORK, NY.- Ippodo Gallery presents Laura de Santillana: Echoes of Her Gaze, Impressions of Tokyo and Kyoto in Glass, the artist’s second posthumous solo exhibition in New York. A curation of over 25 glass artworks evoking the dichotomy of Tokyo’s neon lights and subdued glow of Kyoto’s aesthetics, on view from May 8–June 6, 2024. Representing the later years of her career, this collaboration between the de Santillana Estate and Ippodo Gallery includes artworks traveling from Venice and those which exhibited exclusively in Japan. Deeply inspired by the ingenious craftsmanship of Japanese architecture, this series of glass tablets draws together the vibrant colors that de Santillana saw in Tokyo’s bustling nightlife districts with the traditional modesty of Kyoto, where she felt a natural fondness of ancient Japanese culture analogous to the grand history of Venice.

Laura de Santillana (1955–2019) innovated Venetian-Murano glass techniques passed down through the lineage of her grandfather, the legendary Paolo Venini. Under his tutelage, de Santillana developed her own vision of what could be expressed in glass. De Santillana’s sculptures, including her tablet-shaped Tokyo-ga series, use innovative techniques, masterful compositions of colors, and several formal and artistic gestures explored during her early career in Murano, and which she later perfected with collaborators in the Czech Republic and the United States.

“The glass tablets are envelopes in which the light lives and refracts; there is the surface work, a skin. This light that is incorporated in the object becomes the body of the object. Light is not outside, it’s inside, a liquid frame between the inside and the outside.”
— Laura de Santillana

The great bridging power of de Santillana’s glass is the sensuality of her artistic vision; she saw within glass beauty and tenderness nary another has brought to life with such vivid effect. A transformation occurs as light is diffused in color or passes through the translucent glass. What was once light becomes distorted, refracted, or purified. De Santillana’s works, imagined first in sketches and then executed at her direction, are the product of maestros and engineers who blow and manipulate the folded glass at extreme temperatures. Meticulously formulated colors made from natural pigments or metals are inserted during the firing process, only realizing their true brilliance once pulled from the fire.

De Santillana has exhibited throughout Europe and the United States, and with Ippodo Gallery in Japan at both Ippodo Gallery Tokyo and for the 280th anniversary of Kyoto-based textile house Kondaya Genbei. Her works are in prominent collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), Corning Museum of Glass (New York), Museum of Fine Arts Houston (Texas), Museum of Art and Design (New York), Museum of Fine Arts Boston (Massachusetts), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (California), and many more.

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