DAVID GILL GALLERY presents Mattia Bonetti: The Murano Collection
5th - 9th September 2019
David Gill Gallery is proud to present a new body of work by Paris-based designer Mattia Bonetti. Comprising five table lamps, three mirrors, one chandelier, one side table and a pair of sconces, the collection was handmade in Murano and pays tribute to local glass-blowing techniques while pushing the possibilities of the material to their limits.
While Bonetti has worked with glass once before, at CIRVA (Centre Internatioanal de Recherche sur le Verre et les Arts Plastique), in Marseilles, under the tutelage of maestro Lino Tagliapietra, this collection is a departure for him, requiring an unprecedented level of research. Bonetti’s fascination with the centuries-old process of free-blowing and the magic of turning an unprepossessing lump of glass into a molten mass before its transformation into a nuanced object, lead him to Murano. Here, he was able to translate his detailed sketches, working closely with the island’s renowned artisans.
Time spent on the Island of Glass has profoundly influenced Bonetti’s practice, and the collection is imbued with the texture of the environment. His palette of green, gold, yellow, white and blue is redolent of watery reflections, huge skies, and Tuscan flora and fauna, as well as the art and architecture of Venice. The city’s chiaroscuro contrasts of light and dark are palpable in the counterbalance of lightness and heaviness inherent in blown glass.
Leaves are such a familiar Venetian motif, often found on chandeliers, they are probably embedded in the DNA of Murano glass-blowers. Bonetti has enlarged traditional leaf shapes and used them on mirrors and sconces, but his contemporary interpretation honours local design practice. The classical forms and Grecian decorations of the collection are a celebrated feature of Bonetti’s repertoire, but they also reference the neoclassicism introduced to the Venetian Republic in the 1730s by Alessandro Pompei.
For an artist as mercurial and multi-talented as Bonetti, a single aesthetic is never enough and he brings a super contemporary element to the collection with his ‘Suspension’ chandelier. A large disc of stainless steel floats like a planet, pierced by rays of light. These glass tubes are traditional components of Venetian design, but now they are filled with LED bulbs, luminescent and other-worldly. Similarly, to create the three ‘Grate’ pieces, Bonetti has taken small sticks of glass, classic Murano elements, and criss-crossed them into a modern, geometric design.