CARLO SCARPA (1906-1978)
produced by Venini, model 3941, hand-blown glass
10 in. (25.5 cm.) high
acid stamp venini murano
M. Barovier, Carlo Scarpa: Glass of an Architect, Milan, 1998, pp. 144, 216, n. 177 and 178 for related vases in this technique;
M. Barovier, Carlo Scarpa: Venini 1932-1947, exhibition catalogue, Le Stanze del Vetro, Milan, 2012, pp. 282, 286 for related vases of this technique, p. 373 for this model illustrated in a battuto finish;
Venini, blue catalogue, pl. 56, n. 3941.

Lot Essay

The interplay between tradition and innovation, as well as the interaction between form and surface treatment, continually intrigued and challenged Carlo Scarpa during his decades-long exploration of glass production. The Laccati series, first introduced at the XXI Venice Biennale in 1940, epitomizes the confluence and realization of these profound, but disparate, concepts. Drawing inspiration from ancient Chinese ceramics and lacquer work, Scarpa endowed each vessel specific to this series with a simplistic shape, a brilliant color palette limited to red or black, and an exquisite lacquer-like finish masterfully achieved through a complex reinterpretation of the use of murrine. The present vase is a superb example. The classic bottle form suggests timeless strength and clarity, while the lacquer-like sheen testifies to Scarpa's unprecedented ability to conjure the subtlest effects from his material and innovative techniques.

Through further experimentation, the Laccati series developed into the Laccati Nere e Rossi series, also presented at the 1940 Biennale. Each breathtaking object in the later series was executed in a powerful two-toned red and black color scheme. Due to the complex manufacturing techniques and high production costs, very few pieces were produced. Two exceptional Laccati Neri e Rossi models from the August Warnecke Collection were sold at Christie's Paris saleroom, 21 November 2012, lots 11 and 12. A related example can be found in the Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu Collection, New York and the Steinberg Foundation Collection, Vaduz.

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